Experience Japanese ﬁne dining with a Californian twist at Koi Restaurant & Lounge.
By Ashima Sethi
The Koi Group ﬁrst made their mark on Bangkok’s ever-shifting culinary scene when they opened doors to their ﬁrst Asian branch, Koi Lounge on Sukhumvit Soi 20. The venue attracted an eclectic crowd of celebrities and gastronomes who were eager to experience the food and drinks that cemented Koi’s original outlet in Los Angeles as a go-to spot for high society crowds and A-listers. Years later, buzz from the Sukhumvit location has led to the establishment of the city’s second branch, Koi Restaurant & Lounge, located atop the sleek Sathorn Square Building. This elegant site is a sparkling addition to the trendy neighbourhood’s crown, offering a ﬁne dining experience that combines stunning views, luxurious interiors and top-notch cuisine.
When entering Koi, diners are immediately enthralled by the chic and modern décor. Dark timber ﬂoors, tables and wall panels complemented by chocolate leather seats, banquettes and a striking beige marble counter dominate the dining area. Adjacent is a live kitchen that provides a spectacle for discerning diners who enjoy a little culinary show. As a testament to the restaurant’s ethos, the space is also intricately adorned with Japanese motifs. The most prominent are light shades exuding a warm, natural glow and styled to mimic traditional woven baskets, providing a vibrant, authentic feel.
Their commitment to design also extends to the lounge area nestled in a separate corner. Here, talented mixologists craft creative concoctions against a backdrop of neon lights and ﬂoor-to-ceiling windows with views of a glittering skyline. Partygoers should continue their night at The Club @ Koi right next door, making the restaurant-cum-lounge an ideal place for a glamorous night out.
Food and Drink
Expect the unexpected with their Japanese and Californian-inspired menu. The ﬁrst starter to arrive was the signature Koi crispy rice (B450), which combined bite-sized sticky rice with juicy chunks of spicy tuna seared in trufﬂe oil. Each crispy mouthful was a whirlwind of savoury goodness. Another notable creation was Creamy white shrimp tempura (B480), where battered prawns topped with crispy onions were served with sesame and chili powder mayonnaise, guaranteed to thrill all palates.
The chefs can also turn their skills to fusion sushi rolls, including the popular Geleno roll (B580), a fabulous combination of spicy tuna, crunchy cucumber and crispy slices of spinach, onions and jalapeños, rolled up and served California maki style. As one of their staple dishes, the roll’s ﬂavour is as unique as its history, with the name derived from the diner who personally requested for a bite of this kind.
For mains, we tucked into Miso bronzed black cod (B990), prepared to perfection. Its large velvety ﬂakes and buttery, rich ﬂavour is further enhanced by the delicate essence of the Saikyo miso glaze. Meanwhile, meat lovers will relish the Grilled New Zealand lamb chops (B1,200), served alongside nutty couscous and tangy tomatoes. The tender protein is best enjoyed with a smoky Ichimi pepper sauce which heightens the lamb’s naturally juicy ﬂavour.
The fusion approach is also evident in their sweet treats, such as Koi Summer (B380), an artfully presented plate of tart Yuzu curd, slightly sour lemon crumble and a refreshing passionfruit sorbet topped with crunchy meringue and bites of honeycomb. Another favourite is Koi’s Love (B380), made up of dark chocolate cake, buttery shortbread, luscious cream cheese and a sour raspberry gel that successfully cuts through the dessert’s richness. Simply put, it was a decadent end to a memorable meal.
Beyond food, Koi is also a great place to enjoy a drink or two with your friends or loved ones, while watching one of Bangkok’s famous sunsets. The restaurant boasts an extensive menu covering premium Japanese whisky selections, including Black Nikka (B260) and Yamazaki (B890), imported wine, and of course, a long list of inventive cocktails. A must-try is Midnight Train to Sathorn (B380), which packs a punch with its unique blend of gin, Aperol, grapefruit juice and lime. Another heavy-hitter is Tokyo-Hattan (B420). Expertly crafted, this creative concoction combines top drawer Japanese whisky with Pimm’s, Cherry Heering liqueur and chocolate bitters.
KOI RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
39th Foor, Sathorn Square Building, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 6pm to 1am
Tel: 02 108 2005