Island Poké heads to Canary Wharf for its third site

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Island Poké heads to Canary Wharf for its third site
Island Poké, the White Rabbit Fund-backed street food turned brick and mortar concept, is opening its third site in Canary Wharf.

The new site, at Crossrail Walk, will be Island Poké’s biggest yet and comes just a year after it opened its first restaurant on Kingly Street, Soho. It is due to open next month.

Island Poké also has a site in Broadgate Circle in the City, which it opened in the summer.

Founder James Gould Porter says Island Poké will build three counters in Canary Wharf, and introduce some new specials, though the menu would remain fairly concise.

“Our one year birthday is in two weeks’ time, so we’re very blessed to be in this position. It’s going better than we could have imagined,” Porter told BigHospitality’s​ sister publication MCA​.

“Broadgate Circle was a very different clientele to the West End, and Canary Wharf is hopefully the perfect match for us, with a high density, office crowd, and a movement away from sandwiches.

“There’s a movement and intrigue towards new food concepts, and landlords are reflecting that.”

Poké, the Hawaiian raw fish dish, is much more recognised as a cuisine in London than it was one year ago, according to Gould, but he says the company is still able to stand out from other operators in the sector.

“When we started it was a bit educational. But now people know what they want off the bat.

“We’ve got traction in the market for being very generous and focusing on elements of customer service. While poke becomes a household name for foodie Londoners, we stand out on those terms.”

poke_restaurants_on_the_rise
Poke em on: the Hawaiian dish is growing in popularity

London's restaurant scene is now home to a number of poke players, many of which are on the expansion trail. Ahi Poké opened its second site, in the London Victoria Nova development​, in June as part of the first steps of a wider expansion plan, and Poké and matcha tea restaurant group Tombo opened its third site, in London’s Fitzrovia, in July.

Polu Poké, a new poke concept from the founder of pop up stall Eat Poke, will open in the City of London later this year.

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