KOA Restaurant NYC
When our friend Tora Matsuoka gave us a call to let us know that his space that housed our beloved SEN has reopened and is now a new concept called KOA, we quickly put on our suits and headed straight over. As soon as we entered KOA, Tora said, “I have someone I want you to meet” and were whisked into the dining room where Tora graciously introduced us to ‘Iron Chef Japan’ Yuji Wakiya! Wakiya is a culinary legend in Japan and has become famous for cooking Chinese cuisine. This is where we learned that Wakiya is the man behind the unbelievable menu and cuisine of KOA.
New York City is obsessed with noodles, specifically Ramen. KOA and Chef Wakiya have taken this to a whole other level. KOA’s take on ramen is downright addicting and some of the best we have ever experienced. The Soy Dan Dan Sorba left us baffled at its brilliance and utterly speechless. The use of artisan crafted soy milk is the key to the most luxurious bowl of noodles on the planet. In fact, we are now so obsessed, we had to return a few days later to have more! The layers of flavor, texture and extraordinary noodles make KOA’s ramen dishes so insanely delicious, we can’t stop thinking about them.
KOA is also much more than noodles, as the Chinese inspired menu with Japanese flair, is packed with exotic dishes and familiar flavors that are expertly crafted. The Hehe-A-He chicken is an incredible dish served with a massive blend of hot Chinese peppers, which is a symphony of flavor for miles! The peppers impart the perfect amount of heat while infusing the entire dish with a smokey backbone of chili essence. This is an example of how Chef Wakiya skillfully transforms a quite simple dish into a work of art. KOA is a restaurant in which the selection of ingredients of the highest quality are front and center. It is clear that every dish was well thought out the smallest detail. This is actually not surprising knowing that uber-talented Tora has partnered with Keiko Ono Aoki, CEO of Benihaha. Between Tora, Chef Wakiya and Keiko Ono Aoki, this is the culinary dream team!
We are always out looking for something on the edge; something different that makes us rethink flavors of a particular cuisine. KOA has done just that. The spin on Chinese cuisine at KOA is refreshing and awakening. To say that we are excited like school children that KOA has arrived, is an understatement. This restaurant is will change your perspective as to what Chinese food can be and turn you into a sorba addict like we are now!
Make it a point to visit KOA asap! Let our friend Tora know that we sent you and enjoy!
12 W 21st Street
(Bet. 5th & 6th Ave)