RESTAU­RANT OF THE YEAR

WIN­NER

Cuisine - - SOCIAL -

COCORO 19/20

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

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