Contemporary Izakaya: See and be seen at KOKO, the new brainchild from KEE Club and retired Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata.
Look & Feel: KOKO sees lots of deep red splashed over the ceiling and exposed piping, as well as sophisticated grays throughout. An outdoor terrace overlooks the newly renovated Central Police Station from its perch on the fifth floor.
On the Menu: It’s a modern izakaya menu so expect meticulous Japanese techniques and more than a little bit of creativity. Signatures include king crab uni crab hot pot, lamb chops with black garlic and miso ($168), five-spices poached foie gras ($178) and chu-toro tartare with wasabi ($168). A sake sommelier will point you toward hard-to-find sake, flown in with help from Nakata’s own Japan Craft Sake Company. There’s whisky too from the likes of Hakushu and Yamazaki.
Jeng: We love the zesty Hokkaido scallops ($138) marinated in citrus tomato and topped with seaweed, and the baby back pork ribs ($188) are pretty hard to resist. The star of the show, however, has got to be the aforementioned king crab and uni hot pot ($298), mixed with a saucy rice that makes any winter blues disappear.
Not So Jeng: The dining tables are set for small groups, so if you’re coming with a gang of more than six, you’ll probably need to be seated at the alfresco terrace with the low tables — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Great For: Swanky dates, breezy afternoons, DJ nights, arty outings, impressing people.
FYI: Unlike its sister KEE Club, KOKO is not members only!
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.