I like when creative people play with their food. We all need more beautiful shit to eat on a regular basis because when you eat pretty, you feel pretty. And Pokee is doing so with the visually stunning sushi donut. You won’t find it advertised on their regular menu but rather as a “secret item” ordered towards the back of the West 3rd Street restaurant. Well, the secret’s out and flocks of people including myself had to see what the fuss was about.
In need of a snack, and a break from work, I walked to nearby Pokee only 10 minutes away . I got there around Noon which was just early enough to beat the lunch rush. Heading towards the back counter, I asked the woman behind it for a sushi donut. She promptly took out a donut mold and began constructing the hybrid beauty with her back to me. For five long minutes, hands moved delicately and gingerly like a sculptor ensuring every component and curve served a purpose. Finally satisfied with her creation, the sushi donut was presented to me. “$9.17”, the cashier said. It’s a steep price, but beauty and Insta-worthiness doesn’t come cheap.
It’s small, colorful, textured and dense. A combination of sushi rice, toasted sesame seeds, cucumber, daikon radish, salmon, tuna, shredded nori and bubu arare ( tiny baked rice crackers). I was done swooning and photographing and ready to devour this sexy morsel without any more thought. My first bite was awkward but solid. I get a mouthful of rice,nori and rice cracker and quickly realize that the donut is mostly made up of rice. But not to worry – they have a bunch of different sauces to keep things exciting. I had mine with a creamy wasabi that complimented the crispness and freshness of daikon, cucumber and fish.
While not enough for a stand alone lunch (for me at least) , the sushi donut trend is an innovative and fun way to enjoy a take-out staple.