Valentine’s Day at Kokum Restaurant

Our lives are full of journeys, both real and imagined. Some are to far-flung exotic places, while others are more personal journeys of love and longing.

I have decided that when we go to India, I would like to experience the India I shared vicariously through Rick Stein’s India, eating seafood along the Coromandel Coast, searching for the perfect curry, experiencing the flavours, textures and visual wonders of the sub-continent.

It was there, in Rick’s recipe for Chettinad crab curry, that I discovered ‘kokum’ or Malabar tamarind, known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The newly opened Kokum Restaurant takes us an equally exotic journey; a journey that began in the kitchens of ancient India and is tethered to Australia by our own produce and bush food.

Inspired by the cuisine of internationally-acclaimed Chef Manjunath Mural (from Michelin-starred Singaporean restaurant The Song of India), who co-owns the restaurant with Sridhar Penumechu of Saffron, Kokum takes us on a journey for all the senses.

From private cabana seating where you can begin with cocktails overlooking the sparkling Broadwater and marina to the warmth of copper and wood in the dining room and bar, we commence our culinary journey in this exclusive but relaxed venue.

Our meal, prepared by Head Chef Sabir Merchant for Valentine’s Day, includes an amuse bouche and three courses, to be paired with cocktails and wine of your choice.

This is new Indian cuisine we have never seen before: some cooking methods and flavour combinations from the Far East, local seafood and meat, native Australian bush foods such as Kakadu plum, saltbush and pepper berries, Pan-Asian ingredients such as edamame, lemongrass and sesame, and even a few European favourites, such as caramelised onion and aged parmesan, melded in the crucible of Chef Merchant’s kitchen to emerge as unique creations.

Chef Merchant’s presentation of dishes also references classic cuisine and nature in their presentation: a sea urchin-like semolina shell, Tandoori chicken presented as a French roulade, and a vanilla rice panna cotta presented with a white chocolate ganache lid poised tapas-like on the top of the glass.

It’s a challenging experiential journey of wonder and delight for gourmets, a journey that takes us from known to unknown and further – into intriguing ground-breaking territory. At times it’s experimental, such as the Heston-like amuse bouche love heart, however it’s an adventure that is never dull!

And what better journey can there be than one embarked on with the one you love?

Valentine’s Day menu

Amuse bouche

Gujarati dhokla, aged parmesan, mustard seeds, curry leaves, fresh coriander sprigs

Shuroo (begin)

Bombay chaat, semolina shells, Kakadu plum chutney, mint, boondi.

Potli beef samosa, edamame beans, lemon grass, sesame jam

Phir (Then)

Tandoori chicken roulade, sautéed spinach, turmeric cottage cheese, fennel sauce, sweet potato, oyster mushroom

Dum vegetarian biryani, Baby vegetables, Natural hung yogurt, Rose, caramelized onion, dried flowers, mint

Baad (After)

Apricot Kheer, Milk reduction, chocolate ganache, Vanilla panna cotta, Mango gel, White chocolate, fresh berries

$65 per person (drinks extra)


94 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Ph: 07 5646 7314

Open: 7 days 11.30am – late

NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Kokum.

Open: 7 days 11.30am – late
94 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217
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