#aucklandeats: NEW Opening! "KOOKOO" For Accessible Korean Food

by Michelle Li

“KOOKOO” | 245 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland 1024


Finally, there’s a Korean restaurant without driving into the city and the parking hassle 🙌🏻 “KOOKOO” has opened along Dominion Road, where the restaurant options are endless, but somehow lacking Korean food. So you bet I was excited to try out this Korean bistro, combining the best of both worlds of Korea's modern and traditional food. 

The rustic interior with forestry green accents and brick walls is different from the other restaurants you see along this food-central road. It feels cosy and makes it a great spot to hang out with friends yet for my introverted self, away from the loud and crowded space that Chancery Square can get. 


My friends and I got a variety of dishes to share. One of the ones that we HAD to order was their chicken. They have two types - the fried chicken which I’m sure you would see everywhere but their roast chicken is what differs them from other Korean restaurants. Before fried chicken popped off in Korean, roast chicken or tong-dak (통닭) in Korean was the only option 🍗 It’s literally a whole chicken stuffed with sticky rice before being popped in the oven to be roasted.

We went there with fried chicken cravings so sadly, my friends and I didn’t order the roast chickens but our sajangnims have been to “KOOKOO” twice already and here is what they have to say. Both the ‘Classic’ and ‘Rose Cream’ were VERY delicious! Though it's been baked for a long time, the chicken stays soft, juicy and tender. I found out that’s because “KOOKOO” marinates it for an entire 24 hours! Unlike the traditional sticky rice used, “KOOKOO” adds that modern touch by spreading the rice on a grill plate to add a crispiness to every bite you take. 

Okay, back to what my friends and I ordered, the Yang Nyeom fried chicken. Firstly, the yang nyeom sauce was amazing! It was sweet, savoury yet spicy all at once hitting every flavour profile. But it wasn’t overly sweet, and unexpectedly had just the right amount of kick. Usually, I get sick of the yang nyeom sauce after a few pieces, but not this one. It was simply delicious and kept me going for more! “KOOKOO” also aced getting the chicken fully coated in sauce yet the crispiness still remains. Would definitely order again!!

We also got the Wang Gimmari (rolled seaweed) which is vermicelli, wrapped in seaweed and then deep fried! It’s a very popular street food dis and you might have seen it accompanied with tteokbokki. “KOOKOO” one is house-made and you can really tell from the frozen ones you can buy at any Korean supermarket. Not only is it fried to crispy perfection, but it’s also super big, hence the name “wang” (왕) which means king in Korean. 

Though, after their chicken, for me, the Rose Cream Udon came second! The udon was perfectly cooked and doused in a creamy sauce. The added chilli spice actually balanced out the creaminess perfectly. The Kimchi Fried Rice was also delicious, full of well-fermented kimchi, which I think is a must! It was perfectly seasoned and much needed as my meal is simply not complete without a bowl of rice. I also loved how they topped it off with a LOAD of seaweed and spring onions. Mix it in and the savouriness of it all rounded off the dish 😋

It’s always tempting to order a Kimchi-Jeon (kimchi pancake) at any Korean restaurant I go to and “KOOKOO” was not an exception. As soon as this dish came out, I was shocked to see how big it was but also it was topped with SO much mozzarella cheese. But anything with a stretchy cheese pull makes the dish that much better 🧀 The kimchi-jeon was thick but retained a super crispy texture and just like the Kimchi Fried Rice, the batter had a LOT of kimchi! We also had Chilli Bibim Noodle, a light cold noodle dish which is just what we needed to refresh our palette between bites. Again, the ratio of flavours were super well-balanced! 

I honestly can’t fault “KOOKOO” and I can’t wait to go back again and try there other menu items, especially as all their chicken flavours sound so yummy (ie. the K-trendy “Snow Avalanche”, “Corn & Cream Cheese” and “Cheese Buldak”). If you want to make a visit, definitely go!! 

Opening Hours 




11:30AM - 2:30PM, 5PM - 10PM


 11:30AM - 2:30PM

5PM - 10PM

11:30AM - 11PM


11:30AM - 9:30PM

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