The bottom line: I am so glad I found this hidden gem because you can bet I’ll be coming back often!
If you are a reader of our blog and have taken the time to read the “About Us” section then it will come as no surprise to you when I say that sushi is one of my all time favorite foods. I absolutely adore it and it has been a long road to finally get to this point. When people ask me about my love for sushi (especially if they are non sushi eaters) I often find myself saying that it is an acquired taste. You have to start out with the simple type of sushi and then eventually make your way up the chain. And finally, once you have progressed to the sometimes super inventive specialty rolls you will look back and say, “how did I ever live without this!?” At least that is how I feel.
I once told a friend that my sushi eating origins started in my college cafeteria. The response was “wow, humble beginnings huh?” And yes, humble beginnings it was. I mean, what kind of sushi can you find at a college cafeteria? Regardless, my boredom with burgers, sandwiches, salads, and all that other typical college food led me to be adventurous and venture out. I have no regrets. That girl is now the one that can in ONE sitting eat THREE full size sushi rolls. Yes, you heard right. But enough about my sushi story.
The sushi story I do want to tell you about is about a little hidden gem in the middle of the Cotswold area that I recently discovered. I have tried different sushi places in Charlotte and running across this one was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Koishi is a small sushi restaurant that has been converted from what once used to be a Pizza Hut. On the outside you really wouldn’t expect it to house the deliciousness it does. In fact on my first visit there I was doubting whether I would find good sushi. But I am so glad I took the plunge! Once you step inside it is another world. The decor is very nice and interesting. The place looks very clean and well taken care of. Also, during my second visit there they definitely pumped me up for my Friday afternoon since they had EDM music playing through their speakers. I know this might not be everyones music of choice but it wasn’t loud at all. I for sure didn’t mind it!
Now on to the food (Finally! I know.) My co-worker Lisa was kind enough to share with me her order of crab rangoon. I thought it was incredible! Not only was the presentation very pretty (as you can see in the picture) but the food itself was yum! The cream cheese filling was sweet and creamy and blended very well with the pieces of onion thrown into the mixture. Of course it also had crab meat and was served with a dipping sauce. I would definitely order this again. The dough was crunchy and you could tell it was freshly made as the food was still hot when it made it to our table.
As for the sushi…what can I say? I am convinced this place has good if not great sushi. For my meal I ordered the Koishi Signature, and the Crunchy California Roll. Pictured you will also see the Spicy Tuna Roll and the Super Crunchy Roll (No, I did not eat all four. My co-worker Lori also shared with me. Yay!) The Crunchy California Roll was freshly made. It basically is your typical california roll with crab, avocado, cucumber, and masago, only that it is deep fried. There is not much I can say about this roll except that to me it was very very good. It was an interesting take on a very common and classic roll that you find pretty much at any sushi restaurant.
The Koishi Signature is deep fried spicy tuna, avocado, and a special sauce (I swear I wasn’t intentionally on a deep fried kick). This roll was also tasty. You could taste the tuna but it did not leave any type of fishy after taste. It was also spicy but nothing that anyone can’t handle. The avocado served as a refreshening component to the roll since it helped offset the heat from the spicy tuna. The other roll that I had was the Super Crunchy Roll. It had crab, tempura shrimp, cream cheese, avocado, masago, and unagi sauce. This roll had a little bit more of a sweetness to it which I am guessing was due to the cream cheese. I really enjoyed this and all the elements of the roll combined so well together. And as the name states, it does have a crunchy component which can be found in the middle of the roll surrounding the crab and shrimp pieces.
My co-workers also ordered the Pad Thai and General Tao with chicken. They both were satisfied with their dishes and said it is a restaurant that they would come back to. We all mentioned how the service was good and they were willing to substitute the chicken to all white meat for a little extra charge. They were also accommodating and didn’t mind serving a drink made of half lemonade and half sweet tea. And for my sweet tea aficionados apparently the sweet tea they serve here is great. Who would have known!?
One of the best things that I have loved about writing for the blog is that I am able to make discoveries such as this. And another thing is that it has taught me that not always the brightest and shiniest things are the best. The times I have been to Koishi (which has been lunch time) it hasn’t been packed. At first it made me apprehensive but now I am glad because I feel like it’s my hidden gem. One that I am now sharing with you 🙂 Oh and to cap the whole thing, instead of giving you fortune cookies they give you Andes mints. And with that ladies and gents they kind of almost gained the key to my heart!