Red Koi Offers A Bit Of Visual Flair Along With Its Tasty, Stylized Food

It’s no surprise that a cuisine as stylized and even somewhat decorative would come from Japan considering the nature of their artwork and other visual objects. From calligraphy to woodcuts the nature of Japanese artwork is usually detailed and precise.
The precise nature of sushi, especially, with its carefully constructed pieces that resemble little sculptures of food, is a form of cuisine that’s almost as much a visual experience as well as a savory one.
Red Koi in European Village is a place we have visited on a number of occasions, usually with favorable results (except for maybe the Philly cheese steak egg roll, and we should have known better but our curiosity got the better of us).
And although we’ve had sushi and some sashimi that we’ve enjoyed here it’s the cooked versions of Japanese cuisine on their menu which have impressed us the most so far.
We say “so far” because we certainly haven’t tried all of the various types of raw offerings here and there’s a chance that one of the more exotic creations we’ve seen here (like the Dragons Eggs above) could supplant the hibachi dinners we’ve come to favor until now.
It seems unlikely, however, considering how tasty and tender the beef is in these hibachi dinners. The other factor that would impact our attempt to try everything on the menu is the sheer size of it. There are many, many variations of sushi and sashimi here and trying them all would take some time. For example, there are sections of vegetable sushi rolls, cooked sushi rolls, raw sushi rolls, special cooked rolls and special raw rolls and each category has a list of items included. You can also get ala carte sashimi or nigiri pieces as well as a number of appetizers that are based on sushi.
In other words, as mentioned, it would take a while to navigate this part of the menu. However, we got hooked on the hibachi dinners with their combinations that are offered. Our favorite might be the seafood deluxe which adds shrimp, scallops and lobster to the tenderloin and is on the menu for $34. The hibachi dinners start at $15 (and include fried rice which is quite good, soup and vegetables) for tofu and work their way up through chicken, shrimp, salmon or scallops to the combination plates which include tenderloin.
All of the ingredients, even the scallops, which are by necessity frozen, are high quality and the side dishes that accompany the entree are tasty and complete a filling meal.
There’s also a lunch menu served from Friday to Sunday that offers scaled-down versions of the hibachi dinners and some drinks specials on Mondays that may interest people as well. But we’ll continue to go there for the beef, the atmosphere and the tasty Japanese beer that perfectly complements the food. — Tom Aikins
Red Koi, European Village, 386-585-4088.