There is something so exciting about the infamous K Road. It’s reputation is rather controversial but I don’t think anyone can deny the buzz that accompanies it.
I stumbled onto Cotto and was looking forward to trying it out as it is quite highly reviewed by the Zomato community. They don’t take phone bookings and it is certainly popular, so we were squeezed in and offered an hour time limit. The tables are mostly shared like many restaurants in Auckland, but we didn’t feel cramped or that we were invading our neighbour’s space.
Most dishes are NZD 20 or less and the idea is to order a few plates and share food. We started with Chickpea smoked mozzarella chips with almond aioli (NZD 15) and quickly realized we would never get to eating other dishes if we finished them all. I was hoping the little deep-fried sticks would be more cheesy but they are closer to polenta in texture. They were lathered in salt on the outside and I found that to be rather overpowering.
Next up we tried the Lamb ribs with honey balsamic glaze (NZD 15). The meat was tender and they were nice and crispy but they were quite fatty and really lacked seasoning.
Our favourite savoury dish for the evening was the Spinach, goats cheese and sage ‘dumplings’ (NZD 15). I was expecting something more in-line with stereotypical dumplings but I suppose being Italian, that was maybe not the best assumption to make. High quality ingredients and subtle flavours – the combination was delicious.
For the main meal we had the Rotolo beef cheek served on porcini béchamel (NZD 20). Having grown up on a farm covered in Oak Trees where freshly picked porcini mushrooms are a regular occurence I was looking forward to the rich, earthy flavours that I am familiar with. Unfortunately there was barely a hint of that goodness in the béchamel. Certainly the most eye-catching dish of them all and one I was looking most forward to, but it was also totally under-salted with a tiny piece of meat in each roll engulfed in too many layers of spinach.
We ended off the evening with the Burnt orange panna cotta served with roasted rhubarb (NZD 10). I would have to say of all the dishes, the dessert is one I would go back for. Silky smooth texture, bold rhubarb flavour and the hint of burnt orange – YUM!
So overall a rather mixed experience. The atmosphere was lively, the plates were beautifully presented and while certain dishes were spot on I felt that if I was completely honest, I was left feeling rather disappointed.
- food – 3/5
- price – 3.5/5
- service – 3.5/5
- atmosphere – 4/5