July 13, 2012
Koi This is the best place to go for a light hearty meal. I am a vegetarian (all my life) and was diagnosed with Celiac's disease after years of testing. Of coarse my first reaction was relief of pin-pointing my health problems but reading Gluten-free books I felt boxed in with limited option's for food choices and going out to eat. I must confess I relied on Pasta and Wheat products that weaning it out of my daily diet was taking the enjoyment of my eating experience away and going to be a challenge.
My mother & I decided on Koi because I get free parking across the way (I work down town). I was delightfully surprised to get a seat right away on a Friday night. We ordered the 'double dipper' (Corn Nachos with Feta cream & Black bean salsa). I've never been a fan of black beans but the way the Salsa is marinaded with exotic fruits & harvest veggies I was practically licking the bowl! Both our main dishes were perfectly cooked and decent per-portions. Believe it or not they have Vegetarian dishes and Gluten free options. "Finally I can eat out again and Not fear getting sick!!!"
I must also comment on the staff who have been easy going, helpful and understanding about my food choices(Unlike most places where they roll their eyes or give me a look to say "thanks lady, for making my job a little more difficult today!") Koi also offers late nights, live music, local comedy shows, unknown struggling artist paintings and promotes Vegetarian lifestyle... which means a lot to me.
July 11, 2012
Red Deer, Alberta.
Koi is a great place for some trendy food during the lunch hour. If you work down town Calgary, there's no reason not to pop over and try out Cafe Koi.
I had a great curry dish served with rice that was featured on their gluten free menu. The curry had great rich flavours and was served in a perfect amount for lunch time. I hope to get back to try out some more food as soon as possible.
The staff at Koi were all very nice and can make a very good mojito. The prices were very fair especially considering how close they are to the down town core.
May 31, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised by Cafe Koi. I went here because I wanted to go to a vegetarian friendly place that was near the Telus Convention Center.
They accommodated my sister and I despite the fact that they were about to host an event and my sister arrived late. They were really friendly, and the food that we got was SOOOO good! My sister got the Buddha burger, and I got the Lotus bowl.
When we were looking over the menu my sister asked me if I minded her getting a burger, and I said no. Then I noticed she ordered the Buddha burger, and I decided to refrain from pointing out that she order a vegan black bean burger! She LOVED it! I loved the Lotus bowl too! The sauce was worth the award it has won in the past!
They also take $2 off of vegetarian meals on Monday nights which was an added bonus. I also think it is great that the support the local community music scene and have a couple of open mic nights a week.
I definitely recommend checking this place out if you are in downtown Calgary! .
March 2, 2012
disclaimer - i liked koi so much, that i threw my wedding after party here.
why koi is amazing is the result of attention to particular details. i am picky in general, but it is in this pickiness that i find that there is indeed, a place that gets it. koi is the balance of culture, food and community that makes it a place that is of appeal to me. it isn't just the delicious food, it isn't just the artwork or the live musicians that play and display there. it's a combination of everything and i def love this joint. feel good vibes abound, deliciousness and audible delectables.
January 30, 2012
My fiance and I go to Cafe Koi a lot, and have always enjoyed our time there. The ingredients are fresh, and inspired, the service is trendy, and the space is relaxing.
I love that they put cranberries in their water.
Everytime we go we usually order the same thing: Ninja Food or the Szechwan Chili Fire Bowl. I love the salmon in the Ninja Food.
Always leave there feeling full, but happy.
March 12, 2012
I loved the koi cafe I had a wonderful experience, and the staff is so friendly! I was also happy to see that they have a lot of options for vegetarians, I would recommend this for people with a vegetarian diet the gyoza and buddha bowl were amazing, and I will definitely be returning for more delicious cafe koi dishes in the near future!
March 11, 2012
Best canadiano in town.. I wish they were open on Sundays cuz the food is so fresh and amazing!
January 25, 2012
Tofu Ginger is something amazing. My fiance thought it was chicken it was spiced that well; meat eaters and even the 'I hate all vegetables and eat only meat' jocks will become believers! Everything is fresh, organic, and delicious.
Be sure to come on a night with live performances, but make reservations and come with an understanding that the service may be slower on those nights.
It's funny I have walked past this place many times while at Cafe Med or Vicious Circle; never went in - I always assumed it was Sushi. Glad I did.
Fresh, Creative, Unique
July 21, 2011 Review by: Cowtownfoodie
Something a little different to try for lunch! If you love miso, ginger, and all the veggies you can find, Koi will have something to please you. I love that there are great meat and fish dishes, but if you want to go veggie, you won't miss the meat. There is tons of flavour in each bite without being too spicy, and the sauces are light and balance well with the flavours of the food.
December 16, 2011
This is an incredible establisment. I reccommend it to anyone whi wants to enjoy a nice lunch, have a tasty dinner, enjoy a light evening full of music and be served by wecoming and helpful employees :) Also the food is amazing!
January 2, 2012
Original menu, healthy portions, exciting events and a wonderful staff. I'm rarely this pleased with a dining experience.
The Go To Vegan
Cozy, Veg-Friendly Cafe Koi. July 20, 2011
Cafe Koi is a very vegetarian-friendly restaurant located in downtown Calgary. It has a page on the menu dedicated to its vegan and vegetarian options, which is quite nice as in chain restaurants you have to pick through all the other options to find something veg-friendly. The menu has a few vegan options that are absolutely delicious, but I did have to check with the servers to make sure what I’m ordering is vegan. The black bean Buddha burger, for example, is vegan, but the flatbread it comes wrapped in is not as it contains milk. So just ask if you’re unsure. The servers know their stuff and are super friendly, unlike at chain restaurants where they tend to look at you with a blank stare when you say the word vegan. It’s nice when servers are informed and know what’s in the food they serve.
My favourite appetizer would have to be gyoza, their pan-seared vegetable dumplings. They are the best vegetable dumplings I’ve ever had in a restaurant. They’re the perfect amount of crispiness, and the cracked pepper topping is delicious.
My favourite main dish is the Lotus Bowl. I normally don’t like ordering vegetable bowls in restaurants, as I find the veggies are always limper than they could be, but this one is so good. Maple chili greens topped with seared five spiced tofu sticks. You can taste cinnamon which is oh so good on tofu. The sauce is sweet and the mushrooms, bean pods and various other vegetables have the perfect amount of firmness.
The place is cozy and intimate. I like that they showcase local artists, so there is usually interesting art hanging on the walls. I was there during Stampede week, and that night they decided to offer an alternative for people who really aren’t into it. They had a bunch of musicians playing that night. I didn’t stay because of other plans, but I like that they arranged something for people who have no desire to spend their night at Cowboys or on the Stampede grounds, like myself. Cafe Koi is a great place for a date or catching up with an old friend.
by Notable : March 3, 2011
If you’re looking for a place in Calgary that serves healthy food that will satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians, then Café Koi is your best bet. The food at Café Koi is very Asian-inspired, though there are Mediterranean and Spanish touches as well. To kick off your Café Koi experience right, be sure to check out the pan seared If I Were Ginger Beef with fresh ginger, onions, red pepper and carrots glazed with carmelized honey. Another must-try appetizer is the Yam-abushi yam wedges which are served with garlic coconut curry and miso dip.
Café Koi is well known for their karma (read: vegetarian) bowls. What’s more, Café Koi encourages vegetarian diners by offering deals on vegetarian meals on Vegelicious Mondays. The Lotus Bowl remains their most popular vegetarian dish, and it’s easy to see why: maple chilli greens topped with seared five spiced tofu sticks. Another popular vegetarian dish is the Buddha Burger, with a handcrafted secret vegan black bean patty served with carmelized onions on flatbread with roasted beets, spinach and peashoots; this tasty meal is even a favourite among non-vegetarians.
For a meal with meat, either the Ninja Food bowl with Thai-roasted salmon and ginger-fried Asian greens or Crouching Tiger bowl with ginger fired prawns, sticky chilli maple greens and mushrooms will satiate your cravings.
Beyond the great food, Café Koi is an awesome place to hang out with friends, as the intimate atmosphere will make you feel right at home. Café Koi has two open mic nights during the week, the occasional comedy improv night and they showcase the best musical artists and DJs in Calgary on the weekends. The space also serves as an art gallery, with new art on the walls every month. Any night you visit, a trip to Café Koi is sure to be a cultural experience. Café Koi, 1011 1st Street SW, Calgary, 403-206-1564
Where Magazine Nov/Dec 2010
Koi = Love
This post was guest blogged by Caitlin Quarrington.
January 02, 2011 - If I was a trendier, more get-with-the-times type of girl, I would have discovered Café Koi (a.k.a.
koi) ages ago. It’s been open for at least a couple years now, tucked away on 1st Street SW a
couple doors down from Vicious Circle. In fact, I have walked past koi many times on my way to
enjoy Vicious Circle’s infamous martini list, and admired the Zen-like, modern Asian fusion vibe
that koi gives off. It is small, dimly-lit, with funky black-and-white photo murals and angular
furniture. A flat-screen television sometimes plays old movies. And best of all, koi embraces
culture. There is a regular calendar of events that includes DJ’s, open mic nights, comedy, and
literature. In fact, the first time I went to koi, it was for a book launch, and I only ate the
complimentary yam fries on the counter (which I think may have been intended for the author
and her agent, but hey, they were getting cold!).
At any rate, last night my brother and I were out on the town and hungry, but strapped for time.
I thought of koi as it was close, and the “alternative takeout” tagline on the board out front didn’t
hurt, either. We were warmly greeted and promptly given menus and water with cranberries.
What is it about fancied-up water that charms me so much? Throw cucumber slices, berries, or
citrus wedges into a plain-old glass of tap water, and I’m putty in your hands.
The two of us selected the Buddha Bowl and the Lotus Bowl – two selections off of the vegetarian
portion of their menu (and there are plenty of options there; this should please the many healthconscious
individuals, vegans or otherwise, who often despair at Calgary’s beef-loving culture).
The Buddha Bowl is essentially a coconut-curry broth with a bevy of fresh veggie chunks thrown
in and topped with five-spice seared tofu slices. The Lotus Bowl (an award-winning dish, thanks
to FFWD magazine voters) is a mixture of maple chili greens with the same five-spice seared
tofu. As take-out dishes, both came with sides of rice topped with black sesame seeds – neither of
us elected to mix the rice in with our dishes, but it perhaps would have helped to absorb some of
the liquidy broth that the veggies were swimming in.
Both bowls, even after being toted several blocks through -20 degree weather, remained hot and
tasted fresh. The vegetables were cooked well, retaining just the right amount of crunch and not
getting dominated by the broths they were in. I sometimes find when restaurants attempt stirfries
that the sauces become the focal point of the dish. Thankfully, koi understands the balance
between spices, sauces, veggies, and proteins (in this case, our tofu). Everything had its own
flavour, yet melded together as a cohesive unit. My only regret is not putting some of that rice in
to enjoy with the bowl – I think it would have helped, as the coconut curry broth of the Buddha
bowl was just a little more liquid in nature than I’ve sometimes had, and the rice on its own does
not pack much of a flavour punch.
Clocking in at under $30 for the two bowls, it was an inexpensive way to enjoy some fresh,
healthy food; koi is far superior to any other take-out food I’ve had in terms of service, nutrition,
and even price (nothing bothers me more than forking out a premium just to get some veggies
that have seen better days). As we dug in with chopsticks and enjoyed an indie film screening at
Cantos, I couldn’t ask for a better food or entertainment experience. I promise to return to koi to
eat-in and savour the ambience along with the delicious food, especially if they’ve got some live
"Perfectly pan seared" - Food Fanatic Blog
January 10, 2010
- Cafe Koi is merely a block away from my office located at 1011-1st Street SW and it always slips my mind for lunch.. Until today!
This restaurant's menu is vegan, vegetarian and diet friendly with a lot of options for vegetarians which is great in this carnivorous city. They have "Vegelicious Monday's" and all veggie dishes are $2 off.... I dined with my two work wives and this is what we ate:
Green gyoza?! These are pan-seared vegetarian dumplings with citrus soy dip. I was a bit apprehensive about eating gyoza sans pork but they were really delicious and perfectly pan seared. I would order these again for $7.95
The Buddah Bowl" which was vegetarian coconut curry bowl featuring mushrooms, broccoli, and other fresh veggies topped with seared five spiced tofu. The vegetables are so fresh. My co-worker loved this creation and said she will be back!
The Buddah Bowl came with a side of rice as well.
"Dr. Phang's Beef & Broccoli" which had tender sirloin strips, crunchy broccoli and mushrooms seared and glazed in the Dr.'s secret satay sauce. My work wife also really enjoyed this dish and was happy it was "peppers free"
I noshed on the "Sea of Happiness" with fresh mussels, prawns, and salmon morsels (chunks!) braised in their favorite coconut curry and loaded with vegetables. The coconut curry was sooo delicious and sweet... It used coconut milk so was vegan friendly (minus all the crustaceans!).. I would definitely dine at Koi again. Super fresh food and tons of veggies :)
"Healthy Savoury Lunch Bowls - Cafe Koi" by
August 10, 2010 - Craving a lunch not layered between bread, I headed to the cool space of Cafe Koi.
Among the Asian-inspired dishes is a long list of vegetarian options. The Lotus Bowl ($13.49) is heaped with crispy greens (broccoli, bok choy, onions, and peppers) and seared tofu rubbed with five spice. The fragrant protein plays against crunchy roasted almonds, with everything tossed in a sticky chilli maple sauce.
Cafe Koi's signature bowls are enormous. The Szechuan chilli fire bowl ($15.49) bursts with plump tiger prawns and slippery Shanghai noodles.
Colourful portobello mushrooms, red peppers, spinach and napa cabbage fill out my daily recommended vegetable intake.
More meat-heavy dishes are also available including grilled sirloin and a popular Thai salmon.
Ordering is cafeteria-style (from the large wall menu, then pay at the counter) but food is served to your table for optimum stretching out of your lunch time.
Of note, vegetarian bowls/entrees are $2 off on Mondays.
From Our Customers...
"A Lazy Monday Night Vegetarian Dinner at Koi - Cafe Koi" by jen @ chocolateandginger.com
January 10, 2010
- Last night after the gym, me and the boy were in a lazy mood, so on our walk home, we stopped by one of our favourite casual eateries, Koi, for some vegetarian-friendly asian cuisine..
It’s a small space with dark black walls and bright red accents designed as a cool hangout for artful minded individuals. They feature artwork by local artists that change each month as well as host various events like spoken word, open mic and live music with a DJ on certain nights of the week.
The menu features a wide range of delicious and nutritious asian-inspired rice bowls, salads, sandwiches and pastas. Tonight happened to be Vegalicious Monday, which means $2 off all vegetarian rice bowls and $1 off vegetarian appetizers. Woo hoo!
We started off by sharing the gyoza ($8.95) – pan seared vegetarian dumplings encased in a thin spinach wrapper served with a side of citrus soy dip. These were awesome, the flavour tasted almost exactly like a real japanese gyoza (minus the fatty pork). I definitely could have eaten another plate of these..
For the boy’s entree, he went with the Buddha Burger – a handcrafted secret vegan black bean patty seared in garlic olive oil and oven roasted caramelized onions. It was served on a bed of cream cheese flatbread with roasted beets, spinach and pea shoots.
A really hearty burger with lots of flavour and “meatiness” to it and the flatbread was wonderfully fresh and pillowy. The boy loved this dish! He ordered it with a side of their signature yam abushi wedges with a green coconut curry dipping sauce. The best yam fries EVER!! A hard choice to pick my favourite between these and my go-to vegetarian restaurant, The Coup.
I went with my “usual” Lotus Bowl ($14.95) – fluffy white rice topped with a mountain of maple chili stir-fried vegetables and sticks of seared five spice tofu. *An award winning bowl as voted by FFWD magazine* The dishes here are so tasty that you really don’t miss the meat.
What if your guests are carnivores? They also offer dishes like their teriyaki steak sandwich, citrus salmon and mediterranean chicken to satisfy everyone’s tastes
If you stop by, be sure to check out their lovely selection of yummy drinks too, a great way to wind down after work on a Friday afternoon ( I recommend the Kimono martini – soho, vodka and lychee juice…swoon)
"A Brilliant Idea and Great Food! - Cafe Koi" by Mary
January 2011 - I'm so excited about this intimate little restaurant in Calgary because it is a hub of creativity and creates the perfect environment to showcase and celebrate local (and I'm sure visiting) talent. Ranging from singer/songwriter to jazz open mike nights, to The Spoken Word poetry evenings and then comedy Improv, the owner obviously appreciates the creative side of life. The ambience is interesting - probably I"ll use the wrong words - it looked contemporary but cozy with embedded wall lights, reds, greys and blacks, small tables and booths, and lots of windows.
The menu is a very interesting collection of Japanese fusion foods - from edamane beans and miso soup, to interesting salads, a huge array of vegetarian cusine, and of course food for those who enjoy meat dishes. The prices were reasonable I think - appetizers started under $10 and entrees ranging from $10 and up. I chose the veggie burger because it was hand-made with black beans, along with yam wedges and a miso sauce (awesome!) and a glass of white wine. We split some edamane beans; a little different because they were rolled in cracked pepper and oil, and I followed up my meal with a coffee.
My tab came to around $30. The entertainment started around 8:30 pm and it was a fun-filled evening of jazz vocalists and instrumentalists (including an accordian player!). If you want to be creatively stimulated and have great food, hit Cafe Koi - it is well worth it!
"A Great Spot! - Cafe Koi" by Gary
January 2011 - I liked everything about Cafe Koi. First impressions were excellent. The lighting and wall art are very tasteful and interesting. There is a lot to take in and appreciate. The menu has good variety; many of the entrees based on Asian cuisine.
I tried the Spicy Chorizo Penne. It was a hearty meal, spiced to perfection and the Chorizo did not disappoint. I do admit that I love Chorizo! It is interesting to note that Cafe Koi has a variety of artsy happenings each week. On Tuesday they have a singer/songwriter evening starting at 8:00 and on Thursdays there is a jazz open stage. Spoken word/poetry evenings are also on the calendar each month.
I was there for the jazz night which featured a variety of people that had come down to share their talents. I tried the Heartland Stickleback red wine. It was a full-bodied flavourful red and complimented the music perfectly. I will definitely go again.
"It deserves 5 stars in my books! - Cafe Koi" by Meghan M.
December 7 2010 - If I find myself constantly craving a dish at a restaurant, it deserves 5 stars in my books! And crave I do...their delicious Warrior Bowl, consisting of Spolumbo's chicken apple sausage, crispy veggies, jasmine rice, and sticky chili maple sauce. The rice and veggies are always cooked to perfection and the sauce is to die for.
Heaven in a bowl, honestly. Aside from the Warrior, I have never been disappointed in a meal at Koi, ever. Their soups are always delicious, no matter what the soup of the day is.
All of the food consists of fresh ingredients and delicious flavour combinations. Very vegetarian & vegan friendly, with enough meat on the menu to satisy meatatarians, I highly recommend Koi!
"Addicted to Koi's Buddah Burger with a side of yams - Cafe Koi" by Kali R.
December 27, 2010- Although I'm not a vegetarian, I'm absolutely addicted to Koi's Buddah Burger with a side of yams. Everything always tastes fresh and complex.
I love that I can order a pot of jasmine tea with any meal. I love the Asian influence. The atmosphere is modern and it's easy to find a spot for lunch hour meetings without having to book ahead.
The food does take a while sometimes, but it's always worth the wait..
"Cute Restaurant - Cafe Koi" by Sarah Louise F.
November 09, 2010 - Likes it - Veggielicious mondays are my favourite kind of mondays. koi has a page on their menu of just vegetarian things (and the friendly staff are usually quite aware of what is vegan or what can be altered). on mondays, the veggie entrees are $2 less, and the appetizers $1 less, which is just lovely.
if you are a first timer at koi and looking for some vegetarian fare, i would totally recommend the veggie gyoza, and the buddha bowl. their drinks are also awesome, and i'd reccomend checking them out on their nights where they host live music.
"Absolutely Fantastic!!!! - Cafe Koi" by Veggie Geek
, 2010 -
Just returned from having dinner here for the second night in a row. Found them in the "Where" magazine in my hotel room, and their list of vegetarian and veg friendly restaurants - I was delighted to discover they are only a short walk from my hotel.
Last night I had the Gyoza (Japanese dumplings) and a Buddha Bowl (coconut curry). Tonight I had a Jade Bowl (edamame) and the Miss Shanghai (a yummy noodle bowl).
Both nights I was delighted with the food and the service. Can't vouch for the carnivore options, but if you're a vegetarian in downtown Calgary looking for some tasty fare, I can heartily recommend this as an option.
The price is awesome, as were both the food and the service. Will definitely be back when I am in town on business again!
"Friday Night Dinners (Special) - Cafe Koi" by T. C. Eats
March 09, 2010 - Likes it - As the second half of the special Dine Out Calgary doubleheader (Belgo for lunch, Cafe Koi for dinner), I went with my uncle to Cafe Koi tonight, and I have to say it has lived up to the name it has created for itself!
Greeted warmly upon entry and led to a nice window spot reserved for us, had a chance to peruse the regular menu -- wasn't large, but the selections looked good. The bowls are the star of the show, and it seriously did not disappoint. But more on that in a second.
The first course was an appetizer platter which was yam wedges, flatbread and hummus and edamame. The flatbread came with a very delicious hummus that had a delightful miso flavouring to it; and a neat little green curry dip for the wedges. Everything went together nicely, and the edamame was a nice touch.
Second course was the star: I ordered the Seoul Beef Noodles, and my uncle got the Shinobi Salmon. The sauce for the salmon was rich and the vegetables were fresh; the noodles were well seasoned and the beef tender and delicious. And so filling -- the portions look small, but they aren't. Perfect sizing (considering of course appetizers came in first).
The dessert course finished the affair; they ran out of the phyllo butter tart but replaced it with a warm oatmeal chocolate cookie with chocolate syrup and gelato to go with the green tea ice cream. Both were well presented and delicious.
For $25 a person, drinks and tip not included -- it was a great deal, and this is DEFINITELY worth a return trip for the other parts of the menu.
This place is an absolute jewel under the Tower!
Mobile review by Dylan
February 27, 2010 - Likes it - Menu simplicity, trendy interior design, and tasteful drinks is what it's all about at Cafe Koi. The Asian-inspired cuisine here is a real treat. From your more traditional coconut curry rice bowls to more inventive flavors such as chicken apple sausage, crispy greens, and a sticky chili maple sauce (as found in The Warrior bowl).
There's plenty of seafood options as well. Browse their diverse drink menu while you're here. Live entertainment can also be indulged in on some nights during the week. Enjoy all that Cafe Koi has to offer!
"Dine Out Calgary Prix Fixe - awesome deal" by Quebecoise
March 08, 2010 - Likes it - My husband and I took advantage of this Dine Out Calgary deal going on until mid-March to sample some of the vittles at Café Koi.
Our meal started with a great sampler appetizer (almost a meal onto itself) of salt & chili-seasoned edamame beans, garlic hummus with warm seasoned pita slices, and chili-roasted yam wedges with a curry dip. Great so far.
The main course was a choice of one of their signature bowls, so I had theh Shogun and my husband had Seoul Food. We both very much enjoyed our mains - particularly that lovely sweet maply sauce that the vegetables are cooked in (the sauce may be found like buried treasure beneath your rice). The vegetables were cooked to my liking too (i.e. further past this tender-crisp BS, but not over-soft). There was a nice variety of onion, baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, broccoli florets, etc. We washed all this down with some Wildrose Velvet Fog.
Then came dessert - we had a choice of green tea ice cream with shaved dark chocolate or the phyllo butter tart. I naturally went for the latter (not a big fan of green tea ice cream... I like the tea, just not in my ice cream). My husband had the ice cream. My phyllo butter tart delivered the anticipated sweetness and was topped with a couple small scoops of vanilla gelato, and sprinkled with some nuts (presumably pistachios). It was fantastic. The service was good too, and the atmosphere is very neat with backlit glass art embedded in the walls, and weird movies playing on their screen by the cocktail tables. Worth a visit for sure. Oh, and for $25 per person for the food (so, drinks were extra, clearly), it was a heck of a deal.
"Yes Please!" by Hazel
March 07, 2010 - Likes it - As us vegetarians know, Calgary is still slightly lacking in good, inventive vegetarian cuisine, including those restaurants that offer creative vegetarian-friendly options alongside their carnivorous plates.
Koi is one such restaurant. Though they do serve meat, their vegetarian options are such that even the most committed carnivore might be tempted to try something among them. I'm talking about vegetarian gyoza (those delightful little Japanese dumplings), a hearty black bean burger with yam fries, or their five-spice tofu stir-fry. There's no reason why a restaurant can't "swing both ways" and Koi is testament to that.
"Yes Please!" by Dinah G.
1/16/2010 - This is a sleek urban brainchild from Vancouver based Philip Wong. Koi is a wonderful accessible lounge bar ambient rich in darker colors and minimal teak-like furniture. Koi has a great selection of really good cocktails, martinis and drink specials but I love the 300 ml option of crisp chilled organic sake or the 300 mil option of plum wine with rich spicy citrus undertones at just under $25.
The food menu is just as impressive with roasted beet salads, roasted chicken, penne feta, citrus salmon sandwiches, teriyaki steak sandwich and signature bowls of salmon and coconut curry. Koi is also a venue for those of you who want to feature your artwork, they have a new artist showing every month and Koi does not take any commission on works that they help the artist sell. Philip then wraps the food, art and drink with live music and performance; every night features something fresh and new. On Tuesdays come and support new singers at an open mike session, on Thursday drink sake and listen to jazz, and on Friday and Saturdays, get down with the freshest DJ sounds. The staff and owner here are quite lovely and I love the community spirit and support Philip wants to highlight. The food is delicious the drinks are scrumptious and the talent just sick, check it all out at Koi!
"Beef Noodle Bowl" by Erik F.
3/13/2010 - Cafe Koi is a very interesting place. It has a mood to it, so to speak. The vibe is laid back, lounge-like, and the lighting and music both make up a nice atmosphere. The menu is quite expansive. Lost of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and noodle/rice bowls. I ordered the Seoul Beef Noodle Bowl: chili-fire Shanghai noodles with grilled sirloin on top. It was fantastic.
A couple of people with me had the Buddha Burger. It's a black bean and veggie burger which they seemed to really enjoy. I didn't have any of the house cocktails but they looked good too. Apparently it turns into more of a lounge later at night, with live music and DJs. There's a small stage to the side of the eating area. I'd like to go back and check out some of the live music, and eat again too.
"Lotus Bowl @ Cafe Koi" by Jetgirly
November 8, 2009 - Cafe Koi is a fantastic find in Calgary! It's a cute little "cafe" that is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner just a few blocks in one direction from Calgary's business core, and a few blocks in the other direction from all the bars and clubs you'd need for a great night out. Obviously, a perfect choice for a quick workday lunch or pre-party tummy-filler!
Chic, sparse decor aside, the main reason I love Cafe Koi is that the menu has something for absolutely everyone. Everyone! They have lots of meat dishes in addition to ample vegetarian selections, and all of their dishes perfectly balance health and flavour. On my last visit I had one of their "signature bowls": toasted almonds, five-spice tofu and crispy greens served over rice in a sticky maple-chili sauce. Ummm... yummm! "Signature bowls" make up a big part of the menu, but they've also got great fusion sandwiches, tempting appetizers and delectible desserts (plus lots of mixed drinks if you're chowing down before going dancing!).
Definitely check out Cafe Koi; it's a crowd-pleasure that's good for your health, your taste buds and your wallet!