Koi - St. Regis Collection on Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
So, a restaurant that carries the name Koi has a lot to live up to, but with 6 other restaurants carrying the brand around the world, it is not a new concept. Still, I am intrigued to see how my evening will turn out.
|A facade that belies something very special inside.|
When I arrive at the restaurant, I am not sure if it is open, so muted is the lighting. I tentatively approach the door which is opened for me before I can - I love that sort of welcome! The door opens to reveal a very modern and chic lounging bar area. Simple, striking and not decadent at all. Very Japanese. Talk about first impressions! Two-floor high ceilings with stunning light fixtures catch my attention as I look to the bamboo plants which serve to wall off the bar from the dining area. The bamboo, plastic, will be one of few false notes in the restaurant. Japanese are all about that which is natural, and I look around the restaurant, especially behind the sushi counter where oversized cuts of wood drive home that emphasis on nature. Orchids around the restaurant cannot be ignored. The white orchids in particular are simply breathtaking. Therefore, plastic bamboo is an odd choice.
|Dates presented in a uniquely Japanese manner.|
|Salted cured hamachi|
|Drops of truffle oil can be seen.|
|Chicken breast and mushroom dish|
As I await my dessert, I can't help notice the waiting staff again. There is a quiet energy about them. Also, when they address guests, it is clearly audible but just above a hushed tone. Kudos to their training department. these musings are happily intruded upon by the arrival of my dessert. Tofu and sesame chocolate mousse with butterscotch ice cream and raspberry sorbet - yes, you read it right. If there was a lot happening on my third course, then the dessert is a hive of taste and textural action - the tofu and sesame mousse blows my mind. This marriage of what is unusual dessert elements for non Japanese with the more traditional, is illustrated in this mousse. However, and this is the important point, it is a harmonious marriage. With a piece of mint it reaches another level. Scrumptious. Lastly, the sorbet and ice cream provide a welcoming flavour and textural contrast and were it not for social etiquette, I would used my finger to lap up the last bit of this heavenly dessert.
|One of the best desserts I have had in the capital|
The low down
Within the St Regis Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
Salads 44-154 Dhs
Koi Signature dishes 72-149 Dhs
Hot dishes 83-295 Dhs
Sushi and Sashimi 39-220 Dhs