POH-Keh Bowl Brings New Dining Option to Union Street


Easthampton recently welcomed a new restaurant and Williston students have already written shining reviews.

POH-Keh Bowl is a new Hawaiian style restaurant, co-owned by Sunia Hood, Philip Pallante, Juliet Locke, and Christopher Coburn.

Located at 49 Union Street, they are currently open seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and can comfortably seat 25 customers at a time.

The co-owners decided that the name “POH-Keh Bowl” was appropriate for the restaurant as its “derived from the Hawaiian phonetic pronunciation of the classic dish (poke). The names true meaning is ‘to slice’ or ‘to cut crosswise into pieces’ referring to the way the seafood is prepared.”

A typical bowl on their menu contains “a base of either sushi rice, brown rice, or salad greens [and] will then be topped with various toppings, including raw seafood, tofu, vegetables, and homemade sauces” according to the restaurant’s website. “As an alternative, sushi burritos will also be available with similar content and topping offerings.” As for beverages, they will be offering “bottled and canned sodas and juices as well as Boba tea that will be homemade on the premises.”

Michelle Tu 20’, a Boba tea fanatic, went to the new restaurant on Feb. 29. Michelle ordered a Build-Your-Own bowl, and a Jasmine milk tea with Boba in it.

“I think it’s affordable as I got a regular sized bowl, with extra toppings (Sashimi)” she said, “and also got a regular sized bubble tea. It all came out to $17 for a large and filling meal.” Michelle plans on returning to POH-Keh in the near future.

Hana Tsukamoto 20’, accompanied Michelle to try poke for the first time.

Hana ordered a “regular sized Spicy Tuna bowl without a drink” and shared that it was only $9.50. “I thought it tasted really good, and the people who worked there were really nice and helpful since it was my first time and I didn’t know what to order. I plan on going back very soon.”

Alex Pallante, son of the co-owners, Sunia Hood and Philip Pallante, believes it’s “definitely good to have this type of food around … it attracts a lot of customers, especially students from Williston.”

Alex also shared that his mother, Sunia, “is already planning on opening another POH-Keh Bowl in Amherst, Mass”, next to La Veracruzana, a Mexican restaurant his parents also own. La Veracruzana also has locations in Northampton and Easthampton.

Local customer, Bennett Kelly, from Southampton, Mass. is best friends with Alex, and believes, like Alex, that POH-Keh Bowl is a great addition to the local food scene.

“I feel like it’s a good asset to Easthampton” he said, “because it adds to the growing variety of restaurants opening in town.”

Bennett is close with Pallante’s family, and said he feels proud of them for opening this new restaurant. “[Sunia and Philip] are really hard-working people and worked hard to open the restaurant.”

On March 18, the restaurant announced it would close temporarily to wait out COVID-19, with plans for a “GRAND RE-opening” in April.