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Japanese Coo Izakaya Review (Owned by Iori)

By megaJames - 16 September 2009 23

Coo IzakayaI haven’t written about any dinning experiences for a while but after visiting the new Japanese BBQ place in the bus interchange last night it promoted me to share…

Let me start by saying that Iori is one of my top 5 favorite places to eat in Canberra. So knowing that Coo Izakaya is owned by them and only a few doors down gave me some pretty high expectations.

There was four of us for dinner and everything started out well. The menu was okay, not as extensive as Iori but similar style and a little cheaper. We each ordered a starter and a main. Starters (hand rolls) were around $5 each and my main, Chicken Teriyaki  skewers, were $18 with no rice – that was extra. Other mains were all around $20 each.The rolls were very average. My California roll contained a thin sliver of salmon with lots of rice. So for $5 I shouldn’t expect a lot but you get double the good stuff and much better quality at Sushi Sushi in the Canberra Centre for almost half the price.

The main was nicer however the chicken had a lot of fat on it and too chewy for my liking. The serves were tiny. We wanted to share all the main dishes but found that they were all so scant that we each barely got one mouth full from each dish. Pretty poor for dishes that were all around the $20 mark.

I’ve saved the best to last…Two starters came out first. Then about 30 minutes later two of the mains came out, followed by the other two starts another 10 minutes later. Finally the last two mains came out about 10 minutes after the last two starters. Including us, the place only had three small tables of people at the time, so there was no way the kitchen couldn’t keep up.

I spoke to a mate today who regularly travels to Japan and he told me that Izakaya are a type of bar in Japan where you can get food with your drinks – similar to the Spanish Tapas concept. The only problem with Coo Izakaya is that it’s setup as a restaurant not a bar. So you go there expecting it to be an eatery not a bar. To be honest  I can’t recall anything that would suggest to me that it should be some kind of drinking venue as opposed to an eatery.

Would be really keen to hear what other people think of it. Perhaps I went there on a bad hair night!?

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23 Responses to
Japanese Coo Izakaya Review (Owned by Iori)
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Danman 8:28 am 30 Sep 09

Man it must be hard to open a Restaurant in canberra if RA is a snapshot of the whiney culture that is becoming norm.

I remember someone here having a whinge about a 2 chef hat restaurant that had consistently won national awards for years – however it was still not good enough.

I enjoy critique as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, it is not gospel, just a heads up…

Go and assess it for yourself, in the words of one Mr Mike Patton, “You might surprise yourself”

p.s. I am so glad I am no longer a chef – even perfection is flawed by Canberra Food Critic standards.

peterh 1:42 am 30 Sep 09

riiight. I have eaten at iori a few times. The food is very good, but I like variety in my life, so I will go to restaurants in dickson, woden, civic and tuggeranong. There is competition, it is called other types of cuisine. I eat italian, greek, indian, chinese, steak house, etc, etc. and I don’t pine for iori all the time.

I was going to review it at some stage, but there isn’t another restaurant to compare it against…

johnboy 8:20 pm 29 Sep 09

Sadly I’m not the duty editor today and it’s their call.

If I remember it over the weekend we might revisit.

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