I find that reaching the end of my pay cycle is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing as I suddenly find that I have funding to live like a king…following which I promptly realise I am not, in fact, an actual king and I sadly revert back to those cost-effective, albeit always delicious (if I don’t say so myself), home cooked dinners.
The curse comes in the form of realising just how much I have spent – which, all too often, can only be described shamefully as ‘far too much’. All that hard work and so very, very little to show for it. Well…kind of. Luckily for me, I value a wealth of happy memories, something fun to write about and an Instagram account filled with colourful pictures above and beyond what I do a healthy bank balance.
My only source of contention tends to fall on what I put my hard-earned monies towards. I am only too happy to fork out for quality…but I am less and less inclined to whittle away my pennies on bullshit. That said, spending £8 per day on what would be forgiving to call sub-par sushi, or otherwise a lacklustre salad wrap? No thank you, I’ll pass.
I quickly discovered that bringing my own packed lunch left far less room for food-related disappointment. Furthermore, my savings account was looking noticeably less bleak.
…Until Ahi Poké arrived [all too conveniently] at the end of my street. Any illusion I held of spending less on mid-week lunches, and maybe even eating a little better based on the wholesome goodness that only home cooked food seems to bring, came to a grinding halt. It was nothing but a fast-lived dream. A pathetic attempt at self-restraint.
In my own defence, I have been rather good at saving my intake for any given Friday, therefore giving myself an end-of-the-week reward of sorts. Although I have also become very good at convincing myself that I am having a bad day…which I have recently decided also warrants a reward.
Just in case you were wondering what poké (pronounced poke-ay) is, it is essentially a raw fish salad that hails from Hawaii. After taking the US by storm, it appears that the craze has made its way across to the UK and an increasing number of poké-centric eateries are popping up all over London. Ahi Poké in Fitzrovia is the newest kid on the block.
They have a number of pre-made bowls on offer, but I always opt to build my own. My go-to fish has remained to be salmon (£8.45), but ahi tuna (£9.95), shrimp (£7.95) and mushroom (£6.95) are also available options. As far as bases go, my habit-abiding self is yet to venture beyond kale and rice, with mix-ins that include edamame, carrot, radish, kimchi cucumber and coriander. Sweet ponzu has been my dressing of choice so far, but I have my eye on either the leche de tigre or sesame shoyu for next time!
Closing in on the £10 mark, Ahi Poké isn’t exactly your every day office lunch option. However, it does make for a mid-week treat worth waiting for and my desk-bound dining is made all the better for that little blue shop on the corner of Percy and Charlotte Street.
It certainly beats Pret.