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Koa Restaurant - Chinese Restaurant (Wakiya)

Pookipichu | Mar 18, 201509:09 AM

Finally got to Koa recently (on 12 West 21st Street), I've been wanting to try it for months. It's a modern Chinese restaurant, the brainchild of Yuji Wakiya of Iron Chef fame.

It's a gorgeous space, clean, minimalist and sedate, no loud thump thump music, good for talking. It was also fairly empty.

Ordered the pork buns, fairly standard looking, buns were fine (like from a supermarket), not quite as soft and hot as I'd like, the pork is a bit tough, not quite as nice as the dong po pork at China Blue.

Tried the fried chicken sorba and my friend tried the vegetable sorba. The chicken is high quality and nicely crisp.... except for the parts sitting in the broth which quickly become soggy. The presentation, while lovely, is not good for the eating experience because the mushy chicken breading is unpleasant. The noodles are delicious, luscious, great texture. The creamy broth is full of savory flavor. Annnnd they put rectangles of mozzarella in the broth. Which is bewildering. The cheese is not quite hot, some pieces are room temp. I don't particularly like the cheese and don't think it adds to the dish but I'm trying to keep an open mind.

I didn't try the vegetable sorba.

Service was very good, friendly, attentive. They comped us green tea which was a complete surprise and really lovely of them.

Flashes of what could be a great restaurant but weird choices. The predominance of iceberg lettuce throughout the menu is from a different decade. The use of cheese is strange. The sorba is really great and I'm going to try a couple of more dishes. I do think they could use a menu revamp though IMO. At least get rid of the iceberg lettuce and add cheese as an option instead of forcing it in the dishes.

China Blue
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