Saturday, April 15, 2006

1st Review - Coco Red, Monash Uni Clayton Campus

I first learnt about Coco Red from Amy, who claimed they serve the 'best coffee' topped with good service. She gets her daily fix from there and the manager is on a first name basis with her. I'll admit I was rather impressed on my first visit there (not to mention jealous! the only service-oriented staff that calls me by my first name is my ex-colleagues and the people from Boost.. after i give it to them of course)

Location: Coco Red is inconspicuously located in Monash Uni's Campus Centre, right next to the Asian Noodle Bar. Personally it's a bit too obscure and is easily missed most of the time if you're not really paying attention.

Expedition: Jac, Wendy & I decided to do lunch in CR last Weds. We sat on a table that's a bit too small cosy for 3 of us. The layout of the restaurant was quite fancy and posh. The concept reminded me slightly of the fancy Lygon St italian restaurants; but it could've been the red colours.

I read on the Monash Resource Student Guide that the Menu in CR was predominantly European. We settled for the specials of the day which were the Chicken, Pumpkin & Pinenut Risotto and the Butterfish.

Chicken, Pumpkin & Pinenut Risotto!
Rating: 7 ½/10

This dish was one of the nicer risotto's I've had in a long long while. It could be that, or that I was really hungry at the time the food came. The pumpkin was a nice touch, although I don't recall biting into any visibly chunky nuts. The rice was still moist and the cheese & spring onion was a nice touch.

Rating: 4 - not recommended!

This dish turned out to be a major disappointment. The portion was small and the worst part was that the fish served wasn't fresh. The lemon didn't help all that much and despite the three of us sharing only 2 mains, the fish was touched the least.

There were also small servings of potatoes, eggplants and sweet potatoes under the fish. It was nothing out of the ordinary, and the eggplant was slightly tasteless.

Mains Summary: To be honest, there isn't exactly a wide range on the Menu, so unless you have a specific idea on what you like, you might take a while with the menu. The prices for Mains start decently from about $14, appetizers a bit less. There's also a wine & dine set where you get a main course accompanied with wine. I believe the choice of main changes every now and then.

Service: 7 ½ - waitresses were very friendly and quite efficient
Food: 5 - the risotto pulled up the ratings!
Layout: 6 ½- very posh settings indoors; outdoors is a bit more rough edge with big tables
Overall: 5 ½ - CR just wouldn't be my first choice for dining

Otiose Info:
* Incidentally, it used to be known as Wellington's Bar & Bistro before CR took over.
* You might feel a bit out of place if you lug in a huge backpack into the restaurant.
* The main for the Wine & Dine set on the day was Ravioli!
* I have yet to drink their Coffee, so will do a review when one of us does! =)

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