COOH in Alexandria was a venue surprise of 2017 for me. I knew nothing about it and only attended because my good friend Tammi (@teafortammi) won a photography competition to dine there for 5x people. I am so glad this happened because COOH ended up being my 14th favourite restaurant of the year.
COOH actually has two venues. The mothership in Alexandria and (wtf?) their cafe, which came first, in North Curl Curl, right near my home!! I need to visit this one ASAP. The Curly venue is a smaller cafe that isn’t open at nights but their origin story has turned into a dream come true and a remarkable expansion into the Alexandria location, a massive venue capable of large scale functions and dining a hell of a lot of people for all meals.
Located right across the road from The Grounds of Alexandria, COOH is a huge open plan industrial restaurant crossed with Cuban? decor. I am totally winging the decor here but polished cement on the floor, exposed cement roof and then lots of cane and plants – is that Cuban – let’s go with it. The plants are amazing, one corner is just stunning! You can sit outside on one side of the venue and the bar is one massive space towards the back. It is earthy the space made me feel at home. Due to the size of the venue I can see a lot of large scale events being held here and there is enough room for full bands and dance floors, it’s a truly remarkable venue.
COOH FOOD PHILOSOPHY:
The COOH food philosophy is all about fresh, local and mostly organic.
They support small local businesses and use newly harvested produce.
Their local suppliers include Wild Balsy Kombucha, Black Gold Raw Cacao, Loving Earth, Pana Chocolate, Karma Goods, Green St Kitchen, Murry River Organics. They use organic produce, grains, flours and free range meat.
- Eggs are from Egg Lady Deliveries from free range chickens on the banks of the Hawkesbury River.
- Bread and pastries are made from all organic ingredients from Infinity Organic Sourdough Bakery.
- Milk is award winning from a local dairy farm in Picton.
- Coffee is organic and roasted in-house at their North Curl Curl location.
- All their baked good are made in-house. Their RAW treats are all, gluten free, sugar free and vegan.
- And their tea is from “The Organic Tea Project”.
As you can see – their organic standards are high!!
WHAT WE SMASHED AND THOUGHT:
We smashed a lot of stuff into our bellies. Mostly everything is still available on the summer menu with some minor changes. I don’t really mention it in the article but do note the wine list and cocktails all looked impressive!
- Smokey Eggplant with Garlic and Herbs on Sourdough
- Saganaki Feta wrapped in Filo with Honey and Sesame
Eggplant became one of my favourite dishes of 2017 – I basically ordered it whenever I saw it and this smokey eggplant dish did nothing but impress.
The Saganaki Feta Filo was my favourite dish of the night. Gooey feta in perfectly golden filo and the honey and sesame – OMFG!!! Sharing this with four people was a bitch!
- Barramundi braised with Lemon, Coriander, Tomato and Capsicum served in a pan with Sourdough on the side
- Crispy Skin Ocean Trout, Sweet Potato Puree, Citrus Herb Salad and Buerre Blanc
- Junee Lamb Backstrap marinated in Chermoula with Herbed Quinoa, Currants, Pomegranate and Mint Yoghurt
- Twice Cooked Berkshire Pork Belly, Five Spice, Cauliflower Puree and Slaw
- Slow Cooked Free Range Beef Cheeks Celeriac Puree, Heirloom Carrots and Red Wine Jus
I am not huge fan of tomato based dishes and barra isn’t my fave fish but the presentation and flavours in this were unique and flavoursome. Of the mains it was my least favourite but that doesn’t mean it was crap, barra just isn’t my dish. The Ocean Trout on the other hand was mind blowing, fresh and the citrus salad was the perfect addition. I could have devoured this one all to myself.
The Junee Lamb Backstrap was cooked perfectly and presented marvellously. It was a very light dish and would make a perfect lunch meal. The Pork Belly was superb and cooked as it should but it wasn’t a multiple foodgasm kind of pork belly – again, I found this quite light and with the slaw I would happily slay this for lunch, chuck on an egg and breakfast even haha.
The beef cheeks was the main’s knight in shining armour. A dish that nearly saw five eaters jousting for the honour of devouring this knightly plate of yum! They were as tender as melted butter and the added twists for crunch plus the puree, carrots and jus had the entire table in culinary conniptions of craziness. I need this dish again!!
- Warm Spiced Walnut Cake with Honey and Cardamon Ice Cream
- Vegan Double Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich with Brownie Crumble
- Honey Whipped Ricotta Cheese, Rhubarb Puree, Rose Sorbet and Crumb
- Passionfruit Curd, White Chocolate Mousse Meringue Shards and Lemon Balm
There were four desserts on the menu and we decided the best thing to do was eat them all haha. The last three listed above are still on the menu and they have removed the Walnut cake with no replacement.
I have listed in my order of love. The Walnut Cake was quite nice but it is very much a winter earthy cake for the more health inclined. Only remotely healthier! The Ice Cream Sandwich was delicious and I do love that it is vegan. The Ricotta Cheese Dessert was everything you would want in a dessert. Cool, pretty and with all the nice things – a dessert I do want again but my favourite was the Passionfruit Curd. I am a total sucker for passionfruit anything and I loved this dessert. I wish I could have some now to cool off!!
Since I mentioned COOH was in my Top 20 Restaurants of 2017 I have had some mixed feedback on their breakfast with one friend not impressed at all. I have not eaten breakfast here, I have not eaten lunch here. I have eaten dinner here and it blew my mind. Everyone’s experience will be different based on how the atoms of the universe align on any given day. What I can say is that the day I visited the atoms aligned in perfect unison and I can’t wait to return.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 1/1 bonus
COOH Alexandria Deets:
PH: (02) 9002 1333
90-96 Bourke Road, (Cnr Bourke & Collins) Alexandria, 2015
BOOKINGS: Absolutely yes
Monday 7am – 4pm
Tuesday – Friday 7am – LATE
Saturday 8am – LATE
Sunday 8am – 5pm
LOCAL DELIVERY: Check with Venue
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** THIS MEAL WAS PAID FOR ***
For more reviews of Sydney’s finest Restaurants check it out HERE.