The Miami Lakes food scene is expanding and offers something for nearly everyone. A new place that aims to serve many tastes is Island Fin Poké Co., in the Royal Oaks Plaza.
The restaurant embodies the laid-back island feeling of Hawai’i where the poké dish was created by fishermen who ate their fresh catches while dockside.
Diners sit at indoor picnic tables. Hawaiian touches include surfboards on the ceiling and menu ingredients like SPAM, a favorite in the 50th state.
While it’s a fast casual spot, the experience is elevated by friendly servers who deliver dishes and drinks and will clear your table, too.
They guide diners while building a dish from raw fish or other proteins and layer many fresh side ingredients and sauces, all served in bowls to enjoy there or to take out.
There are so many different menu combinations that the restaurant chain calls them “Incredibowls.”
For those who don’t eat raw Ahi tuna, spicy tuna or salmon, there is chicken, octopus and shrimp. There is also tofu and the aforementioned SPAM.
Proteins go atop a bed of white or brown rice or salad.
Next are mix ins: Onions and jalapenos marinated in soy, sesame and olive oils and rice vinegar; corn; sweet onions; edamame or jalapenos.
Then a layer of one of five marinating sauces made with gluten free soy and natural fruit juices can be added.
That’s followed by 21 toppings that offer spice or crunch: Dried seaweed; fresh seaweed salad; pineapple and mango salsa; tempura crisps and wasabi peas among them.
There are also four premium topping flavors: Masago (an orange capelin fish roe you may have eaten on the outside your sushi roll) as well surimi, known as imitation crab. Avocado and macadamia nuts are in this category too.
The final layer -- finishing sauces -- are avocado cream, wasabi cream, Togarashi (a Japanese spice blend with chili paste); Jamaican cream (jerk paste and mayo) and the vegan Ono Ono (Thai chili and ginger flavors).
You can also turn up the heat with jalapeños, siracha mayo or chili oil.
Cool off the spice with a Stubborn Soda Co. cane sugar fountain soda or a Hawaiian Sun drink.
Another sweet way to put out the fire is with a Dole Whip soft serve in pineapple or mango flavors. The refreshing treat that is popular at Walt Disney World can now be enjoyed closer to
home, and no long lines! On a hot day, it’s a great way to end a meal. A single portion is so generous your party can share it.
All of the choices are fun but if you’re overwhelmed, there is a video on the restaurant website that shows how it’s done: www.IslandFinPoke.com.
Dining at Island Fin Poké is an adventure and depending upon your choices can be different every time you go. It’s a great way to try new foods, at a reasonable price.
A Korean BBQ chicken bowl is $15. All bowls are $15 and come with three scoops of protein. A double portion of protein (6 scoops) is an extra $6, or $21 total.
A daily combo special includes chips, or a sweet treat such as a marshmallow rice cereal bar and a drink.
There are several other deals:
-- 50 percent off a Dole Whip soft serve, daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
-- On Tuesday, premium toppings are free with each bowl purchased.
Island Fin Poké, 15468 NW 77th Court, open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit www.islandfinpoke.com to order online.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, in print and online, listed incorrect prices for bowls. The story now has the correct pricing and a note will appear in the next issue of The Miami Laker.