COCOTTE @ A Hidden Casual-Chic Parisian Brasserie

This casual-chic Parisian brasserie is hidden in the quaint neighbourhood of NoHo (north of Hollywood), Cocotte bringing a little French je ne sais quoi to the laid back Shin Hing Steps. mylifestylenews explores with a few surprises offers by this petit brasserie……

Hong Kong has seen the rise of good French restaurants over the past few years and there is another hidden gem that deserves to be noted by the name of Cocotte, literary translated in English as Casserole. It was surprising to find that they have been open for more than a year and have quietly been building a loyal clientele and now we know why! Conceived by Hong Kong-based French brothers Jonathan, Brice and Petrous Moldovan and two of them are identical twins, the restaurant captures the spirit of a bistro in Paris’ Montmartre. Designed by Candace Campos as an intimate, vibrant space featuring eclectic wallpapers, mid-century lines and art deco curves, Cocotte is the perfect getaway in the heart of Central.

Cocotte's charming open frontage and vaulted ceilings fill the restaurant with light and the subtle lighting in the evening creates a warm glow that invites you in. The dining room blends mid-century lines, deco-esque curves and a few French details as a nod to its cuisine.The interior features rich velvet tufted seating, marble topped tabels and a brass clad kitchen. A playful melange of eclectic prints line the restaurant's walls. We perused the new Autumn menu and was delighted to find out the hidden secret on what they have to offer. We honestly were drooling at the list of favourites and there were too many dishes we wanted to try, but such is life and we ventured forth to find out what the kitchen can delight us with, not to mention the wonderful front of house staff, including one of the owner brothers.

It would be hard to enjoy such a wondrous meal without being tempted by the excellent wine list and it focuses on an honestly good boutique selection from easy drinking to high end French labels, selected to match the food direction. Both classic and contemporary cocktails are also served at the bar and the ones we tried were delightful in both presentation and flavours.

First up, we decided to mix it up, starting with a <Crab and Avacado salad>, a <Trio of Salmon> and a roasted <Porcini and Black Truffle soup>. The layered crab and avocado salad was a lovely fresh dish with clean flavours that melded beautifully together, there was yuzu sauce done in two ways on the side for a bit of extra zing on the tongue, which we thought was a perfect match.

The Scottish salmon three ways equally hit the spot not to mention that Scottish salmon is always spot on in flavor - one with citrus tartare, another as dill rillettes and a cherrywood smoked portion with beads of caviar. The presentation on all dishes was superb and made the food seem even more delicious and inviting. The porcini soup had a lot of mushroom flavor, however, it was a little watery in consistency, perhaps it was not the texture we were expecting yet still quite tasty nonetheless.

The appetizers certainly whetted our taste buds and the mains proved the most difficult to decide on, as for such a small restaurant, they had quite a lot to choose from and yet the menu offers makes you want to have it all. With a section dedicated to the grill (as a good French brasseries should), so after much deliberation we chose a <Barbarie Duck Breast>, a <Kurobuta Pork Prime Rib> and a <Red Label Guinea Fowl Supreme>. All the grill items allow you to choose side dishes and two sauces, so we chose the Quinoa and roasted Fall vegetables with béarnaise and red wine sauces to accompany. We are mad about our meat, even though the seafood was very tempting and, as it happens, the Saffron Mussels were already sold out which we thought would be a quintessential dish to try, always leave room for next visit.

The duck breast was utterly delicious, with a spicy mix of quinoa, Brussel sprout, red pepper pulp and Sichuan pepper jus, which was not as spicy as we expected as this maybe a good idea for most dining preferences as well as an authentic French Brasseries, we wouldn’t want the tradition being over powered by other foreign spices but it was a perfect foil for the rich, juicy, tender duck meat, less is more best fit in.

The Guinea Fowl was a wonderful addition to the menu, as you don’t often see game birds on restaurant menus especially in this region and they handled this dish with aplomb, plus the red wine reduction jus was to die for. The Kurobuta pork is cured using time-honoured methods and carefully smoked over real hardwood, which gives it a sweet, tender and rich flavor that delighted our taste-buds, to say the least. We could not fault any of these three dishes and it was clear that the chef treats his meat with a lot of love and passion to be able to cook the meats perfectly in order and maintain all the succulence and tenderness in high quality.

No we always think we cannot fit dessert in, but after perusing the menu, we can't resist what was offered. We picked the <Valrhona Sphere> and a warm <Apple Tarte Tartin>. The Valrhona Sphere was a work of art, but most importantly a decadent triumph of equatorial ganache, coconut foam, spicy pineapple and hibiscus sauce inside. Totally sinful and so more-ish! The Apple Tarte Tartin was also a perfect personified for this ultimate French classic, with the rich carameliztio offsetting the tartness of the apples and the pastry texture. We had expected the desserts to be good following all the other beautifully executed dishes, but we didn't expect such perfection.

We could keep on waxing lyrical about the brasserie but the only one thing to do is to make a booking post haste and enjoy the hospitality they offer as well as the special ambience they have created. With flawless service and attention to detail, this little French Brasserie is a truth hidden gem.

Some well selected wines were chosen to pair our meals.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5

Design & Decor
Menu Selection

9 Shin Hing Street
CentralHong Kong
Tel:+852 2568 8857

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