WHERE: Koi Japanese Restaurant & Lounge | The Collection, St Regis Saadiyat | Abu Dhabi
WHEN: Saturday – Wednesday: 18:30 – 1:00 | Thursday and Friday: 18:30 – 2:00 | Friday Brunch: 12.30 to 16.00
Reservations: +971 2 678 3334
As we enter Koi, we are taken by the dark izakaya inspired lines of the bar, with its low seating and the uber cool glow of natural candle light. The atmosphere resonates sophistication and quiet glamour. Here, we install ourselves for our pre-dinner drinks. Koi’s barman recommends two of Koi’s signature cocktails the Spicy Samurai and the Berry Bliss – both of which are refreshing and delicious.
We choose to sit inside the main restaurant, so that we are able to see the sushi bar and Koi’s sushi masters at work. You can also sit outside at Koi, in well thought out al fresco seating corners with Japanese-style inspired discrete room dividers. The atmosphere is very pleasant and cool on the outside terrace, the perfect spot for a tête-à-tête or more private gathering.
The very attentive Maître-d guides us through the menu at Koi and is happy to recommend to us some of the house’s preferred signature dishes. We start our meal with spicy miso soup and a selection of sashimi. The presentation is stunning and the sashimi is a real highlight of the evening. The fish is masterfully cut and the accompaniments (all edible) balance the raw fish perfectly both visually and in taste.
We enjoy Koi’s signature Dragon Roll hugely. The quality and consistency of the delivery is outstanding. A particular favourite are the Crispy Rice Rolls topped with either tuna or yellowfin tartare.
Another highlight is the Kobe Style Fillet Mignon ‘Toban-Yaki”, the beautifully presented meat is succulent and cooked to perfection. We also hugely enjoyed the Wagyu Beef Tataki, again sumptuously presented with its edible flowers. It is an absolute must, in our view, to fully relish the Koi experience.
The desserts, again, are so professionally poised. We round off our meal with delectable Japanese moshi and chocolate fondant. The fondant is rich and chocolatey, accompanied by a medley of bright and fresh berries. The result is delicious and rivals the best French bistro fondants we have ever had.
Koi’s appeal is its contemporary and cosmopolitan feel – a place where you can enjoy world class sushi and Japanese inspired gastronomy with a Californian twist. With its on-trend beats in the background, you feel the connection with Koi’s other global metropolitan locations in LA, Las Vegas, New York and Bangkok, all the while being conveniently positioned on dreamy Saadiyat Island. It is the perfect spot for a quiet dinner among friends or cocktails and light sushi bites in a larger group. It is definitely one of The Luxe Diary’s favourites.