ADDRESS: 8010 North Atlantic Avenue, Suite #5, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Barkada Bowl cropped up on my radar as I was actually reviewing another poké restaurant out in California. Just out of curiosity, I had done a quick search to see if there were any poké places in my local area, and Barkada showed up on the list. My poké cravings started building up this past week, so I took that as a sign for me to check this place out.
I actually missed the turn-in to the parking lot the first time around and drove right by the restaurant. I had remembered a photo of the storefront with the logo in the window, so that’s what I had been keeping an eye out for. Stepping through the front door, I’ll admit that I was not expecting the place to be so small. There were some two-person tables and then some bar seating at the front window, probably only able to accommodate 12 – 15 diners or so.
One of the owners, Dexter, was behind the counter and ready to get started on some poké bowl construction. He gave me a slip of paper that functioned as the order sheet, with all the poké bowl options listed out on there. Base, protein, sauces, and toppings, it was all clearly laid out. There were definitely a good array of toppings available, although the one that I was most surprised wasn’t on the list was avocado.
There wasn’t really a lunch crowd at the place, so Dexter immediately started putting the bowl together once I handed him my order sheet. Brown rice with a combo of ahi tuna and salmon, with spicy mayo, teriyaki sauce, citrus ponzu, and topped with scallions, edamame, cucumber, masago, krab salad, furikake, and fried garlic. Unfortunately, the seaweed salad was a no-go, since they ran out of it.
I will say that although both the toppings as well as the fish tasted very fresh, there were a few other things about the bowl that I thought could use a bit of improvement. Sauce-wise, the only thing that I could taste was the spicy mayo. I could see the citrus ponzu and teriyaki sauce splashes on the side of the bowl, but I didn’t really get a hint of either when eating everything together.
The krab salad that I’m used to is the shredded imitation krab meat tossed with spicy mayo, but this version dropped into the bowl was just the krab meat by itself. And lastly, the scallions probably could have used another small scoop, since I only saw maybe 5 or 6 pieces in the bowl at most.
Flavor-wise, everything in the poké bowl mixed together very well. Even though I didn’t get the notes from the citrus ponzu or teriyaki sauce, the bowl as a whole felt light and refreshing. But in the end, it fell a little short of my expectations, especially when the pictures I had seen of other bowls were fully loaded up. I can’t say that I would take the drive all the way up from the Melbourne area for a visit, but if I was already in the neighborhood, I’d definitely consider stopping in.
Let’s now take a look at the Barkada Bowl Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** Salmon and Ahi Tuna Poké Bowl **
Salmon and ahi tuna over brown rice, topped with edamame, cucumbers, krab salad, masago, scallions, furikake, fried garlic, spicy mayo, citrus ponzu, and teriyaki sauce.
And finally, here are my rankings for Barkada Bowl:
Food: 4 / 5
Despite some aspects of the poké bowl that I thought needed a bit of improvement, the overall selection of toppings was pretty diverse and would allow for quite a few different combinations paired with the proteins and sauces. On top of that, all of the ingredients tasted fresh as well.
Atmosphere: 3.75 / 5
The restaurant is definitely set up to be more of a hole-in-the-wall type of place, where you might grab your food and go. The seating was definitely no frills, just there for convenience in case you wanted to dig in to the food right there.
Service: 4 / 5
Dexter seemed like a pretty laid back guy, and my order was turned around in no time.
Price: 4.25 / 5
Fish is traditionally one of the more expensive things to order at restaurants, and poké is no exception. I thought, however, that the pricing of the bowls was pretty good for the quantity that you get.