61 Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9358 5388
Yesterday I had the opportunity to try a restaurant in Surry Hills as my friend, Bradley organised a dinner with a few friends to catch up before the next semester starts. Initially we planned to meet at Chat Thai but unfortunately it was booked out so the venue was changed to Cochin Vietnamese Restaurant.
I love trying new restaurants as it gives me a chance to explore different dishes and satisfy my taste buds. Besides that, this restaurant has been listed in the SMH good food guide and had some raving reviews and thus I was more than excited to try it out.
Cochin is a Vietnamese restaurant with its dishes being a fusion of Vietnamese – French cuisine. The restaurant offers a special $30 banquet worth $50 for bookings on Tuesdays to Thursdays and since it was a Thursday, we decided to opt in for the banquet. A minimum of 2 people are required for the banquet.
The appetisers were
Asparagus velouté or as introduced by the waitress as asparagus soup was splendid. It was creamy and I did not actually taste any hint of asparagus while I sipped and eventually downed it till not a single drop was left. It was my first time trying a velouté and it was definitely a good experience.
The spring rolls and the fresh prawn summer rolls taste rather common but I did like the sauce that it was served with.
The entree was
The coco garlic prawns smelt really mouth watering but did not taste as good as it smelt. It was too sweet for a savory dish.
For the main, we had a choice of either spicy beef stew, curried chicken, satay chicken, stir fried chicken with lemongrass, braised fish in caramel sauce, turmeric curry fish, steam fish with ginger, pork hock served with papaya salad and pork belly in caramel sauce. Pandan rice was served with each main. I had the pork hock served with papaya salad.
A pork hock is very much like pork knuckle. This dish was very disappointing as despite the lovely presentation of the dish, it was rather flavourless. I was expecting a juicy pork hock from the presentation, with the pork hock being all marinated and brown. The hock does not seemed to be marinated nor cooked long enough and thus only the skin had any flavour to it but sadly it was rather burnt. The papaya salad was simply awful and perhaps the worst papaya salad we have eaten. It was tasteless and did not complement the dish at all.
The rice did not stand out, nor did the pandan flavour.
For dessert, I had chocolate mousse out of the options of cream brulee, chocolate mousse and cream caramel. The chocolate mousse was good but too sweet for my liking. Perhaps half the serve would have been more than enough.
Despite the unsatisfactory introduction and recommendation of dishes while taking down orders, overall the service was pretty good. Glasses would be refilled as soon as it is empty or half filled. The ambience was not as great as praised by the critics and reviews but I would praise the restaurant and waitresses for being accommodating. Although we came in a large group of at least 14 people, they were rather pleasant while taking down orders and even arranging tables when needed to.