For every restaurant, pub, bar or deli we like, there’s at least five ‘also rans’; venues that had ill-conceived concepts, shabby service, poor food, or a combination of them all. But that’s a good thing. It means that when we do find something that hits the mark, a joint that’s doing things right from the get go, it’s cause for culinary celebration. Well, get out the balloons and party poppers; Cochin has opened in Peel Street and offers a breath of fresh air to the so-so SoHo dining scene.
A chic spot that’s part deli, part cocktail bar, part bistro, Cochin is the latest project by acclaimed French chef Renaud Marin, formerly of Upper Modern Bistro and Hullett House’s St George. Tucked away in the spot once occupied by Chicha, Cochin caters to your every whim: looking to graze over a good glass of French Burgundy and a few nibbles? There are imported cheeses from the Marchand Brothers; wholesome rabbit sliders; silky beef tartare with toast by Bread Elements; and cured cold cuts ready to go. Looking for a great Happy Hour spot? The restaurant’s bar boasts a seasonal cocktail list that’s laced with innovation and home infusions, and window front seating with the promise of exceptional people watching. And if you’re looking for something a little more involved, move into the main dining room, where Marin’s comfort menu – think roasted spring chicken served in the pan; lamb pot au feu; octopus carpaccio with a paprika punch; and salt-crusted New Zealand snapper – is guaranteed to sooth you into the cooler season ahead. The service is refined and informed, the décor is warm and welcoming, and the chef is always on hand for a chat.
Just the way it should be.
G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central; 2561 3336