Nestled in between the hustle and bustle that is Kuwait City, Koji is an oasis of calm serving up traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine, and also putting on a little bit of a show at the teppanyaki grill too.
From the moment you step in to Koji you’ll feel transported elsewhere, and your troubles will slide away. The cascading water feature that greets you as you walk through the door will soothe you and the waiting staff will welcome you with a smile. There are two bars at Koji and at each one you can dine whilst watching. The first one is in front of the of the sushi prep area where you can see the fish being sliced and prepared, the second one is at the teppanyaki grill and here you can really see a show of your meal being made.
The décor, like the menu, is traditional yet modern and you can sit at the aforementioned bars or at a regular table. There is a private room that seats around seven people where you can dine at your leisure.
When we took our seats we were immediately served green tea, while we browsed the menu. This is an easy and fun experience at Koji. You’ll be handed hard copy menus to look at but you’ll also be able to flick through images of all the dishes on a supplied iPad.
We started with a bowl of Miso Soup, always a great way to kick off any Japanese meal, and also snacked on those addictive Edamami. We then tucked into the Koji Special Salada, a delicious and fresh salad of lettuce, salmon, kani, cherry tomato, avocado, tobico.
They have a great selection of appetizers on offer at Koji and after much discussion we opted for Kani Furai, which are tasty Panko breaded crab sticks, Harumaki, which are spring rolls available as vegetarian, shrimp, or kani, and finally what turned out to be our favorite appetizer, Crusty Pop Shrimp. With a name like that it really needs no explanation, except to say they are delicious.
Japanese food is great for sharing and if there are a few of you, then a platter is a great way to go. We went for the Koji Special Platter 21, which as the name states, is a platter of twenty-one pieces of different kinds of sushi, including sashimi, maki rolls, and nigiri. The presentation is as pleasing as the taste and the salmon sashimi was exceptional. We supplemented our platter with some extra Hammour Sashimi which turned out to be one of our favorite dishes.
Then it was time for the show. We took seats at the bar in front of the teppanyaki grill and got ready to watch our dishes being prepared. Not only do you get to see exactly how fresh the ingredients are, and what goes into your meal, the teppanyaki grill master is also a master of his tools. Spatulas, knives, salt and pepper shakers, were all part of his showmanship. Tapping on the grill, swirling them in his fingers, flipping them through the air, this is part show and part cooking as your food will get seasoned and chopped in the process.
The finished dishes were just as impressive. Misono Chef Special was a mix of beef, shrimp, chicken, and vegetables that couldn’t get any fresher off the grill and we also tried the Lobster-Ise-Ebi.
We then moved onto dessert. The Green Tea Ice Cream was an all-round hit at our table with each person devouring a portion to themselves. We also tried Banana Rolls, which were similar to spring rolls with banana inside, served with ice cream, a great combination of hot and cold.
If you are looking to get away from it all and relax in a calm environment while tucking into a feast of Japanese cuisine, then Koji could be your place in the city where you can get away from it all.
Koji is located in Mashoura Towers, behind HSBC bank in Kuwait City. For more information find them on Instgram or call 2246 1882 / 2246 1884 for reservations.
Featured image from @kojikuwait on Instagram.