624 Davis Street
Evanston, IL 60201
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Press & Reviews


WGN TV: Lunchbreak: Garlic prawns

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Evanston Chamber Awards

by Gina Grillo, Pioneer Press, Chicago Tribune


"Linda Del Bosque, Evanston Woman Magazine, left, and Sandy Chen of Koi Fine Asian Cuisine, both of Evanston"


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Brilliant Business Women who have made a difference!

by Evanston Woman Magazine


"Sandy Chen has dedicated her life to continuous learning-changing with the times and staying flexible in an ever-evoloving line of work. She transposes her passion and influence to the restaurant with ease. Not only has she absorbed as much as possible about her industry over two decades in the restaurant business, but shares her expertise while mentoring individuals who become leaders."


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Meet regional restaurateur Sandy Chen

by UIC Alumni


"All Chinese food is not the same. Just ask Sandy Chen ’90 ATTENDEE, owner of Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge, Evanston, Ill., who has worked in and managed restaurants in the Chicago area since 1984. Chen grew up in the village of Wen Zhoud in southern China and moved to the U.S. at age 16. After many years working in kitchens on the North Shore and in the city, she ran a couple of restaurants before opening Koi in 2004."


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Koi - A Decade of Dining

by Today's Chicago Woman Magazine


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"Dim sum is hardly the traditional brunch fare to pair with a Bloody Mary but that's just the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that has put Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge on the map in Evanston's dining scene. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, we caught up with owner Sandy Chen.

The secrect of success at Koi? I strive to leep leading and learning, which means providing guests with fresh, innovative products like our recently launched dim sum service, and personally leading my team daily to deliver the best possible dining experience... "


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Chicagoan: Sandy Chen

by Cameron Zhang, Mandarin Quarterly


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"A Chicagoan for twenty-plus years, high-end restauranteur Sandy Chen opens up on the inspirations and lessons acquired from her career in hospitality, the emotional connection between host and guest, and how she looks at business to see the meaning of life."


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Dish Weekly Dining Guide: Koi

by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times


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" It was at the quiet, unassuming pan-Asian Evanston restaurant Koi where I've had one of my more unusual experiences—and I don't mean that in a bad way.

First, the staff is extremely friendly, and General Manager Dennis Sotos typifies that attitude. Sotos rolls with the punches, even regaling some patrons with stories about his life. (He told my dining companion and me one story that was a doozy.)

The menu itself is quite expansive, covering Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisines. One example is the page describing "8 Distinct Regional Cuisines of China," which spotlights everything from Peking sweet and sour crispy pork chops (Cantonese region) to cumin lamb (Shandong region)..."


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Food & Restaurant Review



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"Located in the heart of Evanston at 624 Davis Street is Koi Fine Asian Cuisine and Lounge. Transformed from its humble beginnings into an upscale, spacious experience, guests are transported to another part of the world.

With a comfortable lounge to wait for a table, relaxing music, and lighting you almost picture a massage table awaiting around the corner. There is a full sushi and separate cocktail bar for patrons and now is the time to open the front patio doors to get a full breeze in the dining room. Drinks are not to be missed from the lychee sangria to martinis for every range of taste. If that doesn’t wet your whistle then look for an upcoming sake fest in the middle of July... "


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Not just for guacamole, avocados a versatile super food

The Doings La Grange - A Chicago Sun-Times Pubication


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"New recipes are pulling avocados out of their familiar guacamole bowl. From dressings for fish salads to a new take on french fries — you can tell your guac to take a walk. Well, maybe just a short walk.


At Koi in Evanston, raw fish expert Kenny Tan is as knowledgeable about powerful ingredients as he is in using a sushi knife. Tan gives the dressing for his new shrimp salad a bright green color and creamy texture by including avocados in the blender with citrus juices and cilantro..."


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What’s Cooking?

North Shore Magazine


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"Modern-day foodies dash around town trying all the best restaurants, but many also spend hours watching cooking shows and consider themselves kitchen pros. Yet, after that great tuna poke or a perfect bowl of Bolognese at their favorite local spot, domers are inspried to pull out their pots and pans at home, which is why chef-led cooking classes at restaurants are growing trend around the North Shore. From swanky group cocktail classes to informal training with a French chef, restaurants have figured our how to keep you coming in to dine and send you home with a few tricks, Here, five chefs leading the charge...


Kenny Tan, Sushi Chef, Koi Fine Asian Cusine and Lounge. Kenny Tan treats guests to a sushi demostration at the Sushi Chef's Table with a full view of Tan's work area at the intimate sushi bar..."


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Restaurant Review: Taste real Chinese food at Koi

The Daily Northwestern


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"Evanston has its fair share of Asian restaurants, but Koi, 624 Davis St., might be the best of the bunch. When it comes to Chinese food, I’m a harsh critic. I’m half Chinese, and my grandparents were both excellent at making authentic Chinese dishes like spicy twice-cooked pork, mapo tofu and zong zi, or bamboo rice wraps. My mom continues the cooking tradition, so I'm spoiled when it comes to Chinese cuisine..."


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Friday Food Porn: Hot Chick!







"Cantonese crispy chicken, a bone-in half chicken marinated and fried, $13.99, one of the Yue cuisine dishes from Chef Mark Tsang, a native of Canton Province in southern China, at Koi in Evanston."


New Koi Menu Highlights Authentic Chinese Fare

Patch Network - Evanston


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"Looking for some good, traditional Chinese food? Skip the trip to Chinatown and head to Koi Chinese and Sushi in nearby Evanston...


I’ve been to the spot at 624 Davis St. a few times since it opened seven years ago while I was a student in Northwestern. I’d taken advantage of its lovely décor for a Valentine’s Day date, spacious back room for hosting big groups and enjoyed their great drink specials with friends. But it had been more than a year since their announcement of a new look and menu brought me in to reexamine the restaurant."


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Feeling KOI About It: A Facelift and Updated Menu

Make It Better Magazine


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"There’s a Chinese revolution happening on Davis Street in Evanston.


First opened in 2003, Koi has been a long-time local favorite for Chinese, Thai and sushi, but it had gotten a bit stale. Management must have been feeling the pinch from nearby competitors Joy Yee’s, Lulu’s, Cozy Noodle and Pine Yard, because they’ve been making some changes, and you can feel the difference. I’ve always found many of Koi’s dishes to be overly sweet, but I was enticed back by a never-ending stream of press releases touting their new menu, special cooking classes and new décor. And the result is an improvement. ..."


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Chinese Food By the Numbers: Koi













"Today's by the numbers post takes us up to Evanston, to Koi, a popular Chinese and sushi spot among locals and those looking to get out of the city for a night. Just how popular is Koi?


In a single month Koi goes through: 800 pounds of white rice, 80 gallons of soy sauce, 10,000 fortune cookies

The restaurant dishes up more than 1,000 servings of their most popular items: 389 Mongolian plates, 362 General Tao's plates, 349 Koi Sesame plates. And the restaurant fulfills 1,565 carryout and delivery orders per month. "

Koi Grand Unveiling Party



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"I enjoy Asian food, so when I heard about Koi's grand unveiling party, I knew i had to attend. This party debut Koi's new look and menu. It allowed people the opportunity to taste various items from the menu. I must say, Koi's party was a hit.


When you enter Koi, you immediately note the beautiful Asian décor. Despite the restaurant being quite spacious, due to the soft lighting and music playing in the background it exudes and intimate ambiance..."


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Get a little Koi


"The city of Chicago has an abundance of hip and trendy restaurants and for those who dwell close to downtown, the notion of migrating out of the urban jungle towards suburbia for a good meal seems simply ridiculous.

But just across the northern border, in the city of Evanston, lies an intimate eatery worth exploring. It’s a place called Koi, and it’s all things Asian cool. Rooted right in the center of this hip college town, Koi is an ideal stop either after a movie at the Century 12 Evanston movie theater on Maple Avenue or before meeting friends at one of several great music venues nearby..."


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Midday Fix - Make Your Own Sushi

WGN 9 News

Chef Bing Zhou of Koi restaurant prepares Edamame Dumplings

NBC News Chicago

Chef Bing Zhou featured in WGN News Lunchbreak

A Newsradio 780 WBBM Restaurant Review

by Sherman Kaplan


Broadcast Something very interesting has been happening to Asian restaurants lately. Newer ones are opening as Chinese coupled with Japanese sushi. Koi, at 624 Davis Street in Evanston fits the bill, and does a very good job with both variations.

The restaurant's décor has a restrained touch with not a lot of visual cues to suggest the Asian Fusion concept. Koi is also different from most traditional Chinese restaurants. Instead of offering the dozens and dozens of choices available at sit down and carry-outs alike, Koi's menu is much shorter. But, what is prepared and served is uniformly excellent.

We began a recent night with appetizers. Shrimp rolls come three to the order with a crisp crust and mild flavor. A trio of accent sauces, sweet, mustard and chile peppers is the set up.

Among other choices, the range can be as simple as a small bowl of edamame beans to a combination platter of hot appetizers including fried or steamed pot stickers and beef or chicken satays with peanut sauce. It's not all strictly Chinese, but, Koi seems more interested in a variety of foods in handsome presentation, than it does in following strict guidelines.

We got a sample of what comes from the Sushi Combo Plates with a starter platter. It includes four different sushi pieces and one maki roll. The seafood was perfectly fresh, with slivers of pickled ginger and wasabi for accent.

As for the full portioned menu of entrees, one of the more interesting selections was soong. Diced chicken and vegetables are served in a mild sauce. The idea is to scoop a spoonful or two into a lettuce leaf, then eat it out of hand. Steamed sea bass, lemon chicken and Peking Duck are among other Chef's recommendations. The Peking Duck requires a day's advance order. But, crispy duck is there for the asking. Recently, duck with mushrooms was being served as a daily special. Its mild flavor and texture worked perfectly.

Koi's menu offers many platters of chicken, beef or shrimp around a central theme. For instance, General's Tso's Chicken may be the standard, but versions are served in the two other styles or in a combination with all three.

Several meatless entrees are also served. Among them is bean curd, or tofu, braised as if it were meat, and served with bok choy and other vegetables in a flavorful oyster sauce.

Expect to spend about $50 to $60 a couple plus add ons. There is valet parking on weekends. Koi is at 624 Davis Street in Evanston and has a K/RATING of 19.5/20.