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Koi Abu Dhabi: Traditional Japanese Dishes Infused With Modern California Accents

At Koi Abu Dhabi, imaginative dishes are inspired by traditional Japanese preparations before being deconstructed and infused with modern California accents. Modern palates will be truly inspired by Koi’s Japanese fusion and traditional dishes. These creations, along with innovative signature cocktails, are coupled with an atmosphere that evokes both intrigue and serenity, transporting guests for an unforgettable experience.

With six locations worldwide including Bangkok, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York – Bryant Park, New York – SoHo and now Abu Dhabi, Koi continues to stake its claim as the international leader in contemporary Japanese cuisine

KM went along to KOI Abu Dhabi at The Collection, Saadiyat Island to sample the creations of Executive Chef, Daisuke Yoshizaki and his team…

The warm glow of the low lit minimalist contemporary style restaurant is as invitingly welcoming as our hostess for the evening. We are shown through to the central seating area – providing a more open space for larger parties – surrounded by a multi-level layout offering a range of different seating arrangements from super comfortable booth tables to more secluded and intimate settings in the semi-al fresco courtyard. As we settle into our booth table for the evening, the service is evidently swift and efficient and within minutes of ordering, our drinks arrive followed directly by an artistically presented amuse-bouche of mini shrimp cake atop a sweet tomato salsa and wasabi mayonnaise.

Spoilt for choice, we pour over the enticing menu whilst tucking into our mouth-watering first starter to share: Lobster Tacos with Mango Salsa and Yuzu Guacamole – divine crispy taco shells filled with fresh meaty lobster filling and a creamy ‘more-ish’ guacamole. When asking for recommendations, we find that our hostess is reassuringly knowledgeable and familiar with Koi’s specialties, our only problem is that she recommends all of our choices, which makes it’s a tough call! We finally settle on the Soft Shell Crab, Maple Dijon Mustard, Ponzu Sauce, Tsukemono with a side order of Edamame and cut California Roll to share followed by the Miso-Bronzed Black Cod with Seasonal Vegetables and the Kobe Style Filet Mignon “Toban-Yaki” Asparagus & Mushrooms and a side order of Shishito Mashed Potatoes between two.

The crab was super crispy and the greasiness of the indulgent batter was beautifully offset by the sweet yet tangy mustard and tart Ponzu sauce. The California Roll came in a generous portion of 8 pieces and was faultless.

After a short pause, our main courses arrived steaming hot and both boasting award-winning presentation. The black cod melted to the touch and the subtle flavours of the miso glaze only served to enhance that of the fish rather than overpower it. The almost raw crunch of the vegetable medley juxtaposed the soft but meaty texture of the fish. The Kobe Style Filet Mignon presented a hearty meal of soft medium rare slabs of perfection served with stunningly silky creamy mushrooms, crunchy baby asparagus and a sweet thick Toban-Yaki style sauce with a jus-like consistency the last of which was aptly savoured with the creamy Shishito Mash.

Full-to-bursting, we struggled with the concept of dessert, but once presented with the tempting dessert menu – bursting with fresh flavours – we simply couldn’t resist! And so it was Mochi Ice Cream and a Strawberry and Chocolate Crème Brûlée to finish… the perfect end to a memorable gastronomic journey!

Koi offers an inspirational culinary experience for any palette, but especially for foodies and lovers of Japanese cuisine – its modern eclectic twist on the traditional is refreshing and indulgent and will have us going back for more time and time again!

Special promotions include:

Friday Brunch – every Friday 12:00pm – 3.30pm

· Brunch with soft drinks at AED 295
· Brunch with selected beverages at AED 395
· Brunch with selected beverages plus a bottle of bubbles AED 495

Celebrate Birthday’s at Koi

When celebrating your birthday at Koi, let the team know and they will provide a free birthday cake for parties of three or more. Just let the team know 24 hours in advance of the booking

Koi Abu Dhabi opens from 6.30 pm to 1 am from Saturday through to Wednesday and 6.30 pm to 2 am Thursday and Friday. For more information, visit: www.koirestaurant.ae. For reservations or private dining requests, call 02-678-3334 or email reservations@koirestaurant.ae