With its picture-perfect shopfronts and pretty light displays, going to Lee Tung Avenue in Wanchai always feels like a celebration. But while it is lovely, I rarely head there to eat.
To be honest, when I first saw Cooshti, it reminded me of My Tai Tai, the now-closed Thai restaurant by ZS Hospitality Group that also featured a large mural of its faux heroine’s face. And Mrs Pound (also now closed) and Missy Ho’s, which, while mural-less, are also Asian fusion concepts built around faux heroines. So while the concept isn’t new, I’m always open to trying new food, and I was curious – what kind of Asian fusion dishes does Cooshti serve up? We went during soft opening, and the one-sheet menu was full of crowd-pleasers, from KFC, to dragon rolls, to butter chicken.
Here’s what we tried:
The seared ahi tuna tataki ($180) comes with sliced avo and sesame ponzu sauce, served on a crisp base of shredded apple. Fresh, delicious and actually I can’t remember the last time I saw seared tuna on a menu – is this classic making a welcome comeback?
If you’re looking for a salad, I wouldn’t go for the salmon sashimi and avocado salad ($165), which is perfectly fine but doesn’t have much of a wow factor.
There were four different sushi dishes on the soft-opening menu. The seared salmon nigiri ($135) is like little candies – fatty fish beneath tobiko (fish roe), chives and ribbons of jalapeño-Parmesan cream. The only upsetting thing was that it only comes with four pieces. I could have easily eaten eight pieces on my own.
If you’re hungry, try the Cooshti dragon roll ($145), which is similar in price to the salmon nigiri, but you get eight pieces. This is topped with seared salmon and charred Parmesan cream and contains one of the best tempura prawns I’ve ever had – cooked just so and very bouncy. Overall the flavour of this one is quite intense and maybe only for those who like mayo on their sushi (if you do, like me, definitely get this).
Being a pork belly lover, I had high expectations for the slow-roasted sticky pork belly and cucumber lollipops ($150). These were a bit unbalanced, with the bottom layer being too lean, the top layer feeling a bit too fatty and the cucumber served with the lean bit when it would have better complemented the fatty layer.
We loved the jalapeño kingfish carpaccio ($160), which is incredibly fresh and almost creamy, balanced out by a tasty, tangy dressing made with ginger, coriander, jalapeño, citrus and soy.
Because I always love a good burger, we ended with the teriyaki Wagyu burger ($180), which comes with sweet potato fries (excellent) and jalapeño mayo. Unfortunately, this one needs the most work, with no discernable teriyaki flavour and sinewy beef.
As for the ambience, Cooshti has a relaxed, loungey, open-air, island-esque vibe. It was a lovely spot for dinner, and I imagine it would be great for lunch or even for a mid-afternoon solo reading session, along with a tasty snack.
We weren’t expecting to be so impressed by the seafood at Cooshti, but every single seafood dish we tried was a winner. I’d happily go back and reorder any of them. In fact, a few days after our dinner, I texted my friend to say I was still thinking about the Cooshti dragon roll; that charred, salty, sweet Parmesan cream-topped bouncy shrimp tempura roll was calling my name! I haven’t ever tasted a roll quite like this one, and it’s so well worth the price. If you like Asian fusion cuisine or tasty twists on your favourite comfort foods, give Cooshti a try. It’s open from breakfast and brunch until dinner (once restrictions are lifted), offering happy hour, weeknight specials and ever-changing set lunches. Vegans and vegetarians, they’ve got your backs too!
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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