5 Restaurants with Poké in Pyeongtaek

Do you love poké? Here are four places to give it a try in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

Pyeongtaek has poké!

I love that we have a few options for poké in our little city of Pyeongtaek. Sometimes it feels like a dream that I can live in the countryside and this many options for international food options. For a long time, we had no poké, then we had magical poké that lasted for a moment but nobody went, and now the western-style sushi restaurants have caught on to the trend and offer simple poké options. What I am trying to say is that Pyeongtaek is still in the infancy of what poké can be. We need to help develop the scene.

What do I mean by such a statement? Well, when we lived in Seattle, poké was a big part of our lives. There was a substantial Hawaiian population in Seattle serving delicious food from the islands. We loved their mix and match poké bowls with lots of options and creative flavors. This is NOT the style of poké available in Pyeongtaek as of 2021. The current poké bowls in Pyeongtaek often have simple flavors and tend to have a rice-to-toppings ratio that I don’t prefer. They use a lot of rice in a way that leans toward bibimbap rather than poké. A little something to know before you go.

Does the poké taste exactly like my favorite spot back home?

Probably not. I hope “tasting exactly like home” is not an expectation when dining out in a foreign country even when it is close to a US military base. We all come from different places with different expectations. For example, feel free to burn me for being a witch, I prefer the Hawaiian-made Seattle poké to poké I ate during my time in Hawaii. Additionally, I ate poké the last time I had poké in Seattle was about 6 years ago and 15 years ago in Hawaii! I’m sure that the flavors of the dish have changed a lot in my mind and in reality since that time.

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Here are a few things to keep in mind when eating poké or anything else in Korea:

  1. Korea is a different country with ingredients sourced from different countries so it will taste different.
  2. You are in a different emotional space and everything at home will be “better” because you miss home (and that is ok).
  3. It is unlikely the chef has ever tried your favorite place and therefore is not trying to match that flavor.
  4. Most chefs are working from a Korean or Asian culinary mindset, so poké will lean toward hoedeopbap or Negitorodon. All these dishes are similar but not the same. Understanding the differences will help you be ready for what may arrive in your poké bowl.

The cold hard truth is that eating your favorite things, like poké, far from your home is a double-edged sword. Since Korea is not exactly like home, eating your favorite dish might trigger intense feelings of homesickness and frustration that things aren’t exactly like home here. Maybe the chef makes the poké with too much rice, doesn’t have the right sauces, or uses different types of fish, etc. These are issues that I have come across which put me off some poké bowls.

That said, each restaurant does its best. Most are also open to doing better if they know what that means. That’s where self-advocacy comes in!

You can help restaurants meet your expectations!

I love it when folks advocate for what they love! I also, selfishly, would love to see the concepts of poké fully explored in Pyeongtaek. So I’m going to advocate for myself by encouraging poké lovers to advocate for more poké options.

If you want to see changes to the poké, offer up suggestions in writing. The staff might not fully understand your verbal explanation, so writing it down can help a lot. I’m not saying the restaurant will change for you at that moment, but written feedback provides them with user data that can help them better serve you and others. Over the years, I have seen tons of restaurants adjust to feedback in ways that I feel (based on my cultural expectations) greatly improved their menu and service as they relate to foreign guests.

Basically, I’m hoping everyone who loves poké will eat more poké and advocate for more poké options! That said, here are the places you can try poké in Pyeongtaek.

Poké near Camp Humphreys

Sams Sushi

Sams Sushi4.6

010-4167-1028

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 팽성읍 안정순환로222번길 96

Delicious US-style sushi rolls. They are generous with their fish and have unique combinations.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Poké near Osan Air Force Base

California Roll And Sushi

California Roll And Sushi5

0316114809

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기도 평택시 목천로 64-3

A sushi restaurant with California roots. A must try for sushi roll lovers.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Izmir Japanese Restaurant

Izmir Japanese Restaurant5

031-616-9353

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 신장1로 19

This lovely restaurant has big US style sushi rolls, affordable udon, hearty meals, and more is one of Songtans long running favorites. A great place to grab a bite to go.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Omoya Japanese Restaurant

Omoya Japanese Restaurant5

010-6292-8696

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 신장1로 11

This restaurant has been an institution in the area. They serve wonderful curry, ramen, yakisoba, and more. A must try in Sinjang-dong.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

We encourage you to leave reviews in the South of Seoul app for all of these restaurants! Reviews help everyone!