Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
03 9292 5777
Koko takes an authentic Japanese experience and places it in the middle of Melbourne, transporting not only the cuisine but the country’s architecture and ambience to Crown Melbourne.
Located in Crown Towers, the fine-dining restaurant has been a mainstay of the Crown experience since it opened, welcoming thousands of curious eaters through its doors to try its unique take on Japanese fare.
However, that’s not the only element that harks back to Japan. Koko is home to a spectacular dining room, created by internationally renowned designer, Tony Chi. Upon entering, you will be greeted by a tranquil water garden, complete with water lilies and marble stepping stones. Natural timbers dominate the interior, dotted with teppanyaki tables and booths. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a breathtaking view of the city skyline, creating the ideal setting in which you can enjoy Koko’s range of menu options.
Once you’ve found your seat, choose either the teppanyaki or a la carte menu for a deep dive into Japanese cuisine. The menu has been designed by Executive Chef, Tomotaka Ishizuka. Born in Japan, he joined a small restaurant after graduating from high school, learning from a team of three to four chefs. He soon moved to Australia and joined the Koko team.
Tomotaka’s expertise is on full display through the selection of sushi and sashimi – try the ocean trout tataki, served with ginger, garlic and ponzu, or the California roll, an inside-out nori roll filled with mayonnaise, avocado, cucumber and prawns. If you’ve opted for the teppanyaki, there’s a wide selection to choose from, designed to be paired with accompaniments like seasonal vegetables and fried rice.
For the ultimate luxury, order the signature Mayura Wagyu sirloin beef – specifically developed for greater complexity and the integration of delicate flavours. More of a poultry person? Go for the grilled duck breast with yuzu and miso sauce, or grilled chicken Maryland with teriyaki sauce. No Japanese meal is complete without seafood, so don’t forget to pop some Hokkaido scallops and grilled Alaskan king crab on the order.
The a la carte menu has just as many options, revolving around noodle and rich dishes, Japanese hot pots and main meals. After your serving of sushi, try the tempura soba – green tea soba noodles with prawn and vegetable tempura, or the traditional shabu shabu hot pot. It includes hot knob dashi broth, vegetables and ponzu and sesame sauces, with the choice of scotch fillet, tiger prawns, Hokkiado scallops or a half dozen oysters.
If you appreciate a good steak, turn to the main courses, where a variety of Wagyu cuts are on offer, served with seasonal vegetables and Koko steak sauce.
They sit alongside seafood options like tempura moriawase – Queensland prawns, white fish and vegetables in light batter, served with dashi and soy dipping sauce.
It’s not just the food menus that are extensive. Koko’s sake list is one of the best on offer, including a fantastic range of aged and exclusive sake from both Australia and Japan.
Between the traditional interiors and extensive menu, Koko is an overseas immersion that doesn’t require a passport.