Sunday, March 9, 2014

Koko, Crown Casino

Such a spectacular setting... 


Gyuniku Tataki - $28.50
Seared beef tenderloin, onion soy dressing and microherbs

Aburi Salmon Sashimi - $28.50
Seared salmon fillets with onion and microherbs

Deep Fried Crab Mousse

Hotate Misoyaki - $24.50
Grilled scallops with miso mustard sauce, topped with microherbs

Buta Kakuni - $22.00
Braised pork belly with sweet soy, shiitake mushrooms and mustard

Grilled Unagi with Potato Hash


Wagyu Grade 4 - $52.00
Australian wagyu beef striploin cooked on a toban plate with mushrooms, egg and onions in a soy mirin sauce

Tara Chiri Mushi - $49.00
Steamed black cod fillet with seasonal vegetables and mushrooms, served with momiji oroshi and ponzu sauce

Tori Muneniku Teriyaki Style - $44.50
Pan fried chicken fillet with foie gras, marinated in soy mirin and teriyaki sauce

Sake Harami Bareishoyaki - $44.00
Grilled salmon belly with mashed potato crust

Such a stunning presentation -- love it


Ice Cream - $15.00
Swiss chocolate, black sesame, green tea

Houjicha Brulee - $15.00
Japanese roasted brown tea creme brulee served with vanilla ice cream

Konnyaku Mochi - $15.50
Green tea flavoured rice cake filled with red bean paste and seasonal fruits

Maccha Cheese Yose - $15.50
Whipped Mascarpone green tea mousse served with seasonal fruits

Capping of a really splendid afternoon...

Just a few days after I had a beautiful birthday dinner at B'Stilla... I got together again with another group of friends. I was excited. I hadn't seen half the people there that day for a really long time so it was great to just kick back and catchup on a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon.

I first came to Koko at the start of the year when my friend Duy was having a birthday celebration here. I loved it so much that I decided to get some friends together for the same occasion as well -- it was that good. First experience at Koko blew me away. Second time here was just as good. And guess what? I'm already planning my next trip here.

I guess I was just surprised by how good the quality of food was here. And the 3 course lunch deal for $55 was just absolutely great value for money. Usually, the Entrees themselves would be close to $30. Now, you're getting 2 additional courses for the price of $55. Price aside, the food was fantastic. 

Just so that we each get to try more things, we shared the Entrees and Mains in 2 groups of 6, whilst we each got our own dessert (always more fun that way). The selection of Entree was superb. The seared beef (gyuniku tataki) was splendid -- perfectly fresh and tender with the slightly tart dressing. The aburi (or torched) salmon was so thin, delicate but flavourful. Crab mousse balls was moorish and delicious. Scallops was fantastic as well served piping hot in that rich, unctuous sauce. The braised pork was a crowd pleaser that day having been executed so well. Finally, I enjoyed the unagi on potato so much the last time that we had to order it again that day. 

As for the Mains, you've got to order the Wagyu. I mean, why wouldn't you since you had the choice. I love how crusty and perfectly seared the exterior is and also the sauce that it comes with. The steamed black cod is one of the best steamed fishes ever. Incredibly soft and delicate, the way your spoon glides through the centre as you cut through it and how it slides in your throat -- it was that smooth. I really, really like their chicken with foie gras as well and think that they completely nailed the teriyaki sauce (normally I'm not a fan). The grilled salmon belly was just so stunning in presentation as well.

To be honest, I was actually feeling quite contented after all the Entree and felt rather full by the time we finished Mains. Such generous portions! For Dessert, the creme brulee was a widely popular that afternoon (and most afternoons as well, I imagine). Everyone seemed to enjoy the desserts that they picked, and so did I.

To cap off, I think Koko is a spectacular place to have a nice, long lunch with good friends and family. The setting is absolutely gorgeous with the ultra high ceilings, full height windows overlooking the Yarra River and a serene pond in the middle of the entire restaurant to tie it all together. The food, again, was perfect. Great variety, perfect execution, delicious flavours and more importantly, stunning presentation. I highly recommend people to come for their 3 course lunch specials because not only do you get to enjoy the great ambience of the restaurant in the daytime, it's almost half the price of the exact same food you'd get at dinner.

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