After enjoying a popular stint on Tipu Sultan road for the last one year or so, Pan Asian restaurant Cocochan has finally made its way to the ‘other side of the bridge’ with its Dolmen Mall Clifton ‘Bisutoro’ opening doors for its patrons.
Situated on the second floor, where global fast-food joint Fatburger once stood, the restaurant – inspired by contemporary Eastern Asian interiors of bamboos and teak – stands out as a cozy yet welcoming space within the buzzing sprawl-like atmosphere of the mall. Adding onto it, the turquoise upholstering and a modern take on the traditional Japanese Izakaya make the place a sight that piques interest.
Upon entering, the restaurant feels like a space that offers peace and serenity. Proof of being ‘high-end’ is in the menu, which boasts a myriad of dishes. In the menu that ranged from the standard Pan Asian fare such as the Thai curries (Red and Green), and the Pad Thai to a spectrum of Sushi and other Japanese options such as the Teriyaki and Teppanyaki, there was a bit for everyone, it seems.
For us, however, it was a simple choice between starters such as the ever-popular Edamame in Chili Oil, Japanese Battered Tiger Prawns, and Steamed Gyoza, and a main course spread of Wok Fried Beef with Basil, Spicy Prawn Curry, and the much talked about, Beef Teppanyaki. To complement the variety of dishes, the serving staff also recommended a mix of blended drinks, which included their signature ‘Koh Sumai’ – a mint, pineapple and coconut concoction, and a seasonal Spiced Apple Lemonade.
Served approximately 25 minutes after ordering the food, the starters played a major role in starting off what we thought would be an ‘umami’ spree. To start off, it was the salty-symphony of Edamame and the Gyoza dumplings, which managed to keep one figuring out what mixtures of oriental spices were used. While the former felt more like a subtle pea-like texture incorporated with a more localized version of chili-garlic marinade, the latter had a more desi cook than the traditional Chinese ‘pot-sticker.’
Following suit, the Japanese Battered Tiger Prawns too suffered the same fate, as the rather large pieces of shellfish missed any sort of traditional or authentic flavouring. It almost felt like the chef forgot that salt exists.
Hoping for a positive change with the main course, we waited some more for our entrees to reach our table. Arriving first were the Wok Fried Beef with Basil and the Spicy Prawn Curry, which were served with a choice of egg-fried rice or simple steamed rice. Hitting all the right notes, both dishes served their purpose of inducing heat with their strong spice levels. These surely aren’t made for those with a weaker heart.
However, luckily, there wasn’t a curious case of mouth-tingling heat with the Beef Teppanyaki that was served as the final entree, and thankfully, it was comparable to many international and Japanese traditional restaurants when it came to the taste. To add onto its perfect amount of umami, the popular East Asian delicacy was served with an accompaniment of garlic rice, an assortment of Japanese dressings and stir-fried vegetables.
After getting done with the barrage of dishes that we had a chance to try, what took us by surprise was that the menu does not offer a dessert option anywhere. When questioned, we were informed that there are in fact, desserts, but they are not advertised on the ‘bisutoro’ menu. Amongst the options, there was a choice between three desserts, which included a flourless chocolate tart, Lotus ice cream, and a lemon cheesecake. We chose to go with the former two.
While the flourless chocolate tart and the Lotus ice cream both are awkward additions to a menu that otherwise offered an exclusive Pan Asian experience, the desserts were a welcome end to the meal as they served the richness that one needed. However, if one has the chance to try them again, perhaps, only the flourless chocolate tart should suffice.
All in all, Cocochan Bisutoro has brought with it a refreshing change to the restaurant section of the mall by bringing in a myriad of dishes to offer. However, whether it will be able to sustain itself with its mixture of localized tastes and a predictable menu is a different story altogether.