COOH’s Bourke Road restaurant has long been on my list of places to eat at this year. We’ve driven past it countless times on our way to the other restaurants, but it’s taken us over nine months of living in the area to finally pay a visit.
COOH is situated in a high-ceilinged warehouse on Bourke Road. There is no parking available, and minimal street parking in the area, so we did a sneaky and parked at Grounds of Alexandria around the corner. It is a beautiful, large room setup, with a large bar and kitchen area on show. We had lunch on a Wednesday, the same time as what appeared to be a local mum and bubs group.
The potato chips with aioli ($8) were salty and ultimately unsatisfying. It is difficult to pinpoint what was wrong with them, and it was probably more a constellation of things that did not quite meet the mark. We found that we were quite aioli dependent with these chips, and ran out of the aioli early. Luckily we were able to get additional aioli at no charge.
I ordered the seared tuna with a spice crust, spiralised salad, jalapeno salsa, and avocado puree ($26). This was a dish I was quite excited about – there are some beautiful photos online of essentially sashimi tuna with a seared crust, and that’s what I thought I would be getting. I was wrong. The tuna that I ate today was almost fully cooked through, nowhere near as rare or raw as expected. While I enjoyed the flavours in the spiced crust I felt like the overcooking lead to a strange and unpleasant texture – no better than what I could make by myself at home. I enjoyed the spiralised salad, as well as the avocado puree, and thought the plating was quite nice. I could not identify any jalapeno salsa, and indeed didn’t realise it was meant to be part of it until I took another look at the menu whilst writing this review. I would not recommend this dish.
The Morrocan lamb and quinoa ($28) I enjoyed even less than the seared tuna. Most disappointing was the inexplicable lukewarm temperature of the lamb, almost as if it had been cooked and left to rest for far too long. The quinoa was also cold, which I just don’t feel goes well with a meat such as lamb, which is meant to be served hot. I enjoyed every other element of the dish – the plating, the mint yoghurt, the sweet potato, currants, and pomegranate seeds, but unfortunately the two title ingredients were a let down.
My trip to COOH was ultimately a let down. I didn’t really enjoy anything we had, despite the restaurant having generally good reviews online. My partner had good things to say about the space, and even considered it for some kind of formal occasion in the future, however the food was such a let down that it would be a veto.
Not my cup of quinoa.
COOH Bourke Road
90-96 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, NSW, Australia
(02) 9002 1333