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Cocoro

Restaurants, Japanese Bloomsbury
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Some Japanese restaurants try to impress with swanky decor and fine tableware; some just focus on providing decent, well-priced food. This little spot, tucked down a side road off New Oxford Street, is all about soothing workaday staples. Despite the bright orange façade, it’s easy to miss and the narrow dining room is also far from overstated.

Capacious bowls of ramen are top of the lunch crowd’s list. Filled with rich, earthy broths, such as thick, amber-hued miso or milky, pork bone-based tonkotsu – finished with black garlic oil (mayu) –  each comes with an assortment of rolled pork belly slices, crisp shallot pieces, beansprouts and sweetcorn. A nearby table of Japanese salarymen slurped theirs approvingly.

While the ramen rivals any that you’d find in a no-nonsense eatery in Japan, our sweet soy-based beef and vegetable hot pot (sukiyaki) was a little disappointing. Serving it with pre-cooked beef took away all the fun of doing the job ourselves on the portable brazier. Service, though friendly, was a little absent-minded, but there’s no complaining about the array of Japanese beers, spirits and fruity liqueurs.

By: Celia Plender

Posted:

Details

Address: 25 Coptic Street
London
WC1A 1NT
Transport: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road tube
Price: Main courses dinner £9-£15. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £45
Contact:
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Meals served noon-5pm Sun
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Users say (3)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|3
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Excellent restaurant and best SUSHI in london. casual dining style. you can have both healthy food and oily spicy food here. Sushi here is really fresh and salmon are quite fatty. you can try tasty skewers which is rare to try but I am sure you will be addicted with these excellent dishes.Their TONKOTSU RAMEN, noodle with pork taste soup is also splendid dish.

tastemaker

Am I even a foodie if I’ve never heard of this restaurant chain?? I’m quite a big fan of Japanese food and I’d never come across Cocoro until last month! I came to their Bloomsbury branch for their dinner service, which starts at 6pm.


After browsing the menu, we decided on the following to share between two:

  1. Takoyaki – A traditional Japanese street food, these are essentially bite-sized shaped balls made from wheat flour batter filled with octopus and topped with Japanese mayonnaise and Japanese Worcester sauce. They were also sprinkled with green spring onions and bonito flakes on top, which adds a nice freshness and saltiness, respectively. One serving of this came with five takoyaki balls, which was nice to share.
  2. Crispy Chicken – This was essentially Japanese fried chicken, also known as karaage. I liked that the batter tasted pretty authentic, something about the Japanese version is quite distinct and you can immediately tell when it is used. This dish came with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over. However, I would have preferred some Japanese mayonnaise on the side, as this goes really well together!
  3. Unagi Kabayaki – A plate of grilled eel with its traditional sauce poured on top, it was delicious! This has got to be my favourite Japanese hot dish because the eel is always so soft and tender – even though you can sometimes feel the bones, they’re edible and make for a good source of calcium like with sardines! The sauce is equally yummy, with a sweet and savoury flavour. A serving of this came with two fillets, so that was perfect to split.
  4. Cocoro Sushi Set – This was a nice spread, which included various fish for the nigiri as well as the traditional Japanese omelette nigiri. The middle was filled with salmon maki rolls, which were nicely shaped and portioned. However, the nigiri were not shaped as well and kept falling apart whenever we tried to pick them up with our chopsticks (and this definitely not due to a lack of our chopsticks skills!).

To go along with dinner, we both went for a glass of Umenoyado Yuzu. This was a citrus based liquor made from the Japanese yuzu fruit. It was a refreshing and light drink with a low alcohol content and a lovely sweet and sour flavour from the yuzu juice in the drink. I thought it paired well with our food, especially the sushi set.


Overall the atmosphere was not very impressive. There wasn’t much to the decor, except for the display of Japanese dry goods at the entrance and a couple of posters on one side of the wall in the main eating hall. As for the service, our waitress was good at estimating how much food would be suitable between two people. We asked for her recommendations and it ended up being the perfect amount of food – not too much nor too little, and we had a decent variety of things to try.


I'm generally a reserved person.

I'll tolerate poor service in favor of good food.


But.


Cocoro was just unbearable.


I walked in at 5 pm.

Restaurant was empty because it's too late for lunch & too early for dinner.


I asked for a table for 1.


The head waiter ushered me to the sushi bar table. Where its you sitting facing a little wall.


I said since it's not busy, I'd prefer a table. Also, because I knew I would be ordering more than usual.

There was only one table occupied out of the ten empty ones.


So the head waiter gave me this look, as if I asked them to move mountains for me.


Anyways, he reluctantly moved me to a table for 2.

So I put my bag (bought perfumes from Liberty) on the table & asked where the restroom was.


I was barely in the restroom 5 minutes and when I came back, I found they'd seated 2 people where I was seated.


I was shocked. There were several other tables for 2, why did they have to seat someone at my table?


It's not like it was a prime table or anything. By prime I mean by the window or with a view. It was just a regular table.


So when I asked , very politely, what was going on. They seated me somewhere else.


At this point I'm fuming on the inside.

Out of the ten tables, 2 were occupied & it wasn't dinner time.


Why did they seat other people where I was sitting? They know I went to the bathroom. It makes no sense.

Then when I come back, Why make it a big deal?


Poorest service and for what ?

I was dressed appropriately and spoke politely.

I walked in with a huge smile & was very polite & eager to enjoy a good meal.


Just to clarify,I was dressed nicely.

Not that it should matter, but I had a Louis Vuitton messenger bag over my shoulder.


It takes a lot to upset me.


So I lost my appetite & decide to leave.

I've never left a restaurant a before.

I politely said thanks & leave.


Five minutes later I realize I forgot my liberty perfume bag at the restaurant.


I forgot it because it wasn't at the table they forcefully relocated me to without my consent.


So I hurry back. They pretend not too know where my bag was.

Then the manager opens a closet & asks if it's that one.


I'm going to be complaining to the London Better Business Bureau. 

London city doesn't accept this poor business standard. 


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