KŌ Japanese Restaurant

When we arrived at this sleek restaurant there were only a couple of tables occupied, but by the end of our meal the restaurant was at capacity—a good sign for a week night. We were promptly seated, and we took our time to browse the menu. Apparently there was little communication between the staff, as despite our repeated requests to be given more time before we ordered, we were asked by several for our orders. Finally, we opted for the suki/shabu beef set menu and the nambuzara set menu. Both sets started with a small appetizer and then moved quickly onto sushi, salmon and tuna for the nambuzara and an additional white fleshed fish for the suki/shabu set. All the sashimi was fresh and subtle in taste. Next to arrive on the nambuzara menu was the chawan mushi (steamed egg custard), which was lovely and light. This was followed by the Wagyu beef, which came with three dipping sauces, some extra condiments and a hot plate to cook it on. The meat was tender, fresh and marbled with fat in traditional Japanese style. We both moved on to the tempura, which was a mixture of vegetables (such as ladies’ fingers and eggplant) and prawns. The batter was light and fluffy, but unfortunately the rest of this dish was of a low standard. The dipping sauce was tasteless and the prawns were soggy rather than being fresh with a bit of bite. Our suki/shabu eater then moved on to the shabu shabu course, which was wheeled to the table on a trolley. Initially the portable gas cooker wasn’t working and when our waitress tried to rectify the situation, she was tactfully directed by her supervisor to remove the device from our table first. Within minutes everything was fired up and a server cooked up our massive serving of vegetables, noodles and sweet sauce and broth. When it was prepared, she explained to us how to eat it and let us put in the beef ourselves—to cook it the way we like it. We enjoyed the dish, but found it a little too sweet. After we’d finished, the same server approached us to ask about the taste. She seemed to appreciate our feedback, and said she would mention it to the chef. Both sets were respectively finished off with udon noodles and cha soba, which were both nice. Our dessert was a very small serving of fruit each, but after the huge shabu shabu we were too stuffed to want more. Throughout the meal, the service was thorough if a little slow, and we became used to the customary noisy greetings you get in a Japanese restaurant as patrons come and go. We enjoyed our time here and while it might not be the best restaurant in town, it certainly provided a nice atmosphere and filled our tummies with tasty food—which was exactly what we wished for.