First Look

The Koi Way is a Home-Style Indonesian Kitchen in Allen

The panang curry here can be customized with as much (or as little) spice as you like.
The panang curry here can be customized with as much (or as little) spice as you like. Anisha Holla
The Koi Way might just be the new Cheesecake Factory of Asian food. From Chinese to Thai to Indonesian, the family-owned restaurant seems to be taking a stab at home-style dishes from all over Asia. Chinese fried rice, Thai curries and Indonesian soup bowls are just some of the items you can find on the 20-page menu here. But when quantity and quality can co-exist so effortlessly, it’s hard to complain.

The Koi Way’s ”home-style” philosophy begins in the dining room. Small wooden tables adorn the simple white-walled dining room, and small rectangular light fixtures hang above each table. Cutlery here isn’t too fancy, nor is the furniture. It looks, smells and feels like eating at home ... in a weirdly comforting way.
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The Koi Way's no-fuss dining room gives a homey feel. It's almost like you're eating at your own dining table.
Anisha Holla
Of course, the food is no less home-style than the decor. Regardless of which corner of Asia you order from, there’s no doubt it tastes like a good home-cooked meal. The Koi Way’s specialty is Indonesian. Try the Nasi Gudeg ($18), which is a platter with a large scoop of white rice in the middle surrounded by a coconut-milk curry cooked with chunky pieces of jackfruit, tofu, beef and egg. Simple sides of cucumber, tomato and coconut chicken add to the homely feel.

The Indonesian satay ($15.99) comes with your choice of chicken or pork skewers marinated in soy sauce. Drizzled in a tangy peanut sauce, The Koi Way has perhaps mastered the difficult balance between sweet, umami and tang.

Traditional Chinese flavors are also woven into the menu through dishes like lo mein ($14.50), fried rice ($14) and orange chicken ($16). For something less takeout-y, go for the almond chicken ($14). Spiced chicken is plated alongside celery, carrot and almond slices. It’s drenched in the Koi Way’s signature brown sauce — a heavenly blend of soy sauce and garlic.

The menu is conveniently separated by dish origin, allowing an easy page flip to the cuisine you’re craving that day. Prices are on the high side for the portion size. Although if you’re willing to splurge a little, it’s worth sampling something from each section of the menu.
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Cendol, a typical Malaysian drink, comes with tapioca noodles submerged in sweetened coconut milk.
Anisha Holla
Wash down a heavy meal with a glass of Cendol, a traditional beverage with sweetened coconut milk, brown sugar syrup and green tapioca noodles for a satisfying chew at the end of each sip. The Koi Way also serves home-baked Indonesian sweets to take home. If you find yourself without the appetite to try everything in-store, you can grab a box of pineapple cookies or Indonesian spikok bread on your way out. For $9.99, the to-go bakery quantities are quite large. But we have a feeling they won’t last too long.

The Koi Way, 975 Texas State Highway 121, Allen. Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 12 - 9 p.m.
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Anisha Holla is a freelance food writer for the Dallas Observer, a position that grew from her love for both food and storytelling. A university student by day and an avid eater by night, she loves exploring the hidden spots in Dallas’ eclectic food scene.
Contact: Anisha Holla

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