Courtesy of Sacha Feldberg
The food court in Westfield Montgomery Mall is one of the most popular places for WCHS students to hang out, and on Sept. 21, they introduced a new restaurant: Poké Papa. This restaurant is inspired by Hawaiian traditions, while also incorporating ingredients from Japanese, Korean, and Thai food. The result is a refreshing and delicious taste.
They have signature bowls, as well as a create-your-own-poke bowl option. Their create-your-own-poke-bowl option allows you decide what ingredients you want– or, in other words, how much you are spending. Each bowl consists of six choices: the size, base, proteins, sauces, toppings, and sprinkles. You are charged based on how much protein you put into your bowl. You can opt for a small bowl with two scoops of protein at a cost of $11.49; a regular bowl with three scoops for $13.49; or a large bowl with four scoops of protein for $15.49.
I preferred this option because I could control the cost of my bowl. Even the smallest bowl at Poké Papa is more expensive than other restaurants in the food court. Panda Express offers a plate with two entrees for $8.30; Chipotle’s chicken burrito bowl costs $6.50; and Sarku Japan’s chicken teriyaki costs $5.69. It’s definitely pricey, which could raise concerns for students.
The other option is their signature bowls. Their most popular signature dish is the Onolicious. It contains Ahi tuna marinated with hijiki seaweed, lotus root, ginger, sesame, scallion, and onion. It tastes delicious with the Sriracha sauce and sweet shoyu sauce. For this dish, the main protein is the tuna. The bowl leaves eaters feeling satisfied and guiltless, because the healthy ingredients also feel good in our bodies.
Poké Papa’s style is reminiscent of other fast-food chains in our area, specifically Chipotle, CAVA, and Bibibop. Chipotle is a popular choice for students who love Mexican food and burrito bowls. CAVA offers vibrant Mediterranean food choices. Bibibop is a Korean restaurant located in Pike and Rose, with a variety of veggies, meats, and sauces. All of these options offer students the freedom to choose which specific ingredients they want, which is beneficial for picky eaters, like me.
Overall, even though the food tastes good and offers healthy options, I did not think it was worth it. It can be nice to try a new place like this with friends every once in a while. However, the price is not ideal, since you’re getting change for a $20 rather than a $10. I could buy two meals at Panda Express for the price of one Poké Papa meal. Sometimes, it is good to go “all out” and “treat yourself” when feeling outweighs cost; but for me, this was just not one of those times.