It’s always fun to see new food trends come to the Triangle from more urban areas and from overseas. Korean fried chicken, boba tea, Belgian frites, and more add so much to the restaurant scene in the area. And one more interesting foodie option is taiyaki from Japan, otherwise known as fish-shaped pastries! Usually made with pancake or waffle batter and filled with red bean paste, a recent food trend has been to use taiyaki as an ice cream cone. So it was exciting to see Sugar Koi open up in Brightleaf Square years ago. I was able to visit once before it closed down during the pandemic but was excited to see them announce a new location that was much closer to me in Cary. Here’s how my first visit went!
Located in a busy plaza (one of the MANY plazas) off of Kildaire Road, Sugar Koi sits in a white-washed brick building near Sushi-Thai and Corbett’s Burgers and Soda Bar. They are still settling into their space and have a soft-serve ice cream machine coming but due to the usual pandemic supply chain issues, don’t expect it until the end of 2022.
Sugar Koi offers 24 or so ice cream flavors in cone or cup form along with their specialty, koiyaki. There are some cool, tropical, and Asian flavors like ube, matcha, thai tea and more! A handful of hot and cold drink offerings round off the rest of the menu. Pretty simple menu for a snack or dessert after dinner. Of course, I have to get the signature koiyaki and pair it with coconut and mango ice cream and add some colored sprinkles, mini mochi, and marshmallows as accoutrements!
The assembly of this complicated frozen treat takes a bit of time. Rather than pouring soft-serve into the mouth of the fish pastry, the ice cream is scooped into the cup and decorated by hand before the warm fish pastry is placed on top. I grab a seat near the window and get ready to dive in! The cold, creamy ice cream makes for a fun, textural contrast to the warm, crisp fish pastry. Spoon a bit of ice cream, break off some pastry, and your mouth will thank you. While I had fun on my first visit, I’m definitely looking forward to Sugar Koi getting their soft-serve machine so I can eat their frozen treats right out of the fish. I will definitely be back for a visit, soon!