I stayed at the Opus Hotel in Montreal last September. At the time, it was undergoing a dramatic transformation. The goth-like rooms in the former Hotel Godin were being Opus-ized in bright, snappy colors. And even better, a resto was in the works. On May 9, Koko Restaurant & Bar is scheduled to open, blending urban glamour with modern Asian cuisine. The expansive, theatrical space is bound to be one of the hip, hot spots for the discerning Montreal crowd.
A striking black and silver backdrop and glittering chandeliers in the new resto are a salute to the 1914 structure, designed by Joseph-Arthur Godin. Today, its glass, steel and concrete framework is animated by a mixture of sensuous fabrics and iconic furnishings. In the Grand Salon, an electric green runway cuts a swath through the cloud-white room while turn-of-the-century muses look down from ceiling above. The Petit Salon, draped in black velvet, is located in the building’s original section and is an intimate setting for discreet encounters. Outside, an expansive terrace is perfect for day or night alfresco dining.
Koko’s pan-Asian menu, designed by Executive Chef Don Letendre of Vancouver’s Opus Hotel, puts an Asian spin on Western classics with such items as the Asisan-style Steak Fries with baby watercress, wasabi and uni butter. Other signature dishes include Bengali Blackened Salmon with mango salsa; Spicy Masala Lobster with curried lentil hash; and Star Anise Barbecue Pork Belly Bites with puffed rice and Asian slaw.
Resident DJs combine the latest electro-house rhythms from East and West and dining and cocktail service are offered late into the evening. Also on site is the sophisticated Suco Resto-Lounge.
So what’s with the name Koko? It’s a nod to the glamour of Coco Chanel and its Eastern influence — koko is the Japanese word for here.
Here and now.