Bite-sized Summary: Located near Wynyard station, Nama specialises in the perfect desk lunch – poke bowls! Choose from their range of signature bowls including my favourite – spicy ahi tuna, or take the reins and build your own bowl, choosing from a range of fresh and delicious ingredients.
Before poke bowls became the latest food trend, it was good, simple dish native to Hawaii. Originally featuring cuts of fresh fish mixed with sea salt and seaweed, the arrival of Japanese workers in the late 1800s brought additions like shoyu, sesame oil and alternatives to ahi tuna like salmon and tofu. Fast forward a cool century or so, the world is finally jumping on the bandwagon with not-so-traditional, yet very instagrammable poke bowls.
As the trend continues to sweep across Sydney, a little poke shop by the name of ‘Nama’ in Wynyard is dishing up some of the freshest bowls around as winter sets in and the summer throwbacks begin. Available to eat in, takeaway or delivered straight to your desk via Uber Eats or Deliveroo, these colourful bowls of goodness are the perfect, healthy lunch option for office workers in the CBD – rain, hail or shine!
In addition to the extensive range of signature bowls, Nama offers a build your own option, allowing you to customise everything from the base (zoodles, anyone?) all the way to sauces and extras like wasabi shoyu, creamy togarashi and seaweed salad.
First, we tried one of Nama’s most popular signature bowls – shoyu salmon. Consisting of a bed of sushi rice seasoned with furikake (Japanese seasoning, i.e. umami flavour bomb) and topped with cubes of fresh salmon sashimi, pickled carrots, red cabbage, avocado, edamame, seaweed salad, crispy onions and shoyu sauce ($14/$17).
My first thought was that for a small serving, Nama is incredibly generous with its toppings, which are of an exceptional quality and taste! Having tried countless poke bowls in Sydney, I often find a whole lot of unseasoned and bland rice topped with tiny slivers of sashimi, which can really get lost amongst all the other ingredients. Nama’s version features rice seasoned with furikake, and toppings that are perfectly balanced to allow the big chunks of sashimi to shine as the star of the dish – the way poke should be!
An excellent vegetarian option, the sesame tofu bowl consists of sushi rice, tofu, pickled carrots, corn, avocado, nori, macadamia nuts and roasted sesame sauce ($12/$15). Light and fresh, this one ticked all the boxes for me! I loved the addition of sweet corn, which added sweet bursts of flavour alongside the delicious nutty flavour of roasted sesame – one of my favourite salad dressings ever!
Coconut Ponzu Prawn
We were also lucky enough to sample the newest member of the signature bowl family – coconut ponzu prawn! Consisting of a bed of fresh, vibrant zucchini noodles topped with big, juicy cooked prawns, cucumber, shredded coconut and crunchy wonton crisps. Although clearly not a poke bowl, I do love how poke has inspired a trend of exciting, healthy meals, which are anything but a boring salad. The coconut flavour was not overbearing at all and paired perfectly with the fresh prawns and vegetables.
Spicy Ahi Tuna
How much poke can two girls eat? Four. Four bowls of poke (+ more) when it tastes this good! Here we have my ultimate top pick – the spicy ahi tuna bowl. Made up of fresh ahi tuna coated in creamy togarashi sauce on a bed of sushi rice, topped with picked carrots, red cabbage, edamame beans, cucumber, nori & macadamia nuts ($15/$18). I know I’ve overused the word fresh in this blog post but god damn, this was SO SO fresh! I absolutely loved the creamy togarashi (Japanese chilli spice mix) sauce, which gave the dish a nice chilli kick.
I’m a “it’s never too cold for ice cream” kind of girl and the same applies for açaí. After eating my bodyweight in poke and açaí every day for two weeks during a trip to sunny Hawaii a couple of years ago, I started craving the delicious, fruity blend alongside vibrant sashimi salads in a city which really didn’t have much to offer at that stage. Very soon after, the poke trend exploded in Sydney, which of course meant bad things for my wallet (but great things for my wellbeing)
Unfortunately, most açaí bowls were still too runny, too banana-y, or too watered down 😥 I’ve tried A LOT and there are only a few that I’d have again, Nama definitely being one of them! Featuring an excellent, sorbet-like consistency, which doesn’t turn to slush within minutes and a prominent açaí flavour, topped with house-made granola, strawberries, banana, dried apricot, coconut flakes and chia seeds ($10.9) this is the perfect breakfast to grab on the way to the office. Word on the street is that Nama is throwing a build your own açaí option into the mix very soon too!
Simple, fresh, delicious and addictive! Nama has their fish delivered fresh to the store every day, where it is broken down into big, juicy chunks of sashimi, ready to be made into nourishing bowls of poke goodness. A touch of edamame here, a drizzle of miso tahini there, and a whole lot of passion from the Nama team, I can safely say that I’ve found the best poke in Sydney!
A touch of edamame here, a drizzle of miso tahini there, and a whole lot of passion from the Nama team, I can safely say that I’ve found the best poke in Sydney!
Open on weekdays from 9 am – 8:30 pm, this one’s perfect for CBD office workers looking to get their poke fix, available for dine-in, takeaway or delivery. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for Uber Eats to increase their CBD delivery radius to include the inner west so I can eat this every day!
Eats with Marie dined as a guest of Nama Poke. All opinions, comments and photos are 100% honest and my own.
62 Erskine St, Sydney 2000
(02) 9290 3419
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