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DELFINO: Okie Pokii Cafe should be on your bucket list

Column: Cameron's Crunch

If you have not already, pay a visit to Okii Poke! – Photo by Okiipokecafe.com

If you know me, you would know that it goes without saying that my two favorite foods are sushi and burritos. I could eat these two foods pretty much every single day of my life and when I am struggling to find something to eat, these are my two reliable and signature go-to's. 

A few years ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw the crossover food of my dreams: a sushi burrito. I knew I had to get my hands on this, but the places near my home in North Jersey that offered sushi burritos were few and far between.

After seeing that Okie Pokii Cafe in Highland Park, New Jersey had this on their menu, I knew I had to give it a try. I looked over their menu, placed my order online and within approximately 10 minutes, my sushi burrito and crab rangoon were ready for pickup.

I decided to start with the crab rangoon appetizer because I felt it would be a nice preface to my meal. The order came with eight crab-and-cream-cheese-stuffed wonton wrappers served with a side of what I assumed to be a sweet and sour sauce. The crab rangoons were fried to perfection.

The wonton wrapper had a fantastic crunch that was contrasted by the gooey and creamy filling. The flavor of the crab and cream cheese was also deliciously balanced so one ingredient did not overpower the other. Overall, this was a great way to start off my Okie Pokii experience.

While the crab rangoon was terrific, I was extremely excited to dig into my sushi burrito. I ordered my burrito with white rice, lettuce, tuna, salmon, ginger, avocado, cucumbers, carrots and tempura flakes with a side of ponzu sauce. Instead of a typical tortilla, this sushi burrito was wrapped in nori. This combination of my two favorite fish with the wide variety of typical sushi roll ingredients was heaven in a burrito.

The best way to describe the first bite of my sushi burrito was euphoria. The fish was extremely fresh and there was a decent amount of both salmon and tuna inside. The flavors and texture of the fish were harmonious with the other ingredients I included in my burrito.

The crunchiness of the cucumber and carrots, the creaminess of the avocado and the fluffiness of the white rice that were all enveloped in a crisp piece of nori were a symphony of textures and flavors that I typically look for in an ordinary sushi roll. I drizzled the citrusy ponzu sauce directly onto the burrito after each bite to add a bit of a soy and umami flavor and bring in another signature sushi element to the burrito.

Just a few days after I first tried my sushi burrito, I returned to try one of their rice bowls to see if they were just as good as their burritos. Not to my surprise, it was. The quality of their ingredients were consistent with my first visit and I was happy to try my sushi burrito in a deconstructed bowl version. Similar to my first trip, the flavors and textures were amazing and I genuinely could not get enough of this bowl.

For the quality of the ingredients and the portion sizes from Okie Pokii, I would say they are definitely reasonably priced. For my sushi burrito with the two different types of fish, I paid $11.55. Normally when I get sushi, I order between three and four different rolls and end up spending $20 or more.

Given the fact that this was a full-sized burrito with two different proteins and I completely customized it to include the specific ingredients that I wanted, $11.55 is an extremely fair price, especially for the portion size. The crab rangoons were also reasonably priced with the eight-piece order costing only $5.55 and leaving me with leftovers.

Besides the quality and pricing of their food, Okie Pokii is so great due to their option to customize your meal in any way you please. With vegetarian and vegan options, their menu includes ingredient choices that are inclusive to fit a variety of dietary restrictions.

If you are in the New Brunswick area and looking for your next sushi-based obsession, Okie Pokii is going to be your new favorite spot. 

Cameron Delfino is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies. His column, "Cameron's Crunch," runs on alternate Thursdays. 


*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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