Poke Tea House
What’s that? Traditionally, poke is narrowly defined as a salad of cubed raw tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds. But Chu Xin Jiang, who’s never visited poke’s native Hawaii, has expanded the category so it serves as the basis of a menu featuring bowls, burritos and salads.
Poke Tea House customers have their pick of nine different proteins, which they can deck out with a certain number of fixings for the same set price: For example, $11.99 buys eel and sushi rice wrapped in seaweed paper with edamame, mango, jalepenos, avocado and squid salad, or tofu over brown rice with cucumber, asparagus, scallions, seaweed salad and corn.
“We make sure our ingredients are fresh,” says Jiang, who opened the restaurant just over a year ago.
“What makes me proudest is we started out with two people, and now we have a team,” she says.
Who recommends it? Amanda Click of First Name Basis
Why? Click admits that she’s already inclined to support women-owned businesses. But that’s especially true when there’s Spam musubi on the menu. It’s “my Kryptonite,” Click says.
Plus, she adds, “It doesn’t hurt that Poke Tea House slays all other fast-casual spots in Charleston in the flavor and healthy departments. It’s a choose-your-own-poke adventure, and the bubble tea is great!” Click says she can have a moderately priced meal in hand within five minutes of walking into Poke Tea House.
Where is it? 441 Meeting St., Unit E (front faces Spring Street). Poke Tea House is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. To learn more, call 854-444-3591, or visit poketeahouse.com.
— Hanna Raskin