Not so much a buffet as it is a set menu whose dishes are trolleyed to your table, Cocotte’s weekend brunch ($69, add $50 for free flow rose, wine and prosecco) shoos away the Americanised version of the midday meal in favour of rustic European fare.
You’ll be sampling about eight dishes that change every week. These include mushroom and leek quiche, barramundi with a tomato and onion salsa, and, the crowning glory of our meal, a crisp-skinned, succulent roast chicken served with a brown butter almond sauce. Dessert is the only portion that’s spread out – expect pastries you won’t write home about – but there are no bread baskets to be found despite Cocotte ostensibly being a French restaurant. Hmm.
We’re willing to look past that because the food is seriously good for the price. It almost seems as though the dishes are individually cooked up as part of a many-course lunch before they’re wheeled to your table. Which is a double-edged sword. The steamed live mussels and clams in a fennel cream broth are still warm and at the perfect juicy texture. And the jamon and cheese baguette shatters when you bite into it, revealing ham, wholegrain mustard, cherry compote and brie that haven’t deteriorated from being left out in the open for hours. You’ll be asking for more of these, believe us.
The not-so-great: don’t expect the brisk service of a dim sum joint. The carts tend to skip your table if you’ve already had what they’re carrying. Thankfully, you can slip in orders to the servers. It’s all part of the charm of Cocotte – a delightful, cottage-like space that’s perfect for whiling away a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.
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