Three mates - all of them just 21 years old - had a bold business vision. They saw an opportunity in the popular poké bowl food trend, but wanted to give it a local twist. So Ika Bowl was born.

Showcasing traditional foods of Polynesia, co-owner Rakai Heka-Beazley says they were able to get the business up and running with a single investor, and the poké bowl cuisine they’re serving is proving to be a hit.

“Because it was trending so hard (in America), we kind of saw it as a vessel to kind of bring through our kind of traditional ika mata and stuff like that. We just thought it was a way to harness that and bring that through to Auckland.”

Co-owner Hutu Harris says they went into business to share the flavours of the Pacific and can customise for more fussy eaters.

“We can cater to everyone’s needs, if you want less carbs or more protein, we can definitely do that for you. The vitamins and minerals in our bowls are very bountiful.”

And the secret ingredient?

“I'll give you a little hint,” says co-owner Navneal Singh who rounds out the trio, “the secret kinda comes in the sauce and with a special hint of love.”

They can even boast a visit from celebrity chef Manu Feildel.

“We were under the pump and stuff but it was so cool because Manu from My Kitchen Rules ended up walking through,” says Heka Beazley.

“It was just an awesome experience that night.”