Wikiwiki Poke Shop brings unique food to Grand Rapids


Above all else, I am a fish fanatic. More specifically, I love poke bowls.

As soon as I spotted the sign for Wikiwiki Poke Shop on a small building that blended into the rest on Wealthy Street, I diverted from my route in Eastown and headed straight inside like a dog with a squirrel.

Taking in the open white and black space, a friendly worker behind the ordering counter welcomed me with a warm smile and a, “Have you been here before?”

By my mouth hanging wide open, he safely assumed I had not and allowed me to look at the menu. Three glass boards with vibrant writing on it contained the menu: House Favorites, Specials, Salads, and Sides. Underneath was a small fridge decorated with trendy, chic drinks that were accompanied by a metal rack with chips that I later learned were “Rap Snacks” — potato chips named after rappers that came with the celebrity’s face on the bag.

My eyes glazed over at the Favorites section labeled with incredible ingredients, and they stuck onto the Gucci Sushi. The name alone elicited a laugh from my lips, and the worker began to explain the types of poke bowls and what exactly they are.

In a nutshell, poke bowls are a Hawaiian dish that consists of raw fish along with other add-ons. Typically, rice and vegetables are tossed in with the fish to create a savory mixture. The bowls served at Wikiwiki included fish, rice, sauces, and toppings in interesting combinations.

Even though I was instantly drawn to the Gucci Sushi bowl- maybe because I want Gucci slides- I looked over what else Wikiwiki offered. The playful names mixed with creative ingredients made it hard to choose. My favorite name, the Frank Ocean, proved that this shop catered to vegetarians as well; instead of fish, this dish uses tofu and marinated vegetables.

My gut was to stick with the Gucci Sushi bowl, so I ordered a regular size. For $15, the size was more than enough to fuel me for the daunting mountain of homework I had to face later that day. The friendly worker offered a $4 size increase to a large, but with all the ingredients that came with the Gucci Sushi, a large seemed like a formidable task.

My food was brought to the small table I chose in mere minutes in an inviting little corner. The rice was adorned with juicy chunks of fish, layers of sauce, and a hill of seaweed. Quickly, almost scaring the worker, I began to eat away at my food.

Fresh scents leaped out of the bowl and enticed me. Surprising combinations of chips, tuna, mango, sriracha, and more kept my fork shoveling in the food to my delight. Remnants were deliberately scooped up; I couldn’t stop eating the amazing bowl of food in front of me. The 16 ounces of pure mouthwatering and palatable poke bowl was demolished in under ten minutes with a few breaks to enjoy the free water. When my fork hit plastic, my stomach dejectedly admitted that this exquisite experience and meal was over. I was left with a content, full stomach and a need to come back.

I did indeed fill that need two more times since my initial trek into this trendy unassuming shop. The quality staff members, clean and hip dining atmosphere, and utterly quintessential poke bowls with lots of variety and flexibility will continue to keep me up at night while begging my mother during the day to join me for yet another balanced bowl.