RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
The Cocoro experience verges on faultless. From the moment you arrive at their door you are enveloped in a calmness and a serenity that extends from the charming welcome from co-owner Ricky Lee, and continues with understated service throughout the meal. But it’s the way chef and co-owner Makoto Tokuyama (pictured) weaves his culinary magic so effortlessly into his menu that is most awe-inspiring. Presentation is picture perfect, explanations are delivered gently and succinctly. Only the freshest ingredients are used and each one is treated carefully and subtly to preserve the fidelity of their individual tastes. It’s almost impossible to single out a few dishes from the lineup but the superb Hoikkaido scallop chawanmushi and the signature sashimi platter, featuring up to 30 types of sustainably-caught seafood, are must haves. This is delicate, delicious food with impeccable judgement.
56a Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland
09 360 0927, cocoro.co.nz Lunch & dinner Tue-sat, sharing plates $14-39, degustations $98-215
IN BRIEF An exceptional Japanese experience to treasure