Cocoro offers new style Japanese cuisine.
Cocoro means “the heart and soul” in Japanese, we have chosen this name because we aim at providing our food and service with all our heart and soul.
Cocoro is located on a quite side street off the busy Ponsonby Road, in an old brick building. The restaurant seats a maximum of 40 people with tables along the walls, and a large communal table in the middle.
The large communal table is designed so that couples or smaller groups sit on the same side next to each other for a more intimate experience.
Our wine list covers wines from New Zealand and other parts of the world with an emphasis on organic/biodynamic varieties.
We also have a wide range of Japanese Sake, only “Jun Mai” pure rice sake is served.
We ate here recently with their $85 degustation menu.
The service was EXCELLENT. As good as (or better) that any restaurant I have been to. The waiter explained each food item as they came out, and provided wine matches. The food came out at just the right pace.
The food was also excellent. New Zealand food but with a Japanese twist. Recommended.
As much as I love the Tanuki’s and Nishiki’s of this world, Cocoro is classy, modern and authentic. Shared several dishes from their a la carte menu with the missus and although there have been references to portion size in many of the reviews here, totally agree with the last reviewer. These are izakaya dishes for one, but more importantly, we’re not at the pub any more Dr Ropata. The standout from our meal was the seafood gratin – for me one of the best dishes I’ve had this year in Auckland. In fact it was so good we both wanted to lick every last bit of that sauce off the plate. Other highlights included the octopus sashimi, the prawns with the spicy mayo and a trip down memory lane from our travels in Japan with the simple yet oh so good zaru soba. All in all we spent about a hundy plus tip which represented brilliant value considering we had ordered a few drinks as well. Best part is we only tried a fraction of the menu which means there is so much more for us to explore next time we go back.
I went here for a recent birthday dinner with my husband. We had the degustation. It was simply the best Japanese food I have ever eaten. Everything from the high quality seafood to the presentation to the service to the portion sizes was spot on. Our waiter helped us choose fantastic sake to go with the food and it was a revelation! I can’t recommend this restaurant enough. (Though I wouldn’t go if you can’t/don’t eat seafood as this was the bulk of the degustation). A truly great find!
Had dinner there two days ago. Took the menu. Food was really good. Presentation is fantastic. Good value for money. It is definitely worth a try for lovers of something a bit special. Service very friendly and efficient. Do not know enough about sake to comment on their choice but seemed pretty extensive to me. Wine list is as good as you gonna find it in New Zealand. Big choice although wine prices a bit on the top side.
I heard that the food should be quite nice at Cocoro, but the fact that they only let you book if you choose the $80 per person menu is a real turn-off. How can you make a worse first impression with that customer service? This wouldn’t happen in Japan. No thanks.
My son took me here for Mothers Day treat. How special did I feel? He knows I don’t eat huge amounts and this was perfect. Before arriving he said he might have to go and have a burger after dinner because he was so hungry and Japanese portions seem small, but at the end of the dinner we were both totally happy and no burger needed!
Lovely design of restaurant, simple and clean. Chairs very comfortable. The food is perfectly described above by NomNomPanda and I agree with everything he says. It is a special occasion sort of restaurant and I will return. Service was fantastic with just the right wait between courses so you could savour the delicate flavours and the waiters explained each dish in detail. The clam miso was divine.
Tried to make a reservation but they would only take reservation for set menu. Explained I could not do set menu due to special diet and they then advised they would not accept booking. Business must be good to turn away a potentially good customer who loves Japanese food.
Great flavours, beautifully presented dishes and really novel items are served at this slick restaurant. Nice details too, like giving you a hot hand towel and a bowl of lotus root chips as soon as you sit down. I had piko piko for the first time here, as well freshly grated wasabi root, filo tempura and “mountain caviar”. The degustation is great value for money at $80 for 6 dishes, and it is far too much food. You could easily spend as much ordering a la carte, especially as you go for special orders like the wagyu beef, a tapas-sized plate ($37). Some menu items are actually relatively inexpensive: fresh bluff oysters tonight were $23 for a half dozen, a high quality side of noodles is $6-7, and the delicious black sesame creme brulee I ordered (served with a strawberry, cape gooseberry, raspberry and a sesame shortbread biscuit) was only $7. Fantastic venue for a special occasion, and easy to find parking on this side street off Ponsonby.
had lunch with friends last weekend. lunch menu price was less than we expected. nice menu and presentation, and of course the taste too! service was excellent. we loved this place for everything including the decor. we knew this place belongs to Soto restaurant owner, the menu is similar to Soto, but much less price.
Soto is also wonderful but we thought we might like this place better because of the price, plus this place is much quieter than Soto where they have very talkative manager who always wants to talk a bit too much when we prefer to have our own space and moment.
Absolutely amazing! Service was fantastic, food and drinks arrived promptly. We had the degustation, with matching wines and sake. I’m new to sake so i requested a mix of both wines and sake – and they were more than happy to accommodate this request. The food was simply sublime! Not cheap, but for a special occasion – you can’t got past Cocoro.
I could not recommend this restaurant enough. We headed a long for the Saturday night Omotenashi degustation dinner. It was an amazing food journey made better by the matched sake selection. Not cheap, but you are getting the best of the best.
I stumbled upon Cocoro by accident – I walked by and it caught my attention so I talked my friend into having dinner there and we were in for a lovely surprise.
The ambiance was inviting, the layout generous and the decor stylish and reserved.
We were immediately tended to and drink orders taken. There is a large selection of cold sake to choose from – in a good price range.
We had Kingfish / Hamachi sashimi which was excellent.
Bluefin tuna / Toro nigiri which was generously portioned and of great quality.
Bluff oysters, prawn tempura, scallop dynamite and chawanmushi made for a excellent meal.
The style of the food was based on traditional Japanese cooking but with some great twists to it.
The service was excellent, unobtrusive and swift.
After we paid and gave our compliments to the kitchen, the chef and owner came to see us with a little treat. We enjoyed chatting about his restaurant and his food for a few minutes.
I’ve had a passion for Japanese food for years and this was a dinner experience I won’t forget.
Needless to say that I will be coming back to enjoy Cocoro’s hospitality and food again.
The food here is probably good, but good luck getting anything to eat. The service is hopeless. They lose the order, leave you sitting hungry for ages and then are perfectly happy to charge you for your drinks and send you away hungry. Hopeless … if you want food go some where else.