Acceptance to the foodie community is indeed a blessing but also comes with a lot of responsibilities. Over time, people begin to confide in your opinion on which restaurant to visit for lunch, dinner- based on the type of cuisine they are interested in. Now, there are many folks out there who share my preference for a certain type of cuisine and recommending a restaurant to them is just like convincing myself to walk upto a restaurant. But, the challenge remains with folks who are not open to different types of cuisines and when they ask your for a recommendation- that puts you in a sticky situation. It can be tricky to understand what they like and eventually when you suggest a restaurant it might end up being a place that they are not willing to shell out too much money on. An elaborate discussion can be the only solution to such a muddle.
On the other hand, imagine if you were asked to decide which restaurant to visit for your anniversary? To me this was supposed to be ‘The Challenge’ until my wife Herwin decided to take matters into her own hands. While I was thinking about visiting the famous lounge Love-Passion-Karma, she insisted we visit a restaurant that serves our favourite cuisine- Asian. She came up with a recommendation and that is how we visited Koi, located right behind Snip Salon & Spa, Calangute.
From the outside, Koi looks no different from an olden-day Portuguese home decorated and well-lit up for Christmas. It gets even better when you step in- the interior décor of this restaurant is nothing short of exuberant- truly an epitome of a fine-dine Asian restaurant. My idea or rather, benchmark for a fine-dine Asian restaurant is Mekong in Hyderabad. The former restaurant’s interior décor, contemporary furniture, pendant lighting, visually appealing cutlery is at par with Mekong- unbelievable (see the pictures for yourself).
The pictures of the interior décor speaks for itself and my overall experience at this restaurant was taken to the next level thanks to some amazing food and prompt service. So, lets talk about the food, but wait cocktails first! Koi served a decent array of cocktails, not to mention some of them I heard for the first time. I decided to go with their Lemongrass Collins and my wife ordered a Pomegranate Martini. I am not sure if they were using Lemongrass infused vodka but it was very refreshing; the Pomegranate Martini was also a well-concocted drink.
Koi also offered a wide variety of Dim Sums and Sushi platters categorized into three sections,
Koi Rolls- supposedly their speciality, with some very interesting names like Dynamite, North Goa, South Goa, FC Goa. We placed an order for Volcano (picture below) which was a sushi made from Shrimp, Spicy Tuna, Avocado, deep-fried and served with spicy chilli sauce. The Volcano sushi was not warm neither cold- sort of room temperature and very flavourful and fresh. It would be better if I say that the taste was clean and not fishy (in layman’s terms). Herwin was craving for some Green Papaya salad and she spotted one in the Teppanyaki fixed set menu- Som Tum. By far, the best papaya salad I have tasted- far better than the ones I had the pleasure of tasting in Thailand. We took a considerable amount of time trying to order a non-vegetarian starter and that was because most of the names on the menu we were familiar with or at least the have tried once. So, placed an order for Beef with Pok Choy- I must admit that this was recommended to us by our server and what a recommendation it was- extremely delicious. The Beef was cooked beautifully, it was juicy and the I was taken aback since I was expecting the taste of Soy to overpower the flavors of the other ingredients- which it did not and was well balanced.
Over the past few weeks, ever since Manjusha posted her recipe for the Burmese noodle dish Khow Suey, I have been wanting to try it out. This was the best opportunity for me to do so and believe me when they brought this platter to our table, it started to make sense. The broth which served as the base for the whole dish had essential Thai flavors and the various condiments served alongwith it includes Boiled Egg, Fried Onions, Spring-onions, Green Chillies, Coriander leaves (all sliced), dried Garlic, Red Chilli flakes, Peanuts, Rice crisps, fried noodles, fried curry and basil leaves. Whoa, throw it all in together (not literally) and there you have it- heavenly is an understatement. I felt it tasted similar to the Chiang Mai Train Station Noddles at Mamagoto- which is understandable because most of the countries which share banks with the river Mekong has similarities in ingredients and eventually reflects in the taste.
Last but far from the least and no doubt the best dessert I have tasted in my life- Belgium Chocolate Fondant with Coconut Ice Cream and Spiced Wild Berries. I cannot explain any better than this video- the molten-chocolate cake was baked to perfection. The Coconut Ice Cream served along with it accelerated the taste and the spiced wild berries gave a tangy-hit.
What a delightful dining experience on our second anniversary- something that we will truly cherish having spent at Koi. Herwin and myself can vouch for this restaurant and recommend anyone on a vacation/honeymoon/anniversary to Goa to this place. I have nothing more to say