Cooshti by O, new (yet familiar!) Asian fusion on Lee Tung Avenue
Lee Tung Avenue always feels like a celebration with it’s picture perfect shopfronts and light displays. It’s lovely but I rarely go there to eat. Will that change now that Cooshti, a new Asian fusion restaurant from the Oolaa Group, has arrived?
To be honest, when I first saw Cooshti, it reminded me of My Tai Tai (now closed) which also had a large mural of its faux heroine’s face. And Mrs Pound (also closed) and Missy Ho’s which, while mural-less, are also Asian fusion concepts built around faux heroines. So while the concept wasn’t new, I’m always open to trying new food and was curious — what kind of Asian fusion would Cooshti serve up?
We went during soft opening and the one-sheet menu was full of crowd pleasers from
KFC to dragon rolls to butter chicken.
Here’s what we tried.
The Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki ($180) was well prepared and came with sliced avo and sesame ponzu sauce served on a crisp base of shredded apple. Fresh, delicious and actually I can’t remember the last time I saw seared tuna on a menu — is this a classic coming back?
If you’re looking for a salad, I’d opt for this over the Salmon Sashimi and Avocado Salad ($165) which was perfectly fine but didn’t have as much of a surprise factor.
There were four different sushi dishes on the menu. The Seared Salmon Nigiri ($135) were like little candies — fatty fish beneath tobiko, chives and ribbons of Jalapeno parmesan cream. The only upsetting thing was that it only came with four pieces! I bet I could easily eat eight pieces on my own.
If you’re hungry, try the Cooshti Dragon Roll ($145) which is similar in price to the salmon nigiri but you get eight pieces. This was topped with seared salmon and charred parmesan cream and contained one of the best tempura prawns I’ve ever had — cooked just so and very bouncy. Overall the flavour of this one is quite intense and maybe only for those who like mayo on their sushi — if you do, like me, get this.
Being a pork belly lover, I had high expectations for the Slow Roasted Sticky Pork Belly & Cucumber ‘Lollipops’ ($150). These were alright but a bit unbalanced with the bottom layer being too lean and the top layer feeling a bit too fatty, and the cucumber served with the lean bit.
We loved the Jalapeno Kingfish Carpaccio ($160) which was incredibly fresh and almost creamy balanced out by a tasty ginger coriander jalapeno citrus soy dressing.
Because I always love a good burger, we ended with the Terryaki Wagyu Beef Burger ($180) which came with sweet potato fries (excellent) and jalapeno mayo. Unfortunately this one needed the most work with no discernable teriyaki flavour and sinewy beef.
As for the vibe, Cooshti has a relaxed, lounge-y, open air, Island vibe. It was a lovely spot for dinner and I imagine it would be great for lunch or even for a mid-afternoon solo reading session with a tasty snack.
We weren’t expecting to be so impressed by the seafood but every single seafood dish we had was a winner. I’d happily go back and reorder any of them. In fact, a few days after our dinner, I texted my friend to say I was still thinking about the Cooshti Dragon Roll. That charred salty sweet parmesan cream-topped bouncy shrimp tempura roll was calling my name! I haven’t tasted a roll quite like this and it’s well worth its price. If you like Asian fusion or tasty twists on your favourite comfort foods, give Cooshti a try.
Lee Tung Avenue G/F, Shop G35, Wan Chai, 2796 7328