Koho is a restaurant and bar located in YVR at the international terminal before security. They serve an eclectic mix of pub style food including burgers, rice bowls, etc.
As some of you know, I’m on a two week trip through England. I’m flying out on a charter flight and staying with a friend in Watford. Watford? Yes, a region of London isolated from the rest of the city, at least from the perspective of its mass transit. The way London works is that its mass transit is separated by expanding consecutive circle-zones. When you get a travel pass, you can acquire a card for 1 zone, 2 zones, or all zones 1 through 6. Here’s the kicker: Watford is not in any of those zones; it has its own “W” zone, separate from all the numbered zones. So we would have to get a travel card that states, “All zones plus Watford.” But that’s beside the point. We are still debating on whether we should travel to Scotland or Paris.
But before any of that can occur, we must wait five hours at the Vancouver international airport—an effective, unambiguous, and utterly uninspired location that tries its very best to extract all joy out of air travel. I’ve spent time stuck in large airports like Calgary, Taipei, and even Hong Kong, and by far, Vancouver is the most boring. Hong Kong had its own metro. Taipei had a two mile-long unbroken, unbent corridor that literally extended to the vanishing point. I’ve been stuck at YVR longer than any of those. It used to have a Cheers replica bar. Now it has a vague restaurant called Koho.
Don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not Japanese. It is just another in a long line of necessary evils that populate airports across the planet. At least it’s not the Popeye’s I had in Hong Kong that refused to stay down between on the way to Taipei. To be an actual restaurant in an airport and not a counter kitchen, you need tables segregated from the others, often enclosed in a wood and iron menagerie that makes you think you’re in a zoo. And like what you would expect, the first page is all alcohol, just in case you wanted to polish off a quart of bourbon to make the flight go by just a little bit easier. I am far too tired to be in the mood for that. Instead, I order the Greek lamb burger. Cubed feta (YES) with olive oil and chopped onions cover a patty that’s a little on the slender side. It tastes good but doesn’t set itself apart from any lean beef burger I have had.
This is but the first. I plan on writing about every place I eat in London, and yes, I will be avoiding all chains…assuming I can identify them as chains. We’ll be starting each day with a pair of grain bars to get the energy going before taking on the city. Lunch and dinner will be eaten out. It’s just too bad the high point, our dinner at Gordon’s Ramsey at Claridges, is on our second day. Every meal from then on will have quite the mountain to measure up to.
So…what about Koho? Well, if you can’t eat at home and want something healthier than a cinnabun, you could do much worse, especially for a Moxi’s clone shoe-horned between the American and International baggage checks of the Vancouver Airport. Just don’t be the type that decides to eat here if you are arriving home. There are far better places the moment you escape the penal complex that is YVR.
There are only a handful of restaurants located before the security checkpoints at YVR and Koho is one of them. The food is mediocre. For whatever reason, I felt like a thai curry rice bowl with chicken and it was OK.
The service was pretty good though; they were very friendly. We got some free samples of Granville Island beer so that was good.
I wouldn't recommend eating at Koho unless you are at YVR and not going passed the security checkpoint.