A couple weeks ago my friend took me to his buddy’s newly opened Koi Japanese Tapas Bar for dinner. This izakaya restaurant on Kingsway is super new. The space was kind of small, but the places had a really good vibe.
We had a lot of people, and we went without a reservation, and thankfully the owner was super nice and was able to accomodate us to the best he could.
We ordered a lot of food, pretty much the entire menu. There were some really memorable dishes such as the Tuna Tataki, Koi Roll, Cheese Tofu.
Tuna tataki is a standard izakaya dish, and Koi did a really awesome job on it. The tuna was seared perfectly with nice smokey crust. There were some garlic flakes on the tuna which made it really flavorful.
Koi Roll is the sushi roll you have to try. I was so crazy about this roll. This roll had shrimp tempura, avocado, and mostly importantly, deep fried onions. Onion rings and rice, how come no one has thought of this idea before?! The sweetness of the deep fried onions was the best part about this roll. I loved it so much we ordered 3 of these in total.
Cheese Tofu we ordered out of curiosity. This was a really interesting dish. It came out looking like a cheesecake. It had the consistency of a cheesecake but less dense. It was a little bit sweet and it was served with some crackers. Was it cheese or was it tofu? I still don’t know, but it was a nice appetizer.
Like I said, we ordered almost every item on the menu, and non of them were bad. For those of you that enjoy raw beef, my friends really liked their beef tartar. I didn’t try this dish because it got too many things I normally don’t enjoy in raw form (beef and egg), but since my friends said it was really good, I will take their word for it.
This was a cool little place for some Japanese tapas off the downtown area. Given that there are so many izakaya restaurants out there, I was really glad that they had their own spin on a lot of the standard izakaya dishes, as well as having their own signature dishes.
Koi Japanese Tapas Bar
Vancouver, BC V5T 3K4