Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

[Review] Klaw Poke, Capel Street, Dublin 1

Keeping on top of food trends isn't an easy thing to do in our Instagram world. And it's even harder to identify which trends will translate into long term market success. Here in Dublin, restaurateur and seafood lover Niall Sabongi has firmly gotten behind poke (pronounced POH-kay), a healthy Hawaiian staple that's been steadily growing in popularity across the globe. 

I first came across poke while watching Guy Fieri travel through Hawaii and I was intrigued by the simple, sushi-like concept of marinated chunks of raw fish served atop bowls of rice. Last year, while working in Amsterdam, I got the chance to try poke for the first time. And I've got to say that I liked it very much. It was both tasty and allowed me to pick and mix various poke ingredients to create varied, healthy lunches for myself. 

At Klaw Poke, Niall has created a selection of pre-defined poke bowls to help the uninitiated or undecided, or you can mix it up as you want. For my first visit, I opted for the Octopoke, a mix of grilled octopus, radish, macadamia nuts, samphire, salty pineapple and radish atop a mix of rice noodles and leaves, dressed with nam jim. Fresh, light and fragrant, it definitely ticked all the virtuous boxes. 
Stitch & Bear - Klaw Poke - The octopoke bowl
The octopoke bowl

In true Niall style, Klaw Poke is a glorious celebration of all things seafood with many other options also on the menu. There's grilled whole fish, and of course the famous Klaw lobster roll and even more famous Klaw torched oysters. We get a sample of divine prawns gilled on skewers, and order two Killer oysters, which are torched table side in their shells. 

I adore my crab toast, which consists of grilled bread slices, spread with a rich melting paste made from brown crab meat and topped with fresh, sweet white crab meat, cucumber and herbs. (€10.00).  My sister gets to grips with a monster hotpot of super large crab claws, steamed in a sauce fragrant with Old Bay seafood seasoning, and served with more grilled bread for mopping up. She's given the option of using a crab cracker or a hammer to bash open the crab claws. Grinning, she grabs the hammer and gets to work. "Food with tools is fun". On the other side of the table, a stacked Mad Mexican sandwich (a butter toasted bun filled with grilled prawns, Sriracha, guacamole, torched cheese, sour cream,  paprika, caused tortilla and jalapeƱos) andmac'n'cheese is being demolished.
Stitch & Bear - Klaw Poke - Crab toast
Crab toast
Stitch & Bear - Klaw Poke - The Mad Mexican
The Mad Mexican sandwich
We finish with a choice of lemon sorbet with prosecco and elderflower, or grilled pineapple flambeed with brandy. Instantaneously my sister and I shout "pineapple!". We watch the kitchen as caramel sauce is made from scratch on a small hotplate, and the pineapple is sliced and grilled. But when it arrives at the table, there's more to be done. Grinning, Niall pours over a slosh of brandy and with a flick of blowtorch, sets it afire. He adds a swirl of cream and a grating of lime zest, and we're finally given the all clear to get stuck in. As you'd expected, it's super sweet and gloriously decadent. 
Stitch & Bear - Klaw Poke - Klaw Poke

The original Klaw location in Temple Bar has always suffered from a lack of space, but more than compensated with high octane fun. This new Capel Street location offers more space to spread out and enjoy some epic seafood along with Hawaiian beers and wines. And that's probably not a bad thing given the Klaw love of blowtorches. 

Having gotten Klaw Poke off to a flying start, Niall isn't a man to sit still for long. When you chat with him, you feel his infectious energy and passion for seafood. In fact, he's already planning for his next venture in Temple Bar and while he's waiting to get all the pieces in place, he's opened an oyster pop-up called ShuckNSuck which will run for the next 8 weeks from 5pm to late, Thursday to Saturday. Check out @shucknsuck for more details.

Klaw Poke, 159 Capel Street, Dublin 1
Tel: +353 (0)1 556 0117
Twitter: @KlawPoke
Instagram: @klawpoke


No comments

© Stitch and Bear | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig