29 May 2022 By May Ng

Contemporary Japanese-Fusion Bistro koi

Brings Refined Dining to Tseung Kwan O’s Buzzing The Parkside

“Wa Modern master Terufumi Mihara  presents his celebrated Japanese gastronomy with a contemporary global twist

koi, a contemporary Japanese-fusion bistro at The Parkside in Tseung Kwan O, extends the reach of master chef Terufumi Mihara, who already helms one popular Japanese restaurant – Teppanyaki Mihara – in the burgeoning dining hub.  His spacious, inviting new venue, which just opened its doors, captures the simple beauty of Japanese aesthetics in a strikingly modernist style. The vibrant bistro plays the refined East-West fusion hand for which he is renowned, twining premium izakaya fare with the feel of a chic and playful lounge.

Chef Mihara is a specialist in ‘wa modern’ Japanese-fusion cuisine. Staying true to tradition in his insistence on using only the freshest seasonal ingredients, he adds a contemporary and very personal twist by reimagining the tried-and-true Japanese dishes he grew up with. These inventive embellishments bring excitement to the table, and are inspired by his global travels – the seasoned chef’s international career includes presenting Japanese-fusion delicacies to world leaders when working as chief chef at the Japanese Consulate in Chicago.

More than 100 diners can appreciate koi’s cool, relaxing vibe per sitting, as an inspiring, minimalist, modern Japanese ambience enwraps the 2,600-square-foot space.  During the day, the restaurant is filled with natural light, but lightboxes beside two communal washi tables in the main dining area provide a soft, cosy glow in the evening.

Like the interiors, the creative, contemporary bistro menu exudes the distinctive ‘wa modern’ DNA – the wide array of choices runs the gamut from premium jet-fresh sushi roll, inspired cold and hot appetisers, smoky kushiyaki grilled meat, seafood and vegetable specialties, Japanese-style tapas, ‘wafu’ spaghetti and time-honoured dishes such as kamameshi (kettle-rice dishes) to decadent desserts.

KOI Japanese Bistro

A standout among the signatures is Chef Mihara’s favourite recipe of Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Ball (HK$98), where minced tuna adds a magic touch to spicy Japanese mayo and jalapeño. Japanese A4 Miyazaki Waygu Sando (HK$218) is another prized house speciality, with the premium beef cooked to medium perfection and seasoned with Awa miso and black pepper.

Other notable dishes include Fried Chicken with lburi-gakko Tartar (HK$88), the Japanese classic of chicken nanban refreshed by Chef Mihara’s innovative ‘wayou’ twist of house-blend Japanese mayonnaise and black pepper, and the crowd-pleasing, painstakingly prepared Japanese rice balls of Yaki Onigiri (HK$32) – steamed rice cooked in bonito and kombu dashi, delicately seasoned with house-made soy sauce and shiso, wrapped in seaweed, then grilled on a bamboo spear.

koi’s kushiyaki and yakitori offerings include Chicken Wing (HK$42), Ox Tongue (HK$72), Grilled Unagi (HK$138), Wagyu Skirt Steak with Oroshi Sauce (HK$168), Grilled Hokkaido Pork Neck with Yuzu Kosho and Miso Sauce (HK$98), and Grilled Salmon Belly and Leek with Ponzu Sauce (HK$128). A practised eye teamed with a dash of innovation see these izakaya staples stand out on the grill. 

Chef Mihara sets a new benchmark for contemporary Japanese bistro-style dining with his ‘wafu’ spaghetti (Japanese-style spaghetti). Marinated Akami Tuna and Ikura Angel Hair Pasta (HK$138) is the perfect cold-noodle dish for summer, creatively served with yam paste and wasabi, while Creamy Mentaiko Carbonara Udon with Mushroom and Hot Spring Egg (HK$128) emphasises the Japanese-Western interplay, using udon instead of spaghetti.

KOI Japanese Bistro

Other izakaya comfort-food specialities are Teriyaki Foie Gras and Apple Clay Pot Rice (HK$168) and Japanese Crab and Ikura Clay Pot Rice, the former reimagining Japanese clay-pot rice with a contemporary French twist.  Hitomebore (‘love at first sight’) short-grain white rice from Miyagi Prefecture is used to deliver a smooth, slightly sticky texture as well as a lovely glossy sweetness.

Mihara, an acclaimed pastry chef, has also created his sweet masterpieces. The low-sugar Sticky Rice-Ball with Red Bean and Edamame Paste (HK$58) will satisfy the diet-conscious, while Hojicha Crème Brûlée (HK$48) tempts with an unusual smoky flavour derived from roasted red-brown Hojicha green tea that was popular in the teahouses of old Kyoto.

koi is also the perfect spot to loosen that tie and relax in a cool environment. Savour some after-work downtime with friends or colleagues, either at the bar downing sake, cocktails or speciality coffees from the extensive drinks menu, or in a quiet corner, drinking in the atmosphere with delicious small plates to hand.

A carefully curated sake menu appeals to a wide variety of palates, from floral to sophisticated, and from crisp and refreshing to rich and complex. Highlights include Bunkajin Liseur Junmai Ginjo (HK$228, 300ml), Akitora Tosa Nishiki Junmai Ginjo (HK$248, 300ml), Koshi no Tsuru Premium Honjozo (HK$398, 720ml), Akabu Junmai (HK$458, 720ml), Zaku Megumi no Tomo Junmai Ginjo (HK$978, 1,800ml), and Ohmine 3 Grain Junmai (HK$1,478, 1,800ml). A range of seasonal sakes from niche producers will entice connoisseurs after the bistro’s soft opening.

KOI Japanese Bistro

Diners can decide between two distinctive experiences at koi. The main dining area provides space, comfort and the additional exclusivity of two private rooms each accommodating eight people; while a small outdoor dining area allows relaxed chilling with pals and beloved family members, two-legged or four.

koi is located at Shop G07, The Parkside, 18 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories, Hong Kong; and opens from Monday to Friday at 12 noon to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For enquiries or reservations, please call (852) 3618-8211 or email koi@ponghk.com.

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/koi.tkohk/

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