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Review of Koi in Evanston: Chinese + Sushi (long)

Fran D | Mar 29, 200409:54 PM

Sunday night my husband, young son and I braved the rainy weather to try Koi, located on Davis Street in downtown Evanston.

In true chowhound fashion, I'll skip the comments about the decor and the fashionable clientele, and move to the food.

The menu is a hybrid: Chinese and a few Japanese appetizers, Chinese main courses & noodle dishes, a few Asian-style salad, and sushi.

We ordered from all across the menu. My husband ordered a cold noodle salad. He liked it, but I thought it was overdressed with a cloying, too-sweet peanut dressing. Plus, the noodles were a bit gummy.

I ordered a bowl of sizzling rice soup, which was good but nothing great. (Why do all sizzling rice soups have to used canned mushrooms? I don't get it.) My son had miso, which he loves and seemed to slurp down with enthusiasm.

So, my main course was Chicken Soong, or Chicken with Vegetables, served with lettuce leaf wraps. Although it was prepared very well, I really did not like it. And it's hard to say why...a little too heavy up for my tastes on chopped green pepper (not the restaurant's fault- i don't really like green pepper; although in my defense there was no mention of green pepper in the list of ingredients). Also, there was some unusual seasoning I could not identify that I just didn't like. I don't know if it was 5 spice powder, or something else. Whatever, color me "eh" on the dish.

My husband ordered sushi, and it was presented beautifully. I tried a couple pieces - spider roll and spicy tuna roll. They were OK, but kind of over-done for my taste. Again, there was some unusual flavor that really bugged me that was incorporated either into the sauce or the roll itself. But my husband loved it.

And, the kicker to all this - it is more expensive than your typical Chinese or sushi place. Entrees topped out at $14-15 for seafood or combos; sushi was $4 a piece and about $6 for a roll.

All in all, it was OK, but with Joy Yee's just up the street and Kuni's a mile away, I would not seek this place out again.

However, if you do go there, you must visit the bathrooms. They are very cool!

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