When you say “brunch” and “Alexandria” in the same sentence, you’d probably start thinking about The Grounds of Alexandria and their farmyard pets. But with that, you’d probably also start seeing the bustling crowds and lack of parking, and long queues waiting for a table. Well, COOH has opened up just across the street, and with an expansive dining area and an open kitchen, it looks incredibly promising as a new brunch hotspot.
Heirloom cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, pesto and balsamic on toasted sourdough
Raw ocean trout cured with Beetroot and orange, $22
Golden and mixed baby beets, gets mousse, skin crackling, and crunchy seed bark.
Hand cut sweet potato chips with aioli, $8 (large)
Originating in North Curl, COOH has a menu that would fit right in with the organic/vegan/dairy free/gluten free people of the Eastern suburbs. Their menu is certainly very inclusive of special needs, and they certainly don’t pretend to reinvent the wheel.
The Raw ocean trout cured with Beetroot and orange, $22, was quite lovely, with lightly cured salmon dyed a bright fuschia from the Beetroot. The mix of baby beets and leaves kept everything very fresh and light, and the goats cheese mousse brought everything together nicely. The “crunchy seed bark” was neither crunchy nor bark-y for me, holding more the texture of tempeh – slightly firm and tender; not bad, but certainly not the texture I was expecting.
The Bruschetta, $16, was exactly as advertised : bread, tomatoes, mozzarella, balsamic, olive oil, pesto…oh wait, did I mention that it’s a dairy-free pesto? At least, that’s what seems to be the case – the pesto was quite a uniform green and lacked body, and elsewhere on the menu we saw dairy-free pesto advertised.
2+2=5, I guess
Ahh the best bit of the meal, though, the Hand cut sweet potato chips with aioli, $8. The aioli was creamy and garlicky, perfect to dip the strips of sweet potato chips. The only thing preventing it from scoring a 10/10 is a slight lack of crispness – I know that sweet potato never quite gets quite that crisp, but if Harry’s can do it, then my dream lives on.
When we went, there seemed to be a rather large number of bookings at COOH, but the waitress was nice enough to accomodate our request to be close to the window as best she could.
After we were seated, our orders were taken very quickly and service was readily available whenever we needed it. Very smooth sailing.
Value for money:
I would actually say that COOH sits in the middle with this one. It’s not the cheapest, but the portions were decent and it IS Alexandria, after all. $22 for cured trout? Sounds about right to me.
With hanging lights suspended from high ceilings, a warm wood decor and cushy benches, COOH exudes a Surry Hills-esque vibe, minus the hipster coolness. It’s definitely the sort of place that you’d bring people who aren’t too particular about the food, but would like to enjoy a leisurely, comfortable brunch.
With all the brunch options available in Sydney, I wouldn’t necessarily call this a destination brunch spot. It IS, however, very inclusive of dietary needs, which makes things much easier if you’ve got someone in your brunch group with special requirements.
Or, you know, if the Grounds is particularly busy and you do t want to wait. Either way it works. 🙂