3 Months: An Anniversary Reflection

Anniversaries are a time of reflecting on the journey and being thankful for the amazing memories created along the way. We want to start this post off by thanking our amazing team for making our vision of Splash come to life. It’s hard to believe that it has been 3 months since our grand opening day. It has been an adventure YEG, thank you for coming along for the ride with us!

Looking back on May 16th, 2017 – what a memory! Since that day, we have learned so much, experienced so much, and grown so much. From changing the tall, obnoxious glass, to building a stronger team bond between our Splash family, there have been so many learning opportunities. We would not have been able to do this without the support of the YEG community. We are still blown away by the three hour line up on our grand opening day, that wrapped around our building and down Jasper Avenue. We are humbled to have received glowing feedback from many of you who endured the cold weather for hours, just to join us in celebrating our launch. Words cannot describe the appreciation and love we have for our city.

On this special day, we also want to share with you the story of what brought us to start Splash Poke and the journey to opening:

Splash Poke was started by Angela Wong and her partner, who are both obsessed with poke and Hawaiian culture. Angela grew up in the full service restaurant environment around raw fish. Her mother owned and worked in Japanese restaurants for over twenty years. She has always known raw fish to be eaten fresh on its own or dipped in soy sauce, until trying poke in Hawaii for the first time. She was instantly drawn to the dynamic flavors and sauces. Since then, she returned to the islands each year to enjoy poke and absorb Hawaiian culture. Each trip, she always wondered why we couldn’t enjoy this beautiful dish at home. This eventually organically sprouted into the idea of bringing Hawaiian inspired poke bowls home to Edmonton, to share with everyone.

Many people have asked us why we chose the “build your own bowl” concept. Angela, being a particular eater herself, believed in offering people options. She wanted people to have a fun experience building their own poke bowl, the way they want to enjoy it. Whether it be with or without cilantro, onions, salad, you name it! Everything in the bowl is completely customizable. We also offer preset bowls, our “Splash Favorites”, for those who want to let us to prepare their bowl.

It was important for Angela to bring back the flavors and cultures from Hawaii, the way she and her partner had experienced it. Some of the best poke offered in Hawaii are from the supermarkets, created by the local natives behind the deli counters. We were so fortunate to have one of the locals share their family recipes with us, which inspired many of the sauces we offer at Splash today.

Angela is also a graphic designer by trade. Every design piece in the restaurant has been meticulously thought out and designed, to bring to life the vision of a fun and fresh space for our guests. The fish pattern found on the front food counter was hand drawn by Angela while she was on the beach in Maui, to emulate the idea of our fresh ingredients being scooped from a fish bowl. The wood art on the north wall represent fish swimming in the ocean, among the bubble lights hung in the center of our space. The wooden mural was actually hand cut and stained by a woodworker in the family.

To complete the space, Angela and her partner brought back a little piece of Hawaii from their recent research trip: two custom wood surf board signs, hand carved by Solo, a fifth generation wood carver, and his brother. After completing the finishing touches on the surf boards, the artisan surprised them with a handcrafted wooden turtle and carved Splash Poke on the bottom. He told them the values the turtle holds in Hawaian culture and gifted it to them for the start of their poke adventure. This was how our Splash, our guardian turtle, was born. The Polynesians believe turtles to be good luck, navigating them to their islands. They believe that turtles represent health, longevity, patience, family, harmony and persistence. These are same values we hold dear, at Splash.

Mahalo (Thank You) for following our journey and we look forward to your next visit.