Photos and Words by Fred Chang
Koy Boston is a Korean-fusion restaurant located just off of Quincy Market in the Faneuil Hall area. It is owned by BU School of Hospitality Administration alumni, Caterina Chang, and her father, who is dubbed "Master Chang." Being able to sit down with a fellow Chang in hospitality, specifically the Food & Beverage industry, and talk to her about her experiences and passion for food, it was a very enlightening experience. The concept for Koy, specifically during dinner, is to be a cozy, artistic atmosphere where you can enjoy a fun dinner with your friends, like how I did, or with a loved one on a special date.
To start my dinner, my friends and I got the Philly Cheesesteak Dumplings, which were homemade dumpling wrappers stuffed with pastrami meat, sweet onions, and melted cheese, and crisped in the style of gyoza or potstickers. The dumplings were served alongside a spicy aioli sauce, which just rounded out the different flavors in the dish. They were crunchy, chewy, and went around the table really quickly.
The second dish we ordered was the octopus: it was braised in white wine, and served with pickled peppers. I am a very picky person when it comes to octopus; the best octopus I ever ate was at Mike Isabella's restaurant, Graffiato. But this octopus managed to match that experience. The octopus was braised to the point of being tender and milky, but the exterior was crisped perfectly, leading to all of the octopus being devoured in a manner of seconds. The pickled peppers helped give contrast to the dish, specifically in providing a smokiness and acidity that balanced out with the inherent brininess of the octopus.
One of my absolute favorites was the Bangkok Cauliflower. It was cauliflower florets that were tempura fried and drizzled in a spicy honey sauce. The idea of spicy honey on cauliflower, it sounded incredibly bizarre and I contemplated skipping this course entirely. But I am really glad I tried it, because the cauliflower itself was soft and almost creamy, but the tempura batter added a nice crunch, while the sauce was rich, sweet, tangy, and finished with a mild kick that even a spice-wuss such as myself could appreciate. I could go back to Koy just for this cauliflower dish.
If you are a meat lover, be sure to order the shortribs. These came out in large slabs on a clay plate, and all of our jaws hit the floor. The shortribs themselves were tender, and glazed in a sweet soy-based reduction, garnishes with sesame seeds. They were cooked excellently, being able to fall off the bone, or in this case, the bone can be popped right out of the rib meat. Since I love this particular cut of meat, it was a lot of fun being able to chow down on these massive pieces of shortrib.
One of the more authentic items we ordered was the bibimbap. It is a mixed rice, meat, and egg dish that is served on a giant clay plate. Just seeing it come out to our table was an experience, while mixing it together was another. It was a lot of fun, being able to sample so many different kinds of ingredients, textures, and flavors, and the homemade gochujang (Korean chili sauce) served alongside it, combined with the egg yolk, as well as the fluffy rice against the caramelized, crunchy rice, just made the dish come together in such a coherent and beautiful way.