Known for serving sliced raw fish-topped in a salad bowl with rice, Aloha Poke brings a taste of Hawaii to our shores. However, just how much raw is considered too raw?
In a rare case, the wave of momentum that the restaurant has been riding on may have just plunged when a customer found a large dead spider in her salmon poke bowl last Thursday (May 10).
The dead spider, described as “limp and soaked with sauce”, was found at the base of her salad bowl, nearly as intact as it was before it died. The spider had been so raw, you could almost hear Gordon Ramsay exclaiming one of his infamous lines.
On Friday (May 10), Facebook user Siew Ping shared in her post, that she ordered with a friend a Standard Nalu salmon bowl, comprising two scoops of marinated or seasoned raw fish, via food delivery service Deliveroo at about 9.30pm the night before.
Some time into their meal, the discovery of the dead spider left them in shock.
Later in her post, Ms. Siew Ping added: “Perhaps, spiders are not as bad as rats or roaches. However, as Aloha Poke is handling raw food and that is susceptible to bacteria growth and contamination, their hygiene standards cannot be compromised at any time.”
In response to the situation, when Ms. Siew Ping alerted Aloha Poke to the issue, they apologised and explained that their salad supplier had received similar feedback. They have also reached out to her husband, Wilson, to “take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly”.
Ms. Siew Ping has also received a full refund for her meal and $20 worth of Deliveroo credits.
Mr. John Chen, one of the co-founders of the home-grown eatery, has also gave his assurance that the eatery will do their best to prevent such incidents from reoccurring and added: “We also agreed to have Wilson update us should any of them fall ill over the next few days.”
The bowl with the spider was prepared at Aloha Poke’s Deliveroo Editions kitchen in Katong, which will be closed for two days for thorough investigation and cleaning. The kitchen has supposedly earned an “A” rating for cleanliness by the NEA.
Deliveroo Editions began its operations in April 2017 and is a space that allows chefs from selected restaurants to prepare meals on site. They are provided with cooking equipment and storage facilities, in addition to Deliveroo’s fleet of riders. A monthly pest control check is also carried out at the kitchen, with the most recent one on May 2.
The eatery has since reached out to its key salad supplier, which Mr. Chen said is a local company with tight procedures in insect monitoring and removal.
As an additional measure to ensure that the vegetables- which are grown in open fields with controlled use of pesticides- are fit for consumption, Aloha Poke’s staff will also wash them a second time. “Unfortunately, our existing measures were not fail-safe,” Mr. Chen said, elaborating his beliefs of the incident to be an isolated one.
He also said that staff have since been reminded to adhere to strict operating guidelines and the eatery will continue to improve its processes.