serice // poke bowl rice

8:57 PM sians 0 Comments

"oh, there is one place that i've wanted to try out!" my friend exclaimed.

"hmm...?" i wondered.

"you know pokebowls? in puchong?" 

"lol! i have 25 pokémons!

"lol i'm serious," she laments.

yes, i have 25 pokémons - as much as i'd loathe to admit it
(quietly mumbles *the number has grown considerably*)

when she first suggested poke bowl rice last week, i was amazed by how quickly the 'pokémon go' phenomenon made its way into the local food scene (although for that very brief moment).

until she said it was a hawaiian dish, it dawned on me. 

just to clarify. it has nothing to do with pokémons. 

pronounced as poh-keh
a popular hawaiian dish of raw fish salad (ahi tuna is hugely popular), where modern versions are heavily influenced by japanese flavors with seasonings of shoyu, sesame oil and furikake.
the translation from hawaiian: "to chop" or "to cut crosswise".

honing in on the location of poke bowl rice could have been more challenging than discovering pokémons if it wasn't for the online reviews. korea wallpaper was probably the last place i'd imagine a food joint to be at - poke bowl rice shares the space on the second floor. i entered through the glass door almost apprehensively (with no shoes - it's the rule!) like a lost lamb, doubt and thoughts of me mistakenly thinking interior supplies store has a restaurant crept in.

"is this where poke bowl rice is?
i asked quietly, to which the staff (perhaps it was the owner...)
behind the counter smiled and nodded. 

"we are no longer called poke bowl rice, it has been changed to serice"
i honestly thought he had said 'sir rice' 
until he spelled it to me, twice. 

"it's S-E-R-I-C-E!"

nope, i still don't know what it means.

inspired by the poke he had in LA, he had wanted to bring his experience back and share it at serice.

brightly colored ingredients spanned across the counter, my eyes darted from one after another as i tried to listen intently on the rules on ordering the tailor-made poke bowls:

// pick a base of either japanese rice, tofu or greens
// top it with as much sides as the bowl can fit
// add on one protein of salmon poke, grilled chicken or sautéed beef slices with onions
// finish it off with condiments and drizzle of their special shoyu and/or other sauces

i spent several minutes of strategizing a game plan like i was picking out a fantasy football team.. wait, this was EXACTLY LIKE PICKING OUT A FANTASY FOODBOWL FOOTBALL TEAM!

here was my line up: rice // diced mango, sliced black olives, sautéed oyster mushrooms, julienned bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, wood ear mushrooms, blanched okra // salmon poke // bonito flakes, furikake // special shoyu, sesame dressing.

serice swears by the special shoyu sauce, which is mandatory with every poke bowl.

i, on the other hand, swear by furikake and bonito flakes. most of these fresh ingredients were no bench warmers either especially since the qualification requirement was dependent on being my favorites, as much as i can make them work together, rooted to japanese flavors.

rm16.90 at the cash register for your personalized poke bowl rice and any table in the store was for the taking.

i enjoyed the bespoke approach, highlighting the hottest food trend: healthful,  bearing resemblance to a customized salad (which is an option here too with the base of greens). the one hitch: the rice could have used a bit more time cooking.

oh and diced avocado, we would  have definitely loved some of that.
and luffa. it's like the soft melons of cucumber! we liked it.

i enjoyed the surprisingly comfortable ambiance although it was rather odd to be dining in an interior supplies store - i suspect it's all in the shoes off policy. the one hitch: i sneakily peeked to make sure our shoes were where we left them.

i'd probably skip the mocha (rm 12.90) though. mild in chocolate/coffee notes and missing the punch of caffeine that i needed very much.

tldr // serice (previously known as poke bowl rice) serves hawaiian inspired fish salad, customized . while it wasn't out of this world delicious, this was one good healthy dish that we don't mind having seconds of.

serice // poke bowl rice | location 
shared space with korea wallpaper, 
2-1, jalan  merbah 1,
bandar puchong jaya
{opens tues - sun: 12pm - 9pm}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.