A quick post today singing the praises of one of my favourite restaurants of the moment, Cocotte.
Tucked away in the little shopping centre behind RQ’s Tavern in Robina this cosy little restaurant is starting to turn some heads. By no means a straight up Japanese restaurant, Head Chef/Owner Shunichi Tanabe has created an excellent fusion of East meets West in his menu. The cocotte name refers to a small earthenware pot used in French cooking for casserole type dishes. And naturally enough a few of these cocotte dishes feature on the menu. But the real kicker for me is the tapas menu. About fifteen well thought out dishes, very reasonably priced that showcase fresh seasonal ingredients and a creative flair. A couple of safe Japanese standards make an appearance such as yakitori, okonomiyaki and sashimi. Alongside these are some truly tasty dishes such as my favourite, spanner crab croquet. Crispy, fragrant coating with lusciously creamy, tender crab on the inside went beautifully with a nice acidic kimoto sake from Daishichi in Fukushima.
Other highlights include the slow-cooked Kurobuta pork belly with apple and fennel salad, possibly the softest pork I’ve ever had.
I’m not usually much of a dessert person but the white sesame and ginger parfait with peach compote and lime syrup was just gorgeous. I can’t wait to try the other desserts.
Atmosphere is very cosy and homely. The open kitchen and the fact that Chef Tanabe’s wife looks over the floor adds to the warm homely vibe. Having said that, the rather small-sized kitchen means it can get rather backed up. I wouldn’t recommend coming with a large group and doing the entrée followed by main style of ordering. A group of four or so and ordering a bunch of stuff to throw in the middle and share is definitely the way to go. It’s quite a nice vibe for a quiet romantic dinner too. An outside garden area offers nice alfresco ambience.
And don’t forget, it’s BYO! That’s right, you can rock up with your favourite bottle (or two) of sake and settle in. You could take wine if you want, but many of these dishes went great with sake. Whatever you take, just make sure you get down there and give it a look. You won’t be disappointed.