Guam Diner Bytes: Poki-Fry House
There are some places on Guam that one should not miss - one of those places is Poki-Fry House. I am probably one of a small handful of people who had not yet tried Poki-Fry House until recently. I was "challenged" to go try it by Chef Peter Duenas, whose brother Bryan is Poki-Fry House's Operations Manager. This place is in a rather unusual spot (the Agana Pool), which is a place you don't really think about going to eat, swim maybe yes, but eat...not likely. That's the beauty of this place, though, which is being different and thinking way out of the box and into the bowl...the Poki Bowl at that!!
The colors of the interior are the same cheerful bright vermilion with blue and aquamarine tones. Many of the original pool signs have been restored and are used to decorate the walls along with polished wooden surfboards that are tagged with stickers, emblems, and logos. A big giant yellow fin tuna greets you on the wall. I liked this place immediately, and elected to sit down after I ordered my early dinner from Stoni who was working behind the counter. Good thing Chef Peter suggested what I should order since the menu was so large I would have probably ordered way too much to eat! They have Poki Bowls, Sandwiches, Tacos, Rice Bowls, Salads, and Gourmet Fries...nearly 50 items from which to choose!!!
I ordered the Tokyo Fries (French Fries topped with house aioli and bulldog sauce - $7.00) and the Pig Bowl (Crispy Pork Belly with Asian Sauce on top of Rice - $10.95). I also ordered a Coconut Water ($2.50). The Tokyo Fries really surprised me...they were absolutely delicious...better than how I'm used to eating French Fries...they were cheesy and had bonito flakes with green onions and the house aioli and bulldog sauce...there was the unmistakable Japanese flavor I recall from the sauce used on Tako-yaki! The portion was huge (enough for two people)!
The Pig Bowl sounds rather unappealing but again, this is a place of unexpected surprises! This was "out-of-the-park" delicious! Maybe not the healthiest choice on the menu but darn near the tastiest!! The Crispy Pork Belly pieces are large and meaty, and they are drizzled with a tangy Asian Sauce. There were so many pieces I had to take the leftover home. I am also not a big rice eater, so I had left a lot of rice in my bowl, focusing on the meat.
I had talked to Bryan's partner, Kevin, who was kind enough to let me sample two of their poki selections (they have 10 flavors). The ones I tried were the Fijian Poki , which has Fijian style (raw) tuna with coconut/tomato, cilantro & onions. In the Poki Bowl, this is served over rice and priced at $10.45. A side of Poki by itself ($9.00 for 1/2 lb) except for Salmon, Shrimp, and Crab. This Fijian Poki was delicious...the coconut and cilantro were magical.
The other Poki I tried was the Spicy Tuna which has a spicy Japanese Sauce that's a little pika. This is more of a traditional poki tradition, just like the Hawaiian Poki. I know I will need to go back and get my Poki on, along with another variety/type of gourmet fries - like the German Fries and the Hot Fries, both of which are spicy. The Ika (squid) salad sounds interesting. I also now have a place I can order take-out for a party - they sell Poki by the pound (any Marlin or Tuna)!
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