A few weeks ago, Ian and I headed north to the beautiful town of Evanston, Illinois to have dinner at Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge. I’m usually very picky about Asian cuisine making it very hard to find a restaurant that I like. Koi was a happy discovery!
Located within walking distance of the Purple line, Koi is very readily accessible to those who do not have a car and live within the city limits of Chicago. I’ve long avoided Evanston because I didn’t realize how easy it was to get around once I was there! We arrived before our reservation and were seated immediately in the beautiful dining room at a table by the window where we could see the comings and goings of the people of Evanston.
Now let’s get to what you guys are here for: what we ate!
We started with our favorite appetizers: xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) and beef satay!
Both were cooked so perfectly and had great flavor! It was the perfect way to start our meal. We then moved on to a couple maki rolls!
We decided to go with the Dragon Fire Maki and the Lobster Maki. The Dragon Fire Maki is baked and served hot and has shrimp tempura topped with salmon, super white tuna, tobiko, green union, spicy mayo, and unagi sauce. I had never had a baked maki roll. I had never even had a slightly warmed maki roll. I literally had no idea what to expect! But DANG this roll was freakin delicious!! I want like 10 more in my belly right NOW. The Lobster Maki has tempura fried lobster, cucumber, avocado and lettuce topped with unagi sauce, spicy mayo, and four different times of tobiko. It was so light and refreshing! It was definitely nice to have that after the heavier Dragon Fire Maki!
We finished our meal by sharing the Chuan Style Beef and Squid: beef, fresh squid, green and red pepper, leeks, white onions, green onions, garlic, bean paste, soy sauce, sugar, spicy chili oil, and rice wine. Holy flavor, Batman! This dish was absolutely delicious! The beef and the squid were cooked perfectly and the spice had just the right level of heat without being overpowering. It was also not too filling. Perfect entrée all the way around!
Koi is located at 624 Davis St in Evanston, Illinois. They can also be found on Instagram!