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Photo Courtesy of KOKO, Facebook
As Cleveland’s Asian community continues to grow, so too does the number of authentic dining options in and around Asiatown. One of the newest comes courtesy of Koko Bakery
(3710 Payne Ave., 216-881-7600), which has been serving up Asian delicacies for approximately a dozen years. Fans of the place doubtless have seen the craft paper-covered windows on the adjacent space for months. That place, Koko Café, will finally debut on June 15.
Koko Bakery has earned a following over the years thanks in large part to its ability to pack so much flavor, value and choice into such a small, quiet cafe. Commuters adore the large donut-style case stocked with dozens and dozens of fresh-baked sweet and savory buns with fillings like red bean paste, ham-and-egg, BBQ pork, curried beef, even hotdogs. They make excellent grab-and-go meals that are delicious and affordable.
Koko also excels at Asian sweets like colorful fruit tarts, cakes and pastries, such as light-as-air almond cookies and not-so-sweet cheese cake. Come lunch, Koko rolled out rice bowls topped with crispy-fried pork or chicken katsu drizzled with tonkatsu sauce. The small, sun-soaked shop also serves bubble tea, fresh fruit smoothies and Taiwanese shaved ice.
So it makes perfect sense that the owners would choose to expand given the opportunity. The 40-seat café will be an all-day, full-service restaurant. The menu is remarkable for its length and breadth, a five-page catalogue that features dim sum items like beef short rib with honey sauce, rice noodles stuffed with half a dozen fillings, a dozen noodle soups starring items like fresh shrimp wontons, beef balls or tendon, and noodle dishes done Cantonese pan-fried-style and Singapore-style vermicelli. There are also dozens of entrees, steamed buns, steamed dumplings and even congee topped with anything from abalone to pork liver. For dessert, there will be mochi with fresh fruit, caramel flan, and Korean shave ice.
The fun starts Friday, June 15.