A Bowl Poke Poke – The bowl that made instagram explode

You have probably passed Blecktornsgränd on your way towards Mariaberget, or gone there in the evening to have a drink at Magnolia. During the day, however, Blecktornsgränd has always been a quiet place. But this summer something happened. Suddenly everyone found that quiet, secluded staircase during daytime, too. I do not want to accuse anyone, but I think I know who’s fault it was!

The restaurant A Bowl Poke Poke opened its doors on Blecktornsgränd 8 just before the summer, in premises that had stood empty for long. In connection with their opening, instagram started exploding with images of luxurious, brightly coloured bowls filled with fresh fish and topped with nuts and other delicious things. If you clicked on the geotag on those images, you found yourself at Bleckornsgränd. Mystery solved.

Poke is a dish that originated in Hawaii. Simply stated, it is a fish salad served with rice. Krogguiden called the dish “fish salad for bloggers” and named it the trendiest food of 2016. I stopped by A Bowl Poke Poke one afternoon just after the lunch rush to talk to one of the founders, Samir Kersh. I got to take some pictures and get some instagram materials / free food.

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How did you get the idea for this concept?
– Me and my girlfriend, who I started the restaurant with, were out traveling and when we were in Bali this was kind of all we ate. Poke was already pretty big in the US, but there was still no such restaurant in Stockholm. Now there are us, Hawaiian poke and Orange County.

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Salmon poke with mango, avocado, kimchi, cashew

Who was first?
– We were before Hawaii poke (but they say that they were ahead of us), but we were one day after Orange County. I’ve talked to the other poke-restaurants and they also believed that they would be alone in this. But it’s a bit of fun not being alone, because then you have the chance to be the best.

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You opened up this summer. Has it been a success?
– Yes, it has really gone above expectations! We have been very lucky with the weather being so good and that people have the opportunity to sit on the stairs outside. It really saved us. It’s pretty small here, but we’ll fix that before the winter so that we can fit a few more people inside.

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Samir Kersh

Which dish on the menu is the most popular?
– It must be the salmon poké. The Swedes love their salmon! My favourite is the tuna.

You traveled around, discovered a super nice dish and decided to start a restaurant at home. But can you cook?
– Yes, I have always been very interested in cooking and have done it a lot. I have no education in it, but I’m learning by doing and by working alongside the talented people we have hired.

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A Bowl Poke Poke is located at Blecktornsgränd 8 at Mariatorget in Södermalm.
Opening hours are 11:30 – 16:00, Monday – Friday
Website – http://www.abowlpokepoke.com
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/abowlpokepoke/