Kokumi Asian Eats
What first strikes you upon entering Kokumi’s door is the clean, minimal and bright interior. Part-owner John Quan is a furniture designer and maker, and everything has been carefully considered.
Tables are long and shared, with a low barrier – similar to a ping pong net – separating diners who face each other. Each seat has a number and a pencil for marking your order on the yum-cha style paper menu. You have everything you need, and nothing extra. All this instills a sense of calm and allows diners to focus on the food.
Kokumi’s menu is a combination of hearty Asian staples, with a few surprises. While the name of the casual diner is Japanese (for the sixth taste, or “heartiness”), the menu also includes Thai (green chicken curry), Vietnamese (bánh mi), and Japanese (panko-crumbed pork chop) options. Instead of falling into any form of Asian tokenism however, the Quan family designed Kokumi’s menu to showcase their favourites.
Kokumi is not licensed but instead offers Hong Kong-style iced tea and Vietnamese coffee, alongside a few regular soft drinks. The service is efficient – the ordering system is designed to make the whole dining process efficient, and also makes grabbing takeaway an attractive option.