Thursday, November 17, 2011


Crown Towers 8 Whiteman St

If memory serves me correct, Koko opened up at Crown as one of the launch restaurants way back in 1994. At 17 years old, it would have to be the equivalent of 70 in restaurant years, especially considering the way restaurants come and go in the Crown complex.

Hidden away on level 3 of Crown, perhaps one of the clues to its true age is the elaborate stone garden water feature. There is no way a restaurant today would sacrifice so much space for aesthetics, the beancounters would forbid it.

Thankfully the beancounters haven't concreted this in to make room for more tables so Koko continues to have a serenity unlike anything else in Crown and possibly the CBD. The other thing that seems to giveaway the age of Koko are it's prices. $60 for Teppanyaki, including Sashimi, Tempura, Teppanyaki prawn, scallops and beef? That is pretty good value when you consider $60 doesn't go far at many other places at Crown, surely a sign that this place doesn't need to recover the cost of an expensive fitout like The Atlantic.

As for the food? One could argue that Teppanyaki is the same no matter where you go. In some respects that is true, in others false. The quality of the produce is hard to hide in Teppenyaki and Koko's is pretty good. The prawns and scallops in particular stood out as fresh. Our chef cooked everything perfectly and the appetiser courses of Sashimi and Tempura also hit the mark.

So while Koko doesn't have the same buzz about it now as some of the other restaurants at Crown, it certainly holds it own. Reasonable prices, great service and imported Japanese beer offers a good alternative to the trendier Crown restaurants.

Koko - 13.5/20
Koko on Urbanspoon

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