The buzz: Formerly known as 1-Twenty Six, this beachside dining spot has gone through a major revamp and has been rebranded as Cotton. Primarily an alfresco hangout (the indoor dining area will be ready some time mid-2014), this is one restaurant that’s pretty ambitious with its offerings, featuring a good mix of Western, European and Asian-inspired plates.
The vibe: The restaurant space is quite large, with different little enclaves here and there. It’s a family-friendly place so it can get a little noisy, and there’s a stage area where the band plays every weekend. We absolutely loved one unique feature about the place, and that’s the fountain area over at the bar, where high bar stools are placed in water so you can soak your feet while enjoying a drink or two.
The food: Our starter of pan seared foie gras with star fruit salsa ($28) was pretty decent (we thought the tangy-savory salsa was an interesting topping), but the vongole with garlic white wine ($20) was a little underwhelming. Might be a seasonal thing, but we found the meat in our clams to be very small. The mains—New Zealand rack of lamb ($88, good for two) and angel hair pasta with tiger prawns, smoked sea urchin butter and ebi sakura ($38)—were much better, although we did prefer the latter for its umami flavors and generous portions. Our meal ended with a specially prepared dessert platter which allowed us to sample most of the desserts on the menu, including mango pannacotta, warm chocolate fondant and profiteroles ($14 each). Unfortunately, we found none of them to be particularly impressive: the mango pannacotta was more like an overly-rich cheesecake, the chocolate fondant was a tad overcooked (more flowy lava, please?!) and the profiteroles, although boasting a great ingredient combination of salted caramel ice cream, hot chocolate sauce and almond flakes, were a little too hard.
The drinks: We noticed their cocktail list to be populated with sweet mixes that’d be very popular with ladies. We tried the Lust Of Geisha (honey choya, dry Vermouth and plums, $18) and Jars of Heart (whiskey sour, amarreto and mixed berries, $18) and had no complaints.
Why you’ll be back: The food may be average (and a little pricey), but the drinks and ambiance are definitely worth a second visit.