The past Thursday, KOI SoHo marked their one-year anniversary with an editor’s dinner to showcase the restaurant’s signature dishes. The chef team of Executive Chef Richard Lee, Executive Sushi Chef Nobuhiro Hamazaki, and Executive Pastry Chef Mineko Malcolm, presented an exclusive tasting menu. The restaurant is chic with a handsome Library to lounge over a drink and the private dining area was beautifully decorated with chandeliers and candles strewn down the long dining table.
We started with The Big Apple as a welcome cocktail. The sake based cocktail is a new addition to the menu and will debut to the public on National Sake Day on October 1st. It’s not too sweet, nicely spiced with the touch of cinnamon.
Our first course was the omakase sushi paired with a very clean, sweet Junmai Daiginjo sake. The omakase plate was (left to right) had a wonderfully minimalist poke (a Hawaiian ahi tuna) that’s subtly highlighted with sambal and lemon juice, fluke topped with a zesty lime and yuzu pepper ponzu, seared toro sushi brushed with bonito soy sauce and grated daikon radish, and red snapper topped with a yuzu scallion sauce. Personally, I liked the poke the most then the red snapper. Others were good but not as amazing.
The restaurant’s crispy rice had two versions – topped with spicy tuna tartare and yellowfin tartare – were an unusual hybrid of tartare and nigiri-style sushi but it’s pretty good. The chewy, sticky rice was crisp and held up to the tartar. The pairing of Shirakawago Sasanigori Sake was very good. The mellow, rich, cloudy sake didn’t hinder the fish.
The next course of toro wasa roll is composed of toro (fatty tuna) sashimi on a yellowtail and jalapeno roll, topped with wasabi stem salsa and smoked soy sauce. It’s a loaded nigiri roll and the flavors do work.
The dessert was a scoop of refreshing yuzu sorbet on shortbread cookie with passion fruit puree and fresh raspberries where it’s paired with Buehler Russian River Chardonnay. The chardonnay was pleasantly sweet, floral and had hints of lime zest with a nice amount of body. It all finishes things off nicely without weighing our bellies.
To view more photos of this dinner, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
Koi Restaurant: SoHo
At Trump SoHo
246 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
Telephone: (212) 842-4550