A few weeks ago I was invited to check out Koi, an upscale Asian restaurant and bar in Evanston.
Evanston is a quick and easy trip north out of the city; it's just fun to walk around and admire the gorgeous views of the lake! I met up with my friend Stephanie and we took the purple line after work, which takes about an hour.
Koi is located just a few minutes from the el station. The vibe inside is classy but homey with warm lighting and dark features. We were promptly greeted and seated towards the front by the windows.
Their menu focuses on bringing a modern twist to classic Japanese and Chinese dishes. There is plenty to choose from and the plates are healthy portions; ideal for sharing!
Koi has a nice sized cocktail list. My cosmo was sweeter than what I normally prefer but refreshing nonetheless.
Edamame is provided for the table to snack on while you peruse the menu.
As an appetizer, Steph and I ordered the hot appetizer medley. This comes with a spring roll, crabmeat wonton, spare rib, pan-fried beef dumpling and satay beef. There also is a separate plate of specific dipping sauces for each piece. I thought everything was delicious. A lot of times Asian dishes like these are carelessly thrown together. Everything was the perfect blend of crispy and soft. I would definitely order this again.
We split a speciality sushi roll-the dragon fire roll of shrimp tempura with salmon, white tuna, green onion and unagi sauce that is baked and served warm. Oh my! This was recommended to us, and we would not have selected in on our own. Both Steph and I agreed we'd return just for this roll! The flavors just melt in your mouth, having blended during the baking process.
For mains, we split the basil plate, with sweet peppers and carrots mixed with a combination of chicken, beef and shrimp. I liked the fact that this plate centered around basil, as it's a flavor I really enjoy.
As well as the mushroom stir fry, a blend of multiple types of mushrooms, bok choy and tofu. Tofu is a tough food to master (it all comes down to the texture), but the blend of mushrooms was great.
As previously mentioned the portions are large; it looked like we barely made a dent in our plates when we were done! The meals were tasty.
We ordered a chocolate mousse for dessert; this was stacked with dark, white and milk chocolate. It was very rich but a nice sweet end to our meal.
Overall the meal was great; the staff is knowledgable and friendly. I loved the wide variety of foods to choose from and the sharableness of the plates. I would absolutely recommend Koi for it's appetizers and sushi; Steph and I raved about that dragon fire roll all night!
Koi is located at 624 Davis Street in Evanston.
Note: my meal was complimentary however the opinions in this post are my own.