Japanese food has a way of drawing us in with it’s sophisticated, energizing, and diverse offerings. From hearty bowls of ramen to fresh sashimi and artful omakase feasts, there’s always something available for everyone (and for every occasion). If you’re reading this, you probably have a hankering for some Japanese food, and we have one “bonus” spot we recommend.
With a menu that offers a variety of tasty, reasonably priced meals, this Japanese restaurant is renowned for its fresh and authentic Japanese fine dining concepts, with a mix of traditional and modern fusion, that will never let you down. Coco Tei Tokyo takes pleasure in offering its food without MSG and preservatives, and is also a pork-free establishment. When an order is placed, all the cooking is done minute-by-minute. This guarantees that customers get the best cuisine served right from the kitchen to their tables.
We had the pleasure of dining at Coco Tei recently – and though we expected a full array of Japanese delights, we were in for something even better. With the Chinese New Year festival still on and about, many restaurants have come up with specially-curated menus to celebrate the auspicious month – and Coco Tei is one of them. But before we jump into the special menu, we’ll spill our thoughts on some of the usual dishes here.
We started with a trio of beautifully made appetizers. The Agedashi Tofu, a deep-fried bean curd with bonito flakes and soy sauce, was served first. The tofu is smooth and initially tasteless. But combined with the soy sauce, this simple tofu has a delightful taste. The flakes add more flavour to the tofu and make the simple dish look pretty too.
Next up was a variety of succulent sashimi. The dish was served on ice and came in enormous sculptured bowls packed with fresh sashimi, including tuna, salmon, and octopus. You could tell this sashimi platter was fresh from the looks of the meat. Also, the chef freshly slices the sashimi upon order. So, we guarantee that you’ll enjoy them to the utmost, because you can taste the freshness of the fish (and octopus).
The third appetizer was the Kaisen Gyoza, a traditional seafood dumpling and Hotate Ninniku Yakis, grilled scallop with special garlic sauce and topped with fish roe. Both were scrumptious. What we loved about it was the freshness and flavour of both bites. If we had to choose our favourite, it’d definitely be the Hotate Ninniku Yakis, because the special garlic sauce really complimented the scallop.
Now, for the “bonus” part of dining at Coco Tei. This item is not really part of Japanese cuisine, but it’s a must try – Coco Tei’s signature yee sang, Signature Fruit Blossom Yee Sang, part of its specially-curated CNY menu. Consisting of 18 ingredients, including rich buttery salmon, freshly-cut fruits drizzled with Coco Tei’s exclusive handcrafted black sesame and plum-based sauces, plus 5 different spices, this unique yee sang signifies the best of luck. We’d never seen so many ingredients in one yee sang, and the platter looked so vibrant, colourful and fresh. Now, comes the fun part. We had one of the employees explain the meaning of each item and sauces before we could toss them. Everyone at the table was shouting “shou dou” which means “well received” for all the words of blessing, before we began tossing the yee sang. Once done, we were given fish-shaped crackers to plate our yee sang. Basically, the fish crackers are auspicious things. Given the amount of ingredients, spices and sauces, of course the yee sang would taste good! We loved every bit of this specially-curated yee sang because we got the fresh, crispy and fruity taste all in one bite. The Signature Fruit Blossom Yee Sang is still available till 5th of February.
There’s another item in Coco Tei’s CNY menu, which is the Prosperity Fish Maw Soup & Lobster Poon Choi. Poon Choi basically means “big bowl feast” or “treasure pot”. There’re lots of different ingredients, like seafood and vegetables layered in one big bowl. At Coco Tei, there’re 18 luxuriously handpicked ingredients that signify abundance of wealth and prosperity in heavenly seafood broth. The seafood broth, which is slow-cooked for 7 hours and is full of collagen, is super tasty and heart-warming. The items – like fish, abalone, scallops, prawns, mussels and clams – taste so fresh and juicy.
It was definitely a “big feast”, because we were super full with what we had. To balance out our meal, we drank hot green tea. Dining at Coco Tei was indeed a fun and unique experience. We’d never seen any sushi outlet coming up with a specially-curated Chinese dish for the festive season. Despite being a Japanese restaurant, Coco Tei’s fusion of Japanese and Chinese can also be seen in its decor.
The setup of Coco Tei is also amazing. It’s unlike any other sushi spot you’ve seen. There’s a tatami seating space with views of the tiny private garden. If you would like more privacy while dining, there’s a section full of circular dining booths. It’s definitely a cozy place to dine in. The lighting, colour scheme and ambience of the restaurant brings peace of mind. Before we left, we had the chance to meet the passionate chef-owner, Cocos Tan, in person and even got ang pau packets!
For more on the menu, follow Coco Tei on Instagram and Facebook.
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