A throw back like no other. This is the restaurant that started my food blogging journey. Realising that I hadn’t completed a proper blog review, I had to fix this transgression and relive the nostalgia and share with the world, the utter awesomeness of this restaurant.
Pok Pok opened at the tail end of 2012 and prior to it, there were literally no restaurants to entice you to venture into Docklands. Hell, it was more docks than lands. But this little ray of sunshine brought hope.
And with hope, it brought coffee. And Ethan. The way Ethan makes a latte is in a class of its own. His big smile, personality and charm made you want to wait in rain, hail or shine for a coffee. I became a regular at the start of 2013.
Halfway through, I tasted the rice paper rolls as I was working on a project that ensures long hours were the norm and forgetting to eat just part of the day-to-day role. That first bite. You know how they say that you never forget your first? Well that’s true with food too. You will never get that experience again and it stays with you forever. Next time, you almost come to expect the same thing. I will never forget that roll. (Note to self, have tissue when writing reviews for the drool. Second note, do not write a review when hungry). I was hooked. It was only my monthly review of my spending did I realise how much I was spending eating those rolls. I mean, everyone in the restaurant knowing me on a first name basis should’ve given it away but…I’m naieve at the best of times. (Peeps, if you like me, tell me or I will never know. Life’s too short for what if’s).
Then at the end of 2013, I ventured in and ate the famous…spicy drunken noodles…with beef. And this has remained….to the day my favourite dish. Period. If I ever go to Pok Pok, it’s the only dish I will order. Hell. Ethan even barred me from ordering it because that is all I ever wrote about. Ever. Or spoke about.
I tried the pad thai and it was sumptuous. Though the prawn threw me off because it was too fresh. Yes, I can accept that food comes from a supermarket but seeing the reality puts me off. (Thank you Scotty for telling me about the origins of veal. Still haven’t eaten any since 2011. Ass). And yes, I know that it’s naive but again I am fully aware that I would turn vegetarian if the world went to hell.
The other one I have tried and recommend is the Thai Basil Chicken. The rice is excellent and the chicken seared perfectly well. A side helping of an egg ensures you get the good food in you. The spice is well balanced and if you’re game you can munch on the peppercorn but nothing in comparison to the spicy drunken noodles. I can tolerate spice so make sure you ask them to temper it. And for heaven’s sake don’t ask them for “extra spicy” or “thailand spicy”. As my good friend Z says…. ‘Dragon going in. Rocket coming out’.
And finally the other dish I recommend is the beef street noodles. Served with a broth, this dish is best left for a little while so the beef can infuse into the soup and noodles. And you’re left with an amazing experience that is just simply awesome to enjoy. (Having said that….still no spicy drunken noodles. Sorry Ethan. #justsaying).
Then Ethan expanded out to Pok Pok Junior in the city and I could then enjoy my meals closer to my new office. At the end of 2014, I moved back to the original office and I got to see how Pok Pok evolved.
You see, being the first and so damn good, you bring competition. And when you do, it can be either good or bad for your business. However. If they’re different, you both can co-exist. I have seen a few places come and go. But Pok Pok has remained strong. Their menu has evolved and I am keen to try it all out now that I am back in their immediate vicinity. And, with booming business, Ethan works behind the kitchen rather than the coffee. But you know what? I will always wait to have him make my coffee.
I may love seven seeds but I love the way Ethan makes my coffee even more. Easily…5.0/5.0