Asian surprises

Vinaya Patil
Thursday, 3 August 2017

The newly-opened Coco Sushi & Bar in Koregaon Park offers a wide range of Asian food along with some unique cocktails and desserts

The first thing that the newly-opened members-only lounge Coco Sushi & Bar offers is the mesmerising 180-degree view from the 12th floor of Onyx towers in Koregaon Park. The concept comes from Kunal Mhaske, a Pune-based restaurateur who has already established brands like Raasta Café and Penthouze in the city. A perfect place to party or wine and dine with your family, Coco is the place to bond and party with familiar faces around. The lounge can seat 70 guests and its interiors can be best described as classy, chic with a dimly-lit ambience — starry lights running along the length of the club and the ceiling donned with stylish chandeliers that further add to the luxury of the place.

There are comfortable couches, albeit, a little far away from the tables, making eating from the table slightly inconvenient but the ones with chairs are just fine. There’s also a private dining area and two outdoor spaces on either side overlooking the vast expanse of the city.

The cuisine at Coco is Asian and has a delectable range of bar bites and appetisers. Chef Jugal Pradhan, consulting chef at Coco, is at the helm of the kitchen. Born in Darjeeling, he draws his inspiration for cooking from his grandmother and the various places he has visited. He has been to Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal and worked in the Pan Asian Kitchen in Chiang Mai, Thailand, The Chinese Room, Kolkata, Nobu in Monte Carlo, Hakkasan and Yauatcha in Mumbai.

About the menu at Cococ, Pradhan says, “It is extensively sushi based, which denotes a generic term for all or any appetiser at Coco. Right from the soups, salads, dimsums, dumplings, nigiris, sashimis, the portions are customised to individual servings and offer a variety.” Some of Coco’s signature appetisers are a variety of Sushi Rolls, Beijing Duck Thong Soup, Smoked Edamame Dumplings, Roast Duck with Ponzu, Lemongrass Fish Cakes, Dynamite Shrimps, Banana Leaf Wrapped Chicken, a variety of Ramens, to name a few.

The Ebi Sushi Roll, made of spicy fried prawns served with chilli mayo, gari (sliced pickled ginger), Kikkoman soy (a brand of soy sauce), wasabi, Togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder) and garnished with cut bell peppers, is worth mentioning. Another one that stayed with us was the Burnt Chilli Fish Crackers, Fried Prawn Crackers, topped with basa in house burnt chili sauce.

The thought behind keeping the menu only Asian, is that Asian flavours are sharp and apt for the Indian palate, says the chef. Also, the dessert menu has unusual combinations like Wildflower Honey Pannacotta, Wasabi Ice Cream, and the Smoked Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake, that would be a perfect end to the sumptuous Asian meal. The Honey Pannacotta, made with fresh cream and fresh milk mixed with natural honey and garnished with Tanuki (made with tempura flour and iced water), is a must-try.

The bar too has interesting cocktails such as Black Irish, Sleeping Volcano, Bloody Maria, Old Samurai, Spiced Rum Fig Sour, and Japanese whiskies like Hibiki, Kawasaki Whisky, among others. We particularly liked the Apple Ginger Martini, a vodka-based cocktail with fresh green apples and ginger balanced with sweet and sour, shaken and poured into a chilled martini glass.

Speaking on the members-only concept, Mhaske says, “I always wanted to have a private space for my social circle, where people could just come and have fun without worrying about their security and enjoy themselves thoroughly with familiar faces around. Moreover, a classy place where guests would want to make that extra effort to dress up and come to party.”

Coco opened to its members on April 21 and will be open for dining on all evenings of the week except Mondays while the club nights will be on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11.30 pm onward. Members can make reservations for their guests for dining from their registered mobile number, but will need to accompany the guests for club nights.

12th floor, Onyx Tower, KP Annexe, Mundhwa.
Dinner: 7-11.30 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays.
Club Nights: 11.30 pm onward, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays. Prior reservations required.

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