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“Great overall experience”
Review of Kotaro

Kotaro
Ranked #1 of 53 Restaurants in Hanga Roa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20,000 - $70,000
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Attention from the first of December until the thirty-first march we will be attending to all our reservations at the hotel Hare boutik since the restaurant is in reconstruction, same chef same hours the same rules but this time with much more style, for the first time with an incredible sunset in the mountains and right next to my new restaurant so please inform yourself about the rules on the web site and make a reservation
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I wanted to give this Japanese restaurant on the Easter Island a try since I started to plan my trip to the island. For those who want the full story made short: it is definitively a must if you are on the island.

Here is the full story. First of all it is not a sushi based japanese restaurant, and this is a good news. In Europe and in the US we are full of sushi restaurants and the repetitively of their menus is very annoying to me.
I strongly recommend you to follow the advices on the door, the most important being: follow chef’s advices. He knows perfectly the different combination of tastes you will find in the cooked dishes and this is definitely more than you can simply infer from the name of the dish on the list. Another (personal) suggestion: avoid cola or other soft drinks, the dishes you can find at Kotaro fit best with a hot green tea.
Let’s come to the dishes now. After a five minutes conversation with the chef I was suggested to go for the white fish cooked in a reduction of miso soup. The sauce obtained from this reduction is reasonably salty but sweet at the same time and gives the fish a strong taste on the surface that perfectly averages with the less tasty inside. The result is delicious. All the main dishes are served with a miso soup (very good, forget the one you may know from crap the japanese restaurants mentioned above), rice and vegetables. Moreover the menu includes a small appetizer made of raw fish (sushi indeed) in a sour sauce. The only (very minor) negative comment is about this sauce which was too sour to me, but maybe it is just my opinion.
Then, since I was very hungry (I haven’t had lunch that day) I asked something more. Again the chef showed up with a full set of suggestions and we decided to go for the grilled beef. It was a piece of beef cooked with a very tiny amount of sauces. Indeed it was almost a plain grilled beef. It was served on a (very) hot pan that positively impressed me. I have seen mean served on hot pans or hot rocks any times but usually the pan is just warm and cools down after a minute. This was so hot that, although being placed on a dish, it warmed-up the wood of the table. The beef was came with a very nice and tasty sauce and it was up to you to decide the amount of sauce you want to put on the meat. I have tried plain slices and others full sunk into the sauce. Both impressed my positively.
Finally let’s come to the prices and the atmosphere. The environment is very nice, it seems to be in the kitchen of a private house and it has been fully handmade. The music is great, I appreciated all the tracks (and this is a rarity), most of all a couple of tracks by the air supply.
The prices are not high at all for the island. I have payed a similar amount for a grilled slice of tuna in a restaurant downtown, and they are on average similar of those of a good japanese restaurant in Europe. Moreover, in the bill I haven’t found the two green teas I have drunk and they do not charge the 10% tip as the other places on the island.
I rank this place among the best 5% of those I have ever been in my life and 2nd among the japanese restaurants I have ever tried. On the island I think this restaurant scores a rank 1 in ex-aequo with te moana. Given the completely different kind of food they propose it would be unfair to rank one higher than the other.

In the end I wanted to share this impressions with the chef but he was no longer in the kitchen when I was about to leave. I am sure he will read this lines.

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2  Thank M_Fox88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 19, 2014

Easily the best restaurant on Easter Island! Such a memorable dining experience all round. This Japanese restaurant was built by hand by the owner (Francisco) and is visually striking in the inside appearance. He explained how his young son would have a design idea and Francisco incorporated it into the building where possible. The restaurant is lovingly designed and intimate. It’s highly recommended to make a reservation so the chef knows how many people to expect on any given night. The owner doubles as the only chef and his wife also helped out in the restaurant.

There were a few basic ground rules to accept if you want to eat at this restaurant. Make a reservation, turn up on time and listen to what the chef recommends. Meals can take time to prepare as Francisco creates everything from scratch (even noodles etc) Francisco is extremely hard working chef with a great sense of humour! But if there are lots of people in the restaurant it’s just a numbers game and he can only go so fast to create such wonderful food. My friend and I got a bottle of wine and sat at the bar area watching all the food preparation in action. Francisco is a highly dedicated chef so watching him work was both interesting and enjoyable. He clearly has a passion for creating the best meal possible.

While I believe there is a menu the chef talked to us directly about what we would be interested in trying. My Spanish is pretty bad but Francisco spoke fluent English, Spanish and Japanese (possibly even more?) and asked if we would like a meal using beef, fish, prawns, chicken or pork etc. Options can be limited due to the remote location and Francisco only uses quality food from specific suppliers so it pays to go with his suggestions. I’m pretty sure he mentioned getting stock from Japan and Chile, as opposed to the local supermarket. So he knows the type of quality food he wants to serve. Anyhow we chose beef and prawns for our meals and Francisco gave us some options in how we would like them to be cooked. We chose to go with the chef’s suggestion and both meals were absolutely incredible! The fusion of flavours was just perfect.

The music playlist in the restaurant is worth mentioning as it extraordinary. There is a good mix of alternative and classic bands & singers with tracks I never knew existed. The music choice helped make this restaurant even more memorable.

The price of the meal was very reasonable and it was cheaper than many of the other restaurants on the island. For the meal, wine and personal service I thought this place was easily worth the money. It was such a great experience. It was a shame we were leaving the following day as I would have come back numerous times for dinner if possible. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is laid back, patient and can appreciate excellent quality food in such a random remote location of Easter Island.

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Thank JonesyGJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

My husband and I ate here twice during our stay in December 2013. The hosts, the food and experiance really lived up to the hype. Considering a lot of the food on the Island is expensive and average, the meals we had here were not as expensive as some other places we ate, but were much tastier!! Listen out for the background music playing, quite amusing

Thank natalie m m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013

One-man operation serving Japanese food in Easter Island. Great hospitality, excellent food and the owner and I had a great conversation about music and listened to a few Air Supply tracks. Wish I had another night on the island so I could go back! I had the chicken teriyaki. Highly recommended by me.

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Thank wx8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

I need to disagree with the Tripadvisor ranking of this restaurant. It's ok, but by no means the best on the island; I would rank it last of the ~10 restaurants we tried during our trip. In terms of japanese restaurants I have been to (mostly on the West Coast of North America), I would rank it in the middle. We had fish with miso souce, fish with ginger sauce and a beef with sesame seeds. All dishes came with the same (and rather uninspired) side of stir fried carrots/cabbage and rice. The sauces were good, but overpowered the fish; the beef was ok but not particularly tender or tasty.
On the upside, the owner is a character, and although the restaurant is on a noisy street and has no views to the outside, the atmosphere is quite charming.

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4  Thank Kyokki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzakayaKotaro, Propietario at Kotaro, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

And if you thought that why in the restaurant did not say anything to me? Three times ask them how everything was and three times said everything was fine, even their plates were completely clean.

If you had spoken something in the restaurant they would have offered a change of meal or the option to eat somewhere else, On the other hand you prefer comment from the cowardice of anonymity.

This shows me that the problem is not about what cooking,the problem is for who we cook

Sincerely,

Kotaro

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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