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Cocochan (James Street)

By Samia — January 23, 2015

 

Between the fast paced Oxford St and a stones throw away from the world renowned Selfridges, lies a purple little gem that is known as Cocochan. It is a haven for frequent diners, sushi lovers and those who want a relaxing break from shopping. Cocohan is a Pan-Asian restaurant that has lunch, a La Carte and also tasting menus.

Here is a little snippet from their website with more information about what they offer:

‘Cocochan Restaurant & Bar offers affordable yet contemporary Pan Asian cuisine with the use of new spin of cooking technique sous-vide, as well as grilling & steaming, along with quality cocktails, champagne, wine and sake. Our menu offers light nibbles from Dim Sum & Sushi selection to classic dishes drawn from Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisines, as well as more unique delicacies from mentioned regions – flexible and suitable for any occasion’

SONY DSC SONY DSCMiss V.Cocochan with Mixed BerriesSONY DSCEdamame beans with chilli and garlicSONY DSCPrawn and Chive Dumplings
SONY DSCPeppered Beef TatakiSONY DSCChilli SquidSONY DSCPrawn TempuraSONY DSCShangai Noodle with ChickenSONY DSCMixed Selection ShashimiSONY DSCWok Grilled black pepper beef sirloinSONY DSCTop- Smoked Salmon and Prawn tempura Maki. Bottom- Spicy Tuna MakiSONY DSCLeft- Mushroom and Avocado Tempura Maki. Right- Salmon and Avocado MakiSONY DSCOff the menu- Lobster Maki Rolls

Halal? 

Yes (it is not a halal restaurant but serves halal dishes (they have a halal supplier for chicken and beef) and not the Duck (recent change). This is both verified on the website and by the staff at the restaurant. (Note- They do serve alcohol).

The Food

There is plenty to choose from on the menu. There is a range of starters, sushi /sashimi and small plates which are perfect for sharing. There is also an extensive range of mains and rice dishes-so lots to choose from. To begin with we ordered mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks). It was really difficult to decide with so many delicious sounding concoctions. I settled for a Miss.V Cocochan, as did my fellow diners, except one who chose the Mixed Berry Mocktail. The Miss V Cocochan came in a martini glass and although the size was small, the taste definitely compensated for it! It’s quite a sweet drink with a flavoursome kick of lychee and cranberry, and a hint of  raspberries and lemonade. My friend really enjoyed the Mixed Berries Cocktail, which she said was really refreshing.

For starters we chose Edamame Peas with chilli and garlic sauce, which came in a bamboo basket. Although there were 6 of us, it was a generous portion and very tasty- the drizzle of garlic and chilli giving it a tangy edge. These were accompanied by Duck Rolls  (duck meat is NO longer halal at Cocochan), accompanied with a teryaki sauce. To be honest both myself and my fellow diners found these quite dry and rubbery, and the sauce slightly bitter. I wouldn’t order them again.

Additionally, we chose the Chilli Squid. This was lovely and crispy, but not too crisp, and was accompanied with a sweet chilli sauce to bring out the flavour. Then we had Prawn and Chive Dumplings, which were soft in texture and steaming warm, with a sauce that really complimented the gentle prawn flavour. We also opted for the Peppered beef Tataki and this was… wow. Soft, delicate, melt in your mouth sweet beef that was just delicious! Lastly (yes, there is more!) we chose the Prawn Tempura which were delicious, juicy and a good size.

Now onto my fave! Sushi. Nothing in the world in terms of food makes me happier than sushi does. Don’t ask me why. I just love it and could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were quite greedy and ordered quite a few dishes, but as there were 6 of us it was just enough. We chose the Salmon and Avocado Ura Maki. This is the sushi of all sushi-you can’t get sushi without at least one or two rolls of this. It was moist, delicate and topped with the sauce it was just delightful. We also chose the smoked Salmon and and Tempura roll.  This was a good choice if you wanted to have both salmon and prawn but only wanted to get one sushi dish as it has a choice of both sushi flavours on one plate, again a good choice.

We also chose Spicy Tuna rolls, because it is always a great choice. One of my friends is pregnant so she decided not to have any seafood and ordered the Mushroom and Avocado Tempura Ura maki. She said they were lovely if you prefer vegetarian options and not too dry. LASTLY, the final sushi plate we chose was an ‘off the menu secret’ option which the waitress told us about. We wanted to order a lobster main but were indecisive, so she let us know that ‘Lobster Sushi Rolls’ were available. At this point we were quite in sushi heaven and were quite satisfied with what we had ordered, but made for these rolls once we tasted them. They were moist, very flavoursome, delicate on the tongue and simply divine. I would without any hesitation choose all the sushi dishes we got if I came again, especially the lobster (I hope the restaurant makes it a permanent fixture on the menu).

We then decided to have a break! We let the waitress know that we were in no hurry for the mains. In the meantime our Sashimi choices came-Tuna, Sea bass and Salmon. They were a perfect palette cleanser and great choice.

For mains we chose the Wok Grilled Black Peppered Beef Sirloin. This is a saucy dish and perfectly complements white rice. It’s in a spicy (but not chilli) black sauce and comes with. If you’re a keen meat eater then this is a good choice, and I would order this again. The last mains we had (I bet you thinking how much did we eat!!!) was the Shengai Noodles, with chicken. I’m not a huge noodles fan and tend to prefer rice, so I just had a tiny bit. From what I tasted it seemed nice- moist, generously packed with chicken and mixed with a range of shredded veg and back choi. I’m not sure I would order it myself, as I like to choose smaller plates and order a range of items, and this in itself is quite filling and heavy on the stomach.

By this time we had no room for dessert (why do we always do this!!) I would like to return however and try some of their choices. The  ‘Pistachio Creme Brulee’ really was calling my name… next time!

The Vibe

It’s a small restaurant that offers an intimate dining experience, although it can still cater from groups of up to 7. We booked in advance although you can just turn up, in order to guarantee a table, as there can often can be a que.  It has a purple interior and is dimly lit, with a lot of hustle and bustle going on. The outside also has heaters and a choice to eat outside. The staff can’t do enough and are very accommodating, which can be a rarity in some restaurants unfortunately.

Return Visit?

I have been before and I will go again. Testament to just how much I enjoyed dining here is the fact that I came back the next day with a group of different friends, who wanted to try halal duck and eat pan-asian with halal options. It’s a great asset to the Pan-Asian dining scene and I’m definitely a fan!

Budget

We paid £37 each (6 diners) for 2 people. I would say between £30-£40 pp between two.

More Information 

http://www.cocochan.co.uk/ for more details and menu. Open Table usually have tasting menu offers. It’s usually difficult to get a table in the evening and on weekends, so you are advised to book in advance.

Already been to Cocochan? Share your experience below-we love to read all your comments! 

 

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About Author

Samia is a co-founder and development director of Hijablicious. She will be regularly posting her outfits and sharing her love for fashion.

View all Samia posts.