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Cocomee – A Post-Pandemic Pan-Asian Revelation

When Kalala closed its doors, and we suffered lockdown and the Covid pandemic, I hoped and prayed that another restaurant would open in the iconic black and white building. Seeing a restaurant closed and turned into something else is rarely a good thing. When I heard that a pan-asian restaurant called Cocomee was opening there, I thought we were going to get Kalala, but under a new name – a different iteration of the all-you-can-eat buffet that had been there for years. I was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case. Cocomee is a different class. The food is incredible, and in a classic restaurant setting, it’s much more refined.

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After a long wait, Cocomee finally opened in July 2021. To open at the tail end of a pandemic, and have your first month or so affected by staff having to self-isolate would not have been the dream start for them. But they have let the food speak for itself, and I have seen the restaurant become more and more popular as their reputation spreads. This happens to be the closest restaurant to where I live in Folkestone, so I walk past frequently, tempted by the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen. Craning my neck to look in, it never seemed very busy. But I was being deceived. It wasn’t until I actually came for a meal that I remembered how huge the space was. The number of covers that might have filled other restaurants to capacity left Cocomee with plenty of empty tables. But not for long. If you plan to come to Cocomee these days, I would recommend booking. The word is out.

Food of an Asian persuasion

I can’t overstate how good the food is here. It isn’t just the fact that the menu is diverse, and allows you to sample cuisines you rarely see elsewhere. It is the taste and the quality that stand out. And the authenticity really shines through. The family that run the restaurant are Malaysian-Chinese, but have also taken influence from countries throughout South-East Asia, using cooking techniques inspired by Indonesian and Thai cuisine to create unique dishes.


Japan, Korea and China in one course

We started with a Japanese street food classic of Takoyaki – deep fried octopus balls topped with katsuobishi bonito flakes, Kewpie mayonnaise, and tonkatsu brown sauce. An explosion of flavour. I could eat these all day.

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

The Korean Fried Chicken Wings, known in Korea as Dakgangjeong, were a sweet, sticky delight. Double-fried for crunch, and coated in a sweet soya garlic glaze, they were finger-lickin’ good.

Aromatic Duck Bao
Prawn Dim Sum

The Duck Bao was soft and fluffy, perfect with the moist, sweet duck meat. And of course, we had to try their Dim Sum. We chose the prawn. So good, we almost ordered more. But we knew what else was to come.

‘Dragon Whisker’ Prawns

The showstopper from the starters was the intriguingly named ‘Dragon Whisker’ Prawns. These are king prawns decorated in a finely shredded pastry, served with a mango sauce. A great mix of texture and flavour, they look great and taste amazing.

Kakuni Pork Belly

A feast from the East

The choice of main courses is astounding. We have been a few times and still have more to try. This time we went for the Kakuni Pork Belly, Kung Pao Chicken and Seafood XO Sauce Fried Rice. The pork belly was rich and tender, slowly braised in soya sauce and stout according to a Japanese recipe from Kyushu. It melted in the mouth, with a sweet/savoury balance and the kick of the mustard sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken

The Kung Pao Chicken was utterly moreish, stir-fried with ginger, garlic, mild chilli and a sweet sauce. The chefs here have added their own Malaysian twist to this Sichuan Chinese dish with the use of lemongrass.

Seafood XO Sauce Fried Rice

We ordered the Seafood XO Sauce Fried Rice to go with our mains, but this is a main in itself. The rice is stir fried with marinated king prawns and scallops, and topped with tobiko flying fish roe. It’s served with Cocomee’s home made XO sauce, a highly prized, mildly spicy seafood condiment in the Far East, consisting of an umami rich combination of dried scallop, shrimp, cured ham and aromatics. We couldn’t eat it all, but absolutely had to take it home. Phenomenally good.

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A Small Spend in Folkestone’s West End

Have I mentioned the food at Cocomee is amazing? It’s consistently good every time we visit, with exceptional service and a warm, friendly welcome. Service charge is not included in the bill, so do leave a tip if you think they deserve it, which you certainly will. The prices are very reasonable too (one reason why we tend to over order when we come here), so you won’t begrudge a generous tip. Cocomee is most definitely a welcome addition to the Folkestone food lineup, and we look forward to plenty more visits in the future.

Visit their website at to book, or call 01303 248880.

Follow Cocomee on Instagram: @cocomeerestaurant

Visiting from out of town? Why not book a stay?

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