One of the many fabulous things about the French language (the study of which eludes me daily, no matter how much I talk about picking it up again), is that there are so many words that have various different meanings, and some of the slang is just downright funny. ‘Cocotte’ is one of those new ones that I just learned when I went to this fabulous new French brasserie earlier this week.
Love it! I suppose the same thing exists in English where a word can be in one way defined as something to do with food, and yet have another completely different meaning (crumpet for example, or waffle), but it just sounds so much better in French!
Cocotte is a new chic French eatery that has opened on my favourite ladder street. It’s located just outside the periphery of the main crowds on Hollywood/Staunton, next to the Cabane a Vin wine cellar and just up from Kushiyaki Beco and On Lot 10.
Opened and run by the Moldovan brothers, who hail from Paris but have a love for all things New York, the decor oozes chic-ness. One of the owners is a friend, and it is so interesting to see his personality directly translated into the look and feel of the restaurant. I love the use of luxurious wallpaper, the moss green velvet banquette, the red white and blue mis-matched chairs, the retro lighting, even the dark purples walls in the bathroom.
And now to the food …
The burrata burst onto the plate upon the slightest touch, and the pairing with strawberries was unusual yet tasty.
This dish is a thoughtful one – the beef tartare comes with roquefort, which you can choose to mix in or leave on the side (thankfully, for us blue cheese haters). The tartare sauce is served in a separate jar, which I thought was very considerate to the diner – one can choose to add as much or as little of it as they’d like.
The foie gras is served with smoked duck, raspberries and a sort of cookie crumb. It is not served with any toast or bread (perhaps you’re expected to eat it sans pain), but you can ask for it on the side.
Believe it or not, I forgot to take a picture of the ‘Langoustine, Barely Touched’. As the name suggests, the langoustine is just ever so slightly seared, very fresh and light. It is clearly one of their more popular dishes, and when we were told that the kitchen only had 3 servings left, we took them all.
The veal melted in the mouth; moist, with a very subtle taste, and it was perfectly cooked.
The fish was very well executed, with a lovely creamy potato puree. Stacked on top were vegetables and crisp shrimp, resting on a rich lightly foamed bisque.
We ordered sole meunière from the sharing section. The fish was served to the table already filleted (I wish they had shown us the whole fish beforehand). It was a generous portion, and served with a side of green beans. If you are hungry I’d suggest to order one more side.
This wonderful mashed potato, laced thickly with butter with just a hint of garlic, was a really nice accompaniment for the sole, together with the sautéed gem lettuce with petits pois and lardons.
The desserts are so amazing, and not to be missed no matter how full you are.
This chocolate dessert had a slightly gelatinous texture to it, and was beautifully paired with orange and pistachio.
The meringue was presented on a long plate, featuring mixed fresh fruits and just a hint of balsamic vinegar.
KW ordered the pineapple, which is definitely on my order list the next time I visit. Thickly cut with a rich caramel colour, and served with panna cotta and ice cream …! Yum.
One thing that must be highlighted is the service, which went without a hitch and was absolutely faultless. For a place that has only been opened for a couple of weeks, this is quite unusual. Our waiter was friendly, smiley, informative and proficient.
The food is very good, and the menu enticing – there are so many things that I wanted and making a choice was difficult. One thing I must mention however, it that it is on the expensive side. Dinner with wine will come out to about $1000+ per person, and whilst I would love to eat there every week, my wallet would simply not allow it. Having said that, it is not far off from the other new French eateries that have opened recently (Akrame, or Upper Modern Bistro for example). Also, the pavement outside gets quite animated from the smoking customers of La Cabane, but with the double-glazed doors closed, you can only see them and not hear them.
Cocotte is great for an intimate dinner with friends, a date night, a business dinner, it ticks all the boxes. Corkage is $250 a bottle, but the wine list is great so there is really no need to bring your own. They have also debuted
Address: 9 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2568 8857
Check out my review of Cocotte’s Set Lunch menu here.