(Gold-dusted milk chocolate fish)

Two words : Oz Roll. Translation? Fish and chips in a sushi roll. With tomato sauce.

Rest assured, this is not why I’m writing about Koi. In fact, I rarely write about the restaurants we visit these days. I did however want to mention this modern Japanese restaurant in Woolwich, because we had a great meal there recently and I’m hoping that anyone reading this will feel compelled to pay it a visit as well.

(Seared scallop carpaccio, green salad with tofu)

This isn’t exactly a brand new restaurant, yet it had somehow managed to fall under our radar until recently. A booking was finally made at the recommendation of a friend, and I dragged my family along because we are constantly in search of the next Japanese restaurant to check out.

(Duck, beetroot and 64 degree duck egg)

We did not order the Oz Roll, but did manage to try quite a few other dishes. Highly recommended are the miso cod, the mushrooms with aspagarus dish (which is comforting and earthy, and redolent with the aromas of sesame), and the unbelievably fresh and crisp tempura.

(Kurobuta pork cutlet, truffled cauliflower and puree)

Of course I’m not advising anyone to go and expect the superlative Japanese restaurant experience. Koi is not without it’s flaws. What makes it a memorable dining experience (apart from a few stand-out dishes) is the little details that other restaurants often fall short on. The manager notices our dishes are slow coming out of the kitchen and even though we don’t say anything about it, we are later offered two complimentary dishes (a stunning vinegared white fish dish) as an apology.

(clockwise from top left : Miso cod, tempura vegetables, nigiri sushi, nasu dengaku)

When we find the eggplant in the nasu dengaku a little undercooked for our tastes, the dish is swiftly removed from the table, and a whole new one is prepared for us, this time a little more cooked than before. Even though ultimately a little disappointing, I like the dish for it’s combination of hazelnuts and the sweet eggplant, and for the fact that it’s not wallowing in oil as some nasu dengaku dishes can be.

(King brown, shiitake and oyster mushrooms with asparagus)

The evening ends with a complimentary palate cleanser of green tea mousse and green tea granita, and a plate of shimmering fish-shaped chocolates. I leave, feeling impressed and happy at the thought that there are actually fine dining places on my side of the Bridge, worth visiting.

102 Woolwich Rd
Woolwich 2110.
(02) 9817 6030

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  1. Steph said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

    I am intrigued by the sound of the Oz roll, you may have succeeded in compelling me to pay it a visit! That’s so great about the complimentary dishes, not many places would do that.

  2. Christie @ Fig & Cherry said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

    The truffled cauliflower and puree looks and sounds amazing!

  3. mallory elise said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    those fish are abso-frickin-lutely amazing!!! ahk i want them RIGHT NOW!

  4. shez said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    these dishes look wonderfully finished – as if a huge amount of care has been put into them. and how lovely to have such great service.

  5. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

    Aww and here I was all excited that you’d made some savoury dishes on your blog!

    The food looks great, will definitely want to pay a visit although knowing prices beforehand would be great.

  6. Y said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

    Prices? Lorraine, do like I do and embrace the element of surprise at the end of the meal.

  7. the caked crusader said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    I’ll have one of everything please.

  8. Julia @ Mรฉlanger said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

    Nice work on the camera smuggle into the restaurant! ๐Ÿ™‚ I went out to Japanese on Friday night, but it did not look anywhere as good as this!

  9. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

    The gold fish are really pretty, although I always worry what I’m eating with colours like that!

    Do your think the duck egg was cooked at 64 degrees?

  10. anna said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

    That’s some seriously good service! The tempura looks lovely – I don’t eat enough tempura, I’m realizing.

  11. Nelle said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 6:13 am

    I have to remember this if we ever get to Woolwich ๐Ÿ˜‰ We spent Easter in N.Y. and loved the spotted pig in Village. ๐Ÿ™‚ Completely different but the experience was well worth while.

  12. Y said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 9:52 am

    Nelle, Woolwich in Sydney is always just a plane-ride away ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Y said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 9:54 am

    Julia : We don’t normally take pictures, but I couldn’t resist this time.

    Arwen : Yes, and it was great! I’ve been meaning to try a similar thing at home, actually.

  14. Jude said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

    For a second I thought you were cooking up carp or something. This is a nice surprise. Looks like a wonderful meal and the gold fish looks quite intriguing.

  15. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    I can’t think of a quicker way to get into serious trouble! lol

  16. Howard said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

    I booked this place for my Anniversary but we had to cancel, looks like I will have to make a visit after all. As expected the food looks amazing, as good if not better than a custom degustation I had at Azuma.

  17. Dana said,

    April 22, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

    That miso cod looks really good! Yum!

  18. J said,

    December 2, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

    Who is Y? Y is who?
    I must remember to bring an SLR on my next visit to a restaurant and perhaps I too will be able to enjoy fantastic service and maybe “embrace the element of surprise at the end of the meal”!
    Koi is my local and is fantastic! Get a seat at the end of the sushi bar and watch the Master at work!

  19. Y said,

    December 2, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    Hi J,

    I must say, I’ve been back to Koi since, but have yet to eat at the sushi bar. Will try that next time! I’m a bit confused by your comment though – do you not usually get good service without a camera?

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