Hidden gem izakaya KOKO

by: Hidy Fung
06 Jun 2017

Take an elevator ride to the 5th floor of the Carfield Building on Wyndham St where you will find KOKO, a contemporary Japanese Izakaya style restaurant & sake bar that is also one of Central’s best-kept secrets. Leaving the eclectic city streets behind and stepping through the looking-glass, we found ourselves in KOKO’s refined sultry atmosphere of dark stained wood, riveted metal wall panels and low back booth seats.

As an accompaniment to the food dishes, KOKO’s terrace bar boasts one of the most impressive sake selections in Hong Kong, with a drinks list that has been carefully curated by one of Japans own top sporting legends and KOKO partner, Hidetoshi Nakata, who also showcases his own “N” sake label on the menu.   

The menu offering at KOKO is a sophisticated take on traditional Japanese cuisine, ranging from tapas style light dishes to more filling meat and fish courses. To start, we sampled one of the Tuna Tartar lite bites, served on a filigree wafer and topped with a soft boiled quail egg (HK $118). The soft egg adds a rich creamy texture that holds the flavour of the fresh tuna, while the wafer adds a nice bite to the mix.

Next we tucked into the Miso baked Black Cod (HK $238). The slow process of marinating the cod renders each mouthful with a deep salty and sweet flavour that pairs well with the pickled ginger garnish.

The open terrace bar feels like an urban oasis complete with palm trees, low seating and a large-scale art mural by rising talent King Rhomberg that adds a touch of mystery. The view from the terrace is nothing short of breathtaking, where you can gaze out over the adjacent Central Police Station, recently crowned with Herzog & de Meuron’s glistening new gallery extension clad with aluminium bricks.

Hidy Fung