What’s on the menu at Koi Koi, Kensington Market’s new sake bar
Name: Koi Koi
Contact: 170 Baldwin St., 647-343-4618, koikoibar.com
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Previously: Graffiti’s Bar and Grill
Owner: Linda Dang and Nancy Young (Sukoshi, North Poke)
Chef: Nancy Young
Japanese bar snacks including yakitori skewers (shiitake, chicken thigh, pork shoulder), curry croquettes and potato salad, which all the sake suppliers begged Dang to include on the menu (it’s made with a Kewpie mayo-mustard dressing and is a popular bar bite back in Japan).
Japanese sakes, cocktails and beers (Sapporo, Asahi, Hitachino, Kagua, Kirin Ichiban). The only thing not made in Japan here are the wines.
After 25 years, Graffiti’s owner, Steve Mitchell, was keen to get out of the bar biz, but he wasn’t willing to sell business to just anyone. “He wanted a Kensington local to take it over,” explains Linda Dang, whose business partner Nancy Young was born and raised in the neighbourhood. They thought they could salvage much of the space, but when they started working on it they quickly realized that almost everything needed to be replaced. Now, the only thing left is the roll-up garage door. In the spirit of Graffiti’s, however, they’re hoping to have live music.