KOKO Japanese Grill Knoxville is a hit with us!
We really enjoy ethnic food, and Japanese cuisine is no exception. We have a few favorites in this realm, but since a coworker recommends KOKO Japanese Grill constantly to me, I thought it’s time to give it a try. Besides, the Chinese new year is just one month away. But I’m sure you knew that. Let’s start celebrating it now!
KOKO Japanese Grill is located on North Peters road, just off of Cedar Bluff in the same shopping center of Best Buy and Staples. The restaurant itself looks very clean and inviting. It appears to be a family run restaurant, for it is small. Looks to be about 20 tables, and there are a dozen chairs around the sushi bar. We walked in and and were greeted by a really friendly lady, and were told to find a comfortable table. We took a table just across from the sushi chef, hoping we could see what was going on.
I like to dine at restaurants that are small local gems. There is something to be said knowing my dollar is going to support local business rather than larger corporations. Although I cannot say I don’t eat at the big chains as well, I do.
We were greeted by a young lady once seated. She told us about the half priced sushi menu, and recommended some beer to drink. I ordered a beer, and my companion some hot tea. The menu has a wide variety of sushi, a few pages in fact, and they have many appetizers and hibachi style entrees. The prices are really great. If you know me, it’s all about the value, and half priced sushi every night, now that’s music to my ears. Now I’m sounding like a cheap skate. I’m not, I promise…
Alright, I haven’t eaten all day, so let’s order some sushi to start. We ordered the Bombay Roll, (1/2 priced for $6.00) The dragon Roll (1/2 priced for $6.50) and the Joyful roll ($12.95) as recommended by our server. All of them came out together, timely served on a large platter. They looked fantastic, and the flavor was on par. The favorite roll of this round was the Joyful Roll. It had crunchy lobster salad, crab meat, spicy mayo and avocado, topped with fresh cut salmon, seaweed salad, and smelt roe. The ingredients were fresh, and I love the little crunch inside the lobster salad. Just fantastic. You would spend alot more on the same quality at other local sushi restaurants.
Since we also ordered hibachi, we were served some small salads with a homemade ginger dressing, and some hot soup. The soup was the typical japanese variety, not too heavy on ingredients, but the flavor was great and stout. Not a watered down soup right here.We ordered the Shrimp hibachi ($8.95), served with fried rice, carrots, and sautéed veggies of mushrooms, yellow onions, and Zucchini. There was a light teriyaki flavor, and the value was better than expected. While we were eating this, we decided to try one more roll. We asked the server if the chef could come up with something. A favorite trick of ours to get something a little special. Not to go off topic, but when I go thru the drive thru smoothy places, I never order what I want. I always ask the cashier to make me their favorite smoothies. Each time I think I just had the best smoothy I have ever had. Let’s get back on topic.
So we ordered the roll, and it came out. Holy cow. I wish I could tell you the name, but they didn’t name it. It had fresh mango, some awesome mango something sauce, scallops and a bunch of other ingredients. I don’t remember having fruit on sushi, it is absolutely awesome. Oh!, I almost forgot, there was a little bit of spice in there too, maybe jalapeño? It was perfect.
They had a picture on the table of their special dessert, the Banana Roll ($4.95). Ok, this thing was awesome. It was a banana with a little bit of chocolate, inside of a spiring roll, battered and fried with some coconut. What a way to finish the meal. It was huge too! We ate so much food we couldn’t finish it.
We don’t eat out too often, usually opting to cook dinner at home with the family, but when we do we want it to be something special. We are fortunate to have found KOKO Japanese Grill, a perfect combination of family friendly, great food and service, and an awesome value. If you haven’t tried them yet, go try them. Caution, they are closed on Sundays….