Translated to mean ‘here’ in Japanese, Koko Cafe & Bar has taken over the space previously occupied by Boudoir Lounge, directly across the road from the G:link tram stop in Southport. By day, the intention is to operate a Japanese-inspired cafe with Melbourne’s ST. ALi coffee. From Thursday through to Sunday, the space morphs into Koko Sando Bar, which is dedicated to slinging sandos in salivation-inducing combinations such as tonkatsu striploin and succulent Borrowdale pork, yakitori (Japanese skewers) and okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese-style pancake topped with bonito flakes). Alongside brews of the craft-beer variety, Koko Sando Bar also shakes up a clutch of curious cocktails infused with traditional Japanese flavours, such as the Ginger Ninger (Suntory Japanese whisky, plum liqueur, housemade fermented ginger with a dash of ginger beer) and the Wizz Fizz (Plum liqueur, Roku Japanese gin and grenadine syrup). It’s impossible not to be captivated by the palatial space, from the curved gold bar to the plush velvet seats. The venue is the latest venue from Monique Assemany, aka the mastermind and creator of Goya Cafe in Broadbeach.
The cafe component of Koko Cafe & Bar is set to come to fruition in coming weeks. Koko Sando Bar is open from Thursday through to Sunday. Oh, did we mention there was live music every Friday and Saturday night?