Photo: Sarah Grace
What makes it special?
Hidden down a semi-suburban street, this elegantly modernist restaurant offers exquisite Japanese dishes from one of the finest chefs in the city: a study in perfection.
Behind the scenes
It takes a special something to be as thoughtful and skilled in everything you do as they are at Cocoro, in the kitchen and on the floor. Sometimes, though, too much care can strip the life out of a thing. That’s not the case at Cocoro. Each dish is presented as a surprise and delight: on a log the chef has foraged from a West Coast beach, or in a box that’s opened at the table before your eyes. The drinks list is terrific, especially in the sakes but also in the wine. Above all, there is Makoto Tokuyama’s food: mouthful after mouthful of revelatory pleasure.
A favourite dish
Charcoal-finished Kuroge Wagyu scotch fillet and shoulder with Asian vegetables, wasabi, garlic and manuka honey-infused teriyaki sauce.
What it offers
Shared-plate options / Fixed-price meals / Degustation options / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Takes large groups
Chef: Makoto Tokuyama
Hours: Lunch and Dinner Tue-Sat.
56a Brown St. Ph 360-0927, cocoro.co.nz
Finalist, Best Chef: Makoto Tokuyama