I found tasty surprises and original dishes at the Koi Restaurant and Lounge. Koi is not like any other Japanese restaurant! Their new Omakase and Skinny menus entice guests with exotic flavors and one-of-a-kind recipes.
Executive Chef Tim Horrock purchases all fresh ingredients from the Farmer's Market. "I buy the best try not to hide all of the natural tastes."
Mike, my producer, decided to try the special Omakase menu, an EIGHT course meal featuring the finest signature entrees from their main menu. Omakase means "The Chef's Choice" and Chef Tim invites their guests to customize the eight courses depending on their likes and dislikes. There are so many choices and an unparalleled flexibility for your dining pleasure.
The Omakase dinner began with a First Course of Tuna Tartare on a crispy won ton adding a bit of crunch to the tuna. This original recipe mixes the tuna with avocado, soy, and sesame.
For the Second Course, the Hamachi Fusion contained truffles usually not found on Asian menus. Chef Tim felt, "The truffle essence fuses the soy-yuzu and the jalapeño provides just the right amount of spice."
I have seen Carpaccio served in many different ways but never like the Third Course of Salmon Carpaccio. The Salmon Carpaccio seemed to be floating in citrus soy sauce with another type of truffles, the black truffles complimenting the fattiness of the fresh salmon.
The Forth Course, Spicy Seared Albacore was so colorful with crispy red onions and Ponzu sauce.
The Fifth Course consisted of Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, but not too spicy. The rice was pan fried and topped with the spicy tuna. The chef can prepare your dishes as spicy or mild as you wish.
After the parade of different fresh fish, the Sixth Course featured a warm Baked Crab Roll wrapped with soy paper.
The finale of all of the entrees, the Seventh Course was a Grilled, Ichimi glazed Lamb Chop leaning on mashed potatoes.
If you still have room for the Eighth Course, the Artisinal Mochi Ice Cream dessert covered in rice pastry.
I was thrilled with the Skinny menu but think it should be called the Healthy menu instead. The menu is based on healthy eating with an Asian touch. Even though you are eating a healthy meal, you still can indulge yourself with some of their mouth watering selections prepared with you in mind.
It was great biting into the large (U-10) Pan Seared jumbo Sea Scallops topped with tangerine butter and served on black forbidden rice.
The Koi Skinny specials include a Grilled Chicken Lettuce Hand Roll. You hold the lettuce around the chicken along with Julianne carrots, tofu lime sauce, and Daikon, and just eat like a sandwich.
Another unique pairing is their truly Asian Tuna and Tofu Caprese which includes fresh wasabi and American caviar.
The Koi Restaurant & Lounge is located inside the Planet Hollywood Resort, in Las Vegas. www.koirestaurant.com