Students at the University of Connecticut will now be able to purchase poke bowls, a Hawaiian dish comprised of diced raw fish and various vegetables, at the Noodle Bar in the Student Union exclusively on Mondays and Fridays, according to assistant director of retail operations Scott Hauver.
“We challenged our production chef to come up with a nice and easy bowl that could complement the ramen station,” Hauver said. “The ramen station already had a lot of the ingredients like sticky rice, but it did not have the tuna or the sauce.”
Currently, the only available bowls are made with ahi (yellowfish) tuna, which is then chopped up and arranged precisely with other vegetables and sauces in the bowl, Hauver said. Some other poke dishes are also made with raw tuna, according to the Michelin Guide.
“There (are) items there that the workers can add and delete,” Hauver said. “Say they (the students) did not want some kind of sprout, the workers could go ahead and remove that.”
Hauver said despite the bowls being a little less than a month old, the dining department is already receiving positive feedback on the quality of the dishes.
“Students were happy that we have it,” Hauver said. “Some were surprised that we had raw fish and they were excited about that component as well.”
UConn Dining services tries its best to adhere to food choices that are popular, as well as healthy and beneficial for college students who often lead hectic lives, Hauver said.
“A lot of the current trends are health-conscious, so we need to be on track with that,” Hauver said. “We also want to be relevant, we want the students to feel like they have top-notch quality, current foods that are in many cases healthy, but also some indulgent ones.”
In December 2018, Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts opened its own poke station and kitchen for students. The restaurant offers poke, sushi burritos and other items like dumplings and pork buns, according to Eater Boston.
At the University of Texas at Austin, an on-campus poke bowl location serves students daily and offers them a student discount. The location is widely popular among the young population, according to The Daily Texan.
Eat Joy, a restaurant based in Storrs Center, also offers a wide selection of poke bowl options and sushi burritos. The location also takes HuskyBucks, according to Z-Menu.
Marc Sokolson, a second-semester actuarial science major, said he is ecstatic to try the new bowls given that he is, and has been, an avid fan of the dish.
“I am super excited for poke bowls to be offered at the Union,” Sokolson said. “They are super delicious — I do not know what else to say.”
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.