It is entirely possible to pass the tiny take-out window without a second glance. Kojin Noodle Bar, just off Duval Street in Key West, is easy to miss. This small eatery churns out fabulous Asian comfort food.
Choose one of the six bar stools, two tables for two, or the table upstairs for six, and prepare for a feast. In my sad, carb-avoiding life, We hadn’t been to Kojin in quite a while. We made our way over there recently, and I am happy to report that not much has changed.
We started with the steamed chicken dumplings. I must learn how to make these. They are amazingly tasty, and I would think that they would be super easy to make with pre-made dumpling wrappers. These little pillows of yum, filled with ground chicken, scallions, and seasoning, come out to be a highly crave-able appetizer. (I suppose they would make an excellent meal, too, with several orders of them.)
Much to FKGuy’s dismay, I ordered the Saigon Salad. He was not feeling very salad-y that evening, so I enjoyed the refreshing bowl of vegetables, rice noodles, and a tangy dressing. This salad is perfect on a sweltering Key West evening. We also shared a half order of pho and a half order of coconut shrimp curry. As it turns out, you can order a whole lot more when everything comes in half portions.
The pho was tasty as ever, with a rich broth, noodles, tender meat and an assortment of jalapeños, bean sprouts and cilantro on the side. Diet, be damned. I want to eat this all the time. Coconut shrimp curry is flavorful, but as expected, much heavier. Filled with perfectly cooked shrimp and even more noodles, the curry is lick-the-bowl good.
Don’t go to Kojin expecting fine dining. Instead, expect flavorful, delicious food in a casual, unpretentious setting, and reasonable prices, and you will not be disappointed. You can find Kojin at 601 Duval Street, #4 (but the entrance is actually on Southard.) They are open daily for lunch and dinner.