I’ve been seeing the “opening soon” sign on the Coco Café for what seems like ages now. Well, it finally opened 3 days ago and thought I’d give it a try. It’s a French bistro by origin, however, they serve international dishes to accommodate the variety of tastes we have here. They do have a nice selection of desserts that look promising.
What we ordered:-
Started off with sweets (yes we sometimes have dessert before the actual meal)
- classic café éclair
- Homemade waffle with red berries, cream and maple syrup
- café latte
I can safely say the waffle didn’t taste homemade, I was expecting a much more spongy waffle to sink my teeth into. Dean & Deluca’s still remains the better waffle so far. 750 fils for 2 strawberries and 3 raspberries was a little on the high side. The American coffee was ok; I understand that they offer their own coffee brand.
The éclair was delicious, although the sugar topping was a little too heavy, nonetheless the filling and éclair bread was excellent. I couldn’t say the same about the latte. At first we thought they used skimmed milk, because it tasted way too watery; turns out was full fat and still didn’t have that creamy taste you’d expect.
We than went into the main course:
- Smoked Salmon
- Basmati rice
- Coco burger
The smoked salmon looked like it was deep frozen and wasn’t thawed out correctly. It had a flakey texture and easily crumbled; even the skin wasn’t consistent and was hard to peel. Wasn’t up to par. The side dish of basmati rice on the other hand was divine!
I enjoyed their burger, but it wasn’t anything special. FYI, their main courses come with a side of fries, but be warned, they are quite oily (as compared to fauchon or laduree who serve similar fries).
Great ambiance, nice seating areas and décor both inside and outside.
Music is also appropriate for an international bistro.
The service was quick and efficient. Our server was conversant with the details of the dishes we ordered, pleasant and had good attitude (sometimes rarely found round these parts).
One of the supervisors did come and ask how the meal was, but he came literally 2 secs after the first dishes were set on the table……Ooopps! he didn’t give me a chance to take a close look at what was served! and it was obvious that I hadn’t touched a thing on the table.
Value for Money
It’s what you would expect for a mid-range restaurant. Our entire meal cost 20.500 KD.
I give this place 3 stars because I have a feeling the rest of the desserts are good based on the éclair. All in all the food wasn’t that bad, the service was good (lets hope it stays that way).
The restaurant is run by Al Shaya, as you may know, if you use your NBK Master World credit card at Al Shaya outlets or restaurants you can get either a discount or NBK reward points. When we asked, no one in the restaurant was aware of either.
We’ll definitely go back again to try out their other dishes, but next time I’ll try a more traditional French dish or something they specialize in. I went foolishly to a French restaurant and ordered a non-French dish, like bringing a knife to a gun fight!
I do recommend everyone give it a try.
UPDATE – second visit
I really see potential in this restaurant, it’s got great ambience, location and service. He’s our second visit round up.
What we ordered:-
- Mushroom lasagna
- Chicken Panini (without roasted peppers)
- Basmati rice
- Lime & Mint juice
- Pomegranate juice
The mushroom lasagna was ok, nothing special really. However, it was quite light – didn’t give that full feeling like when they stuff a lasagna with cream sauce.
The chicken Panini was ok, I say that only because I asked to remove the peppers which I’m sure would have provided the required kick!
The lime & mint juice also didn’t deliver. It was waaaay to watery and too sweet – also room temp – with just a hint of lime. So actually it was a green sugar water juice with a molecule of lime. The waiter was happy to replace it though. The pomegranate juice was finely fresh.
We were hoping the basmati rice would restore our faith in the bistro’s perceived image, but unfortunately it wasn’t ask delicious as the first time.
The 2nd Verdict
The service remains excellent, including staff attitude and attentiveness. This is one of the main reasons we went back.
As for the food, I’m not quite sure anymore. I would ask you to go try and give me your feedback, but don’t blame me for anything!
FYI, I still would go back………..but only to try the remaining sweets.
Here’s the link to the 3rd and 4th review.