Poké continues to proliferate in Toronto in 2016 and new to the fold is Calii Love, an all-day cafe and poké bar on King West.
The Polynesian dish is most certainly the main draw, but owner Danny Gunam shared over coffee with Daily Hive that the eatery has grander ambitions to promote positivity and a West Coast way of life.
It’s easy to see the influence in the decor; bright pops of turquoise, botanical murals, and surfboards are mounted throughout. The upper floor doesn’t lead to an overflow dining room, but rather studio space that’ll host yoga classes and workshops.
Ordering takes place at the counter where the menu boasts five signature bowls ($9.95/small, $13.95/large) plus the option to customize with a choice of base; sticky rice, black rice, or lemon herb quinoa; tuna, salmon, or tempeh; sauces like wasabi aioli, ginger shoyu or sriracha aioli (to name just a few); and add-ons like fresh veggies, pickled ginger, wasabi peas and more.
The Grateful bowl is the featured vegetarian bowl on the menu and it comes loaded with tempeh, scallions, spicy shoyu, edamame, kale chips, bean sprouts and avocado.
When it comes to the fish, Calii Love is committed to sourcing sustainable seafood (Oceanwise approved) and is having it delivered twice a day to ensure freshness. On the opening menu, options include salmon and yellowfin tuna, though there’s talk of adding on a locally-sourced rainbow trout too.
The Confident bowl is the winner for me. I have the deep ruby-hued tuna in a pineapple-ginger-soy glaze scooped atop a base of black rice and then finished with pickled ginger, wakame, green onions, tobiko, and wasabi peas. The varied flavours and textures are delightful.
Poké is only available from 11 am on daily. When the shop opens at 7 am each morning, the menu focuses on espressos, smoothies and acai bowls instead.
Address: 367 King Street West, Toronto