HomeReviews - UKKookoo (Persian) – Surbiton, London

Kookoo (Persian) – Surbiton, London

HALAL STATUS • Fully Halal food menu • Alcohol served

KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton LondonWe were compelled to give Kookoo a visit in Surbiton after its surprising win at this year’s Asian Restaurant Awards.

Following its rebranding and relaunch from Sarab’s ‘Taste of Persia’ to a ‘Grill & Seafood’ venue at the end of January, Kookoo was awarded Best Middle Eastern Restaurant.

Nevertheless, despite this transition, the 52-cover (front room) restaurant still retains its previous decor.

Although we were informed of plans of an apparent facelift in around 6-months time, its current colour scheme as it presently stands is uniquely dominated by one colour and one colour alone, gold!

KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Asian Restaurant Awards 2018 – ‘Best Middle Eastern Restaurant’

In fact, this has to be the first restaurant we’ve reviewed where the entire ceiling is coloured as such.

Its peculiar adornment is fortified by mismatched wallpapers, with one side boasting a blue and gold pattern, and the other an entirely different gold patterned one.

Add to that the dated chandeliers, as well as the use of blue flourescent LEDs for the alcohol bar at the end, and its disjointed decor will certainly have you questioning which century you’re in. To be frank, that facelift cannot come soon enough!

On the plus side, however, Kookoo has outdoor decking that comfortably accommodates four tables, which will be ideal come the warmer months.

STARTERS

FrittataSmoked AugergineCaramelised AugergineSpicy Chicken LiverSpicy Chicken Wings
Frittata KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

KooKoo Fresh Herbs Frittata – Fresh cilantro and parsley, £4.80

This rather unappealing looking Frittata tasted far better than it looked, in spite of a valient effort to show otherwise.

Soft textured and with a herby taste, the best way of having this is with the dollop of plain yoghurt along with the burst of sweetness delivered by the pomegranate seeds and sauce. There was also a touch of heat there too.

Aubergine KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Smoked Augergine & Tomato Dip (Mirza Ghasemi), £4.50

The Smoked Augergine split the crowd in that while one found its sweet smokiness to be strong, but not overly so, the other Lion believed it to be overpowering everything therein.

Aubergine KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Caramelised Augergine & Onion Dip (Kashke Bademjan), £4.50

The earthy taste of the aubergine was really well tempered by the sweetness of the caramelised onions.

Although we all agreed that this was perhaps a little on the oily side.

Chicken Liver KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Spicy Chicken Liver (Jigar) £4.50

As soft and as tender as you’d want, this plate of superbly cooked Spicy Chicken Liver curry was flavourous, with the chilli coming through immediately before lingering soothingly thereafter. The fresh sprig of mint provided a nice contrast too.

There was no indication though on the menu as to how spicy this would be. Given its strength, perhaps there should be.

Chicken Wings KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Spicy Chicken Wings (Baal) – £4.95

These were small, measly pieces of salty tasting wings, which no amount of spice was going to solve.

GRILLS

Lamb Fillet Steak Kebab KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Lamb Fillet Steak (Barg) – thinly sliced lamb fillet. Recommended medium grilled, £9.95

This was thinly sliced and thin, period! What’s worse, it was an unseasoned piece of flavourless, dry and chewy meat, with the best thing being the charred tomato. Uninspired to say the least!

Lamb Fillet KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Lamb Fillet in Pomegranate and Walnut Sauce (Torsh) – pieces of lamb marinated in pomegranate, walnuts and garlic, £12.50

This Lamb Fillet in Pomegranate and Walnut Sauce faired better, with a mildly sweet marination.

The meat was a little on the chewy side, with certain parts evidently having an overly charred, acrid taste.

Chicken KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Saffron Chicken Skewer (Joojeh) – grilled chicken marinated in onion, saffron and lemon juice, £7.50

Moving on to this Saffron Chicken Skewer, then who would have guessed that these tender pieces of ultra soft chicken were cooked in the same kitchen as the above!

The mellow flavour of saffron was distinct enough; but it was the absolutely tender and delicious flavour of the meat that enthralled us. Worth coming back for this alone, we’d say.

Sauces KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Chilli & Garlic Homemade Sauces

And a few words of laudation for the maestro who made these superb homemade sauces.

The Chilli was fruity, well textured, with a good amount of heat and a touch of mint, while the Garlic, though gentle in flavour, had a tangy-citrus taste to it.

SEAFOOD GRILL

King Prawn KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

King Prawn Skewer (Meigo) – Grilled skewer of juicy King Prawns marinated in garlic, ginger and paprika, £12.50

Prawn KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton LondonThis skewer of King Prawns were slightly on the small side, but wonderfully executed.

Retaining that familiar soft-springiness so apparent of perfectly cooked prawns, these we had half marinated in chilli and the other non-chilli (for review, of course).

In the end, the non-chilli version were decent, with a mild fruity taste to them.

As for their chilli counterparts, then they had a marination of raw spices that simply hadn’t been cooked, resulting in a harsh aftertaste.

STEWS

Lamb KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Mixed Herbs and Lamb (Ghormeh Sabzi) – Lamb with a blend of fresh herbs, red kidney beans and dried lime, £7.50

Although the fragrance of the mixed herb was good, taste-wise this turned out to be rather underwhelming.

While the meat was tender enough, the curry sauce had a peculiar watery-cum-stringy consistency.

DESSERTS

Chocolate Brownie Dessert Ice Cream KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Chocolate Brownie – served with vanilla ice cream, £4.50

A standard Chocolate Brownie that was essentially warmed up. A relatively crispy dry top and a semi-squidgy inside partnered with a scoop of vanilla.

SIDES

Naan Bread KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Naan Bread £1.80

An amazing naan bread here. Perfectly crispy which was neither too thin nor too thick. Addictive!

Saffron Rice KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Saffron Rice £2.50

Nothing wrong with this plate of Saffron Rice.

STARTERS

Orange & Carrot Juice KooKoo Grill Seafood Middle Eastern Persian Surbiton London

Orange & Carrot Juice £3.50

A well made and well balanced orange and carrot juice.

THE ROAR
Kookoo
3 FTL's Roar
3.5 Pride's Roar (1 Roar)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
FSA HYGIENE RATING
Last Checked: 06/04/18
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • DISABLED FACILITIES
Summary
Kookoo recently won this year's Asian Restaurant Awards 'Best Middle Eastern Restaurant'.

What's impressive is that it achieved this having gone through a rebranding earlier this year in January from Sarab's 'Taste of Persia' to the 'Grill & Seafood' venue it is now.

While the food was slightly above average, there's one dish we'd definitely recommend travelling for - the Saffron Chicken Skewer (Joojeh) - and one which perhaps the Kebab Awards might consider.

Menu Recommendation

Starter - Spicy Chicken Liver (Jigar)

Main - Saffron Chicken Skewer (Joojeh)

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KooKoo
284 Ewell Rd, Surbiton, London KT6 7AQ.

T: +44 (0)20 3719 0498 | W: www.kookoo.london | E: hello@kookoo.london

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 17:30-23:00 | Sat-Sun 12:00-23:00

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