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Meet Catarina Chang of KOY

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catarina Chang.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Catarina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My family has always been involved in restaurants- from my father as a dishwasher when he moved to America at 17 to my first job as a counter clerk at the local deli at 14 years old. Great food has always been a passion of both of ours and as we developed the idea of KOY we really just wanted to create a concept that would include both of our versions and interpretations of Korean food. I think food is the main aspect that ties people to their heritage and it has always been the thing that ties our family together- over family meals, cooking together and sharing recipes. KOY began as an idea of bringing international flavors together and coming up with actual delicious tasting fusion foods.

We take my father’s traditional Korean cooking background and try to add a twist with new world flavors. We opened our doors a little over 3 years ago and are trying to expand our brand to bring Asian fusion to the forefront of today’s culinary world.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some struggles involve learning to work together as a family- We definitely have butt heads and have strong personalities but the bonus is that there is an untouchable bond of trust between my father and I. We are extremely supportive of each other and each other’s best friends. The dynamic creates a family that extends to our entire staff and we are definitely a cohesive familial unit. Our biggest struggle was and still is creating a brand from nothing. We had no preexisting concept and to start as a small business from the ground up is the most difficult thing to do. We have to constantly push our boundaries, be consistent with our product and our service skills everyday to gain new customers. We work really hard to make every patron feel like they are part of our family but it is definitely a daily grind.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about KOY– what should we know?
KOY is known for our unique cuisine that we bring to the Boston downtown area and our specialty cocktail program.

We have great traditional food such as the hot stone bibimbap served in a sizzling hot stone bowl that cooks in front of you with rice, seasonal vegetables, shredded steak and fried egg. We do an amazing braised whole octopus leg that is slow cooked with white wine, butter and lemon and then seared per serving and plated with spicy aioli and a red pepper salad. We like to play with our food which makes us unique- we are not afraid to try new things!

Our cocktail program is fantastic- we use fresh ingredients and infuse our own soju with fruit, chilis- whatever we can find!

Our family’s background also is in fine and modern art- my mother and brother are both artists. We try to fuse that part of our family in the ambiance here at KOY. Most of the artwork is done by my brother and we try to incorporate cool, funky Asian pop art pieces to create a modern and edgy environment.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family deserves all the credit to our success- without each other we would never had made it this far. We lean on each other for advice, mental support and encouragement. Our staff is amazing- we treat each other with fairness and love. We have team members who have been with us since our inception- this is a rarity for restaurants.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Gleb budilovsky

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3 Comments

  1. Eileen OBrien

    February 14, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Koy is my family’s go-to place when friends and relatives come from out of town. The Chang family have made Koy into a very comfortable place to dine. The food is amazing and so far, no one has been unhappy with their choice.

    One night I was early in town to see a show, so I went to Koy by myself and felt so safe sitting at the bar having appetizers.

    Highly recommended. Great family. Great food. Great ambiance.

  2. Gary Croteau

    February 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    I stumbled upon Koy a couple of years ago and I have been a regular ever since. Every experience there has been nothing short of perfect. Whether I’m having dinner in the dining room surrounded by all the cool art, grabbing one of the delicious seasonal specialty cocktails with friends, or sitting on their shrub surrounded patio with twinkling white lights, the atmosphere at Koy is always warm and inviting. Everyone on the staff is attentive and professional, and clearly loves working there. The food there is so delicious! Some of my favorites include the Bang Bang Cauliflower, the Crab and Avocado Salad, the Seared Spanish Octopus, and the Short Rib Sliders. I love Koy so much that I recently hosted my entire company there for our annual holiday party. Not surprisingly, the management team there did an amazing job helping me to bring my vision of this party to fruition. Everything was perfect, and everyone in my company raved that it was the best holiday party we had had in years. Koy is a must for anyone who loves great food and creative cocktails in a plesant unpretentious atmosphere!

  3. Andres Calderone

    May 26, 2018 at 2:48 am

    First time ever , Loved it … beautiful staff amazing ambience great energy , very creative and artistic . Moved from NYC to Boston and was downtown Boston looking for jobs and stop by , Fell in love from head to toe ! Thank you Kaitlyn MAhoney and amazing staff , Koy Boston 16 North st , If you hungry hungry, need to refresh with high quality from the best oceans …. THIS IS THA PLACE ! XOXOXO 😀

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