I'm a nut about good Asian cuisine and ambiance, lived in Bangkok and Taipei for about five years. This is a very cool room ....modelled after Tao in Miami, New York and Vegas. Sushi bar and Buddha's everywhere.....food was good and the service was attentive. I would return for sure.
Interesting... I would like to try Kai for dinner sometime as my first time there was later-night drinks. My partner and I got hungry and ordered edamame, calamari, and sweet potato fries as the bartender had assured us the kitchen was still open, albeit with a limited menu. I had ordered the edamame and my partner the other two dishes, the fries as an afterthought, so when the dishes arrived I asked the server if the sweet potato fries were breaded (I have celiac disease). She cocked her head at me and laughed, saying "Oh, I don't know"! in a pretty little voice as she walked away. Not to demean servers, I served as a career for 11 years, but as a GOOD server I would have said, "I'm not sure, I will check for you." And done just that. She never reappeared, so I did not try the fries.
The food, though - the edamame was completely unsalted. No salt. Bland beans. According to my partner, the calamari was subpar, and the fries were atrocious, limp and mushy. He held one up and it sagged pathetically before my eyes.
So - if a restaurant is serving good food at dinner but going to a half-arsed and poorly cooked menu for the late-night crowd, why bother? I would rather not have the option of ordering food rather than expecting a dish on par with their regular menu. I have heard good things from friends who have eaten there at the dinner hour, but if I had to base my assumptions on the late-night fare, I would only go for drinks.
I visited in August for part of my sister's stagette. We were a group of about 10, and we got a private room. The staff was very accommodating, allowing us to arrive early and decorate the room as we wanted, and the owner gave us a couple of bottles of sake on the house. The décor was very nice, and the servers were friendly and attentive.
To be honest, I would never have bothered to try it if it hadn't been for this special occasion. It's not the kind of place from which I expect truly excellent food, and the food wasn’t excellent. But I can’t say I was disappointed (though I had fairly low expectations). I will say that everything appeared to be cooked properly, and with care. Also, I don't think that anyone at the table disliked their dish, which is more than I can say for most restaurant experiences in Edmonton.
I had the coconut-crusted tofu - very crispy, with a passable red curry cream sauce. The portion was quite large. I wasn’t clamouring to finish it, but it was good enough, nothing particularly wrong with it. Everything was blander than I like it, but I think that’s just to appeal to a larger demographic – and it’s not as if it had no flavour at all. I wouldn’t be back for the food, but I don’t think I’d avoid it altogether, especially for a group.