373 Broadway, San Francisco
There were a number of restaurants I wanted to try in San Francisco and Coi was definitely one of them. It was one of the more indulgent dinners we planned to have in San Francisco. I actually wanted to try Saison instead, but the menu ranges from $180-$230 on any given day which I was a bit scared about. I therefore decided on Coi, and with their 12-course degustation at $165, it was pretty much over the limit of what I would pay for food, even on a special occasion.
That night, we took a bus to the corner of Broadway and Columbus Ave and walked to Coi. We walked past all these strip clubs wondering whether we were at the right place, but thankfully, we found Coi soon enough.
The restaurant was best described as minimalist, with a lot of decorations from nature like dried fungus and lights made of branches.
We got seated and was soon presented with got an amuse bouche, which was rice crisps with avocado & cucumber mousse. Then the 12 course degustation started.
A beetroot finely sliced and made into a beautiful blood red rose with rose flavored ice. Hubby’s one has yoghurt and mine didn’t, due to my lactose issue. Although this combination strangely works, hubby and I are not huge fans of rose nor beetroot.
Not too sure how this is Oyster under Glass, more like oyster under a blanket. Two little oysters are hidden under a yuzu gele. The oyster tasted slightly fishy although the yuzu glee tasted pretty good, the gele “glass” was a bit hard.
I mentioned that I was slightly lactose intolerant, so hubby got the inverted fromage blanc tart which hubby wasn’t very impressed with and I got a bowl of cold carrot with carrot juice. It was not very appetising at all.
Next was Sunchoke (also know as Jerusalem Artichoke) soup served with a freshly baked dinner roll. The dinner roll tasted beautiful with delicious butter and we loved the soup. It was creamy with bits of mushroom and chewy grains to enhance the texture. This was probably one of the better dishes from Coi.
We were presented with this black lump that piqued our curiosity. What IS this? Well well well, we are about to find out.
The waiter explained that the kohlrabi was cooked in this tobacco lump. The chef later cracked this open and decorate it with bits of herbs and radishes. It looked beautiful and the kohlrabi was nicely smoked. Not a bad dish and I did appreciate the effort and unique cooking method, however, the dish wasn’t mind blowing.
I wasn’t too sure whether this is breakfast or a snack you eat in the cinema. In this bowl there’s quinoa, sorghum popcorn, cauliflower and almond. It has an interesting texture admittedly, but really we didn’t see anything special about it, especially since it was quite tasteless.
Another type of bread was served for this course, but not too sure what the use of the bread as there were no sauce scoop off with this course. Perhaps it’s to satiate our appetites because everything was so small.
This course consisted of slithers of Monterey Abalone. It was actually quite yummy with flavoured breadcrumbs and green salsa verde. The abalone was quite tender also, once again one of the better dish of this night.
Although this lamb doesn’t look quite cooked, it was actually cooked in a very low temperature for hours. It tasted good but once again not outstanding.
Once again concerned with my lactose intolerance, Hubby got the cheese with fruit leathers and I got a chocolate sorbet. Hubby actually thought the fruit leathers with cheese was quite nice, a bit like fruit roll ups. We also didn’t mind the chocolate sorbet, although it tasted like a good run-of-the-mill sorbet really.
This dish was actually quite nice- it’s like a toasted marshmellow meringue with lime sorbet crushies underneath.
11th course: Grapefruit
To be honest I don’t really remember this course… the only thing I remember is that there is a dollop of grapefruit essence which you are supposed to put onto your wrist to smell it, and that I didn’t finish this dish.
Our last course was passionfruit baba. By the time this course came we were bored and couldn’t wait to leave. Actually, this sentiment started around the 9th course, but this course really broke the camel’s back. The cake itself wasn’t too bad, it was the shiso “soup” that went with it. I don’t know how you can f*ck up shiso but they seriously got it all wrong. The shiso soup had a weird flavour to it, which meant I had to eat around it.
Our bill came to $468, which included 18% gratuity. To sweeten things up they gave us a plate of sugar-coated raspberry but I still almost cried as I handed the credit card over. The ironic thing was that the plate of sugar-coated raspberry was the best dish of the night. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I can appreciate the whole concept of finding the best ingredients and taking time to think of innovative ways to cook it, but if the output of the dishes was not outstanding and the restaurant charges an astronomical amount for it, well that’s just simply unacceptable. 4/10
To check out the other places we visited in USA, please visit my USA page here.