Koku Culture is home to one of the best brunches I’ve had all year. I’ve never been shy about my love of Japanese-fusion breakfast and brunch foods, and Koku Culture’s tiny Ashfield store fits the bill completely.
The Torched Confit Ora King Salmon Fillet with 63 degree egg ($24+$2) was sublime. Ora King Salmon is always a treat, featuring a rich oiliness and delicate mouthfeel far beyond your average grocery store Tasmanian Atlantic salmon. I try to order some Ora King salmon every now and then from the popular online fish delivery services, and even when cooked inexpertly by me at home the difference is noticeable. Koku Culture’s torched confit king salmon fillet definitely lived up to expectations – tender inside with a slight char on the outside reminiscent of aburi sushi. The miso dressing was tasty but not overpowering, and the green tea soba salad surprisingly refreshing, especially with the egg (a $2 supplement but important) and miso mixed in. This has to be a must-order dish from Koku Culture.
This Crispy Rice Cheeseburger ($15) with Chips and their secret sauce was also fantastic, but in a completely different way to the salmon. Where the salmon felt clean and healthful, this was perfect in terms of sheer debauchery. The rice “buns” were perfectly cirspy and fried out the outside, with a light but slightly sticky texture on the inside – a bit “QQ” as we would call it in terms of Chinese food. The seafood was similarly crispy, enjoyable and not merely for decoration. I opted for an extra patty ($5)(probably wasn’t necessary in this case, and I’d just stick with a single patty in the future) , and both beef patties were cooked to a delicious level of juiciness, mixed in with their special sauce and fresh lettuce. Even the chips were good.
The matcha affogato, which I can’t see on their menu any more, was pretty OK. The ice cream was good, the coffee was black. Mixed together it remained a bit black for my taste.
That’s a good Matcha Brownie right there.
I enjoyed Koku Culture. Definitely worth a visit, but make sure you budget in some time for the queue outside.
These guys are now closed forever, before the publication of this review. This is part of why I’ve pushed this review far into the future in terms of scheduling – they’re not going to get more dead. Hopefully Kenji Okuda and Donna Chau can bless us once again something good.
1/355 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield NSW 2131
0402 697 475