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A Hot Spot for the Rest of Us: Cochin Restaurant

It’s classified as French/Vietnamese fusion, but I don’t understand what that means, exactly. Where does the French part come from? I don’t see any baguettes or snails. Whatever it is, all you need to know is that it tastes good. Affordable, inviting and delightfully fresh, Cochin Restaurant in Surry Hills is the perfect place to catch up with an old friend on a Friday night, because if you run out of things to say to each other there’s enough background noise to drown out the awkward silence. Tiny and a wee obscure, it’s fulfilled all the criteria for the “Hot Spot” category, and the best part? Your stomach will be happy AND you’ll be trendy!

Set right near the Hopetoun on Fitroy Street, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-restaurant also makes for a great pre-show meal – word on the street is it’s much quieter on weekdays. The interiors are dark, wooden and classic with subtle lighting just barely punctuating the atmosphere, which inevitably becomes cosy and maybe a little bit sexy once you have a glass too many. Hence, Cochin also makes for a great date venue, and the best part? It’s affordable AND BYO, so boys, you know where to next take the lady.

Look, everything looks and smells yummy, and I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s no better way to describe food than yummy. Lemongrass, ginger, and chilli make recurrent appearances on the menu, and the popularity of the seafood makes it more tempting than just any old apple.
This time I opted for the Lemongrass Chicken with a side of Stir Fried Veggies, and the combination of the two set off a flavour bomb in my mouth. The thing is though, the portions are quite large and the tastes are quite strong so after a while you kind of get full and just want to drink.

So I might not get the references to France but this is certainly contemporary Asian dining just as it should be – an unpretentious vibe, simple food and enough money left over for a bottle of wine on the way home.

61 Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010.
(02) 9358 5388.

words: Seema Duggal


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