Kohan Restaurant, Lake Tekapo


Kohan is rated as the #1 restaurant in Lake Tekapo by Tripadvisor, but that doesn’t really do the place justice – it is one of the best Japanese restaurants in New Zealand, really. Back when I was living in Christchurch, a friend of mine apparently made the 5 hour round trip to Tekapo in one day, just to eat at Kohan. I wouldn’t actually do that myself (and wouldn’t advise it!), but I can understand the allure.

The salmon sashimi is exquisite. Amazing. Out of this world. Their salmon apparently comes from a salmon farm nearby, and the freshness is unbeatable. We ordered the sashimi combination ($20) which came with salmon, two cuts of tuna, gurnard, scallops, and prawns. I’ve raved enough about the salmon; the tuna, scallops, and prawns were excellent as well, though I was personally not a fan of the gurnard. Their wasabi also packs a nice kick, which is always a bonus.

We also had the kohan bento box ($25) that came with an appetiser, sashimi, crumbed chicken and tiger prawn, salad, rice, and miso soup. Along with soft shell crab ($12) and agedashi tofu ($8). The bento box was pretty standard, though good value for the price, especially considering the amount of sashimi in it. The crab was succulent and crispy, and the agedashi tofu had the batter and sauce done just right. Having tried the tempura bento box ($35) on a previous occasion, I avoided it this time, as even though the tempura was good, the teriyaki chicken that came with it was too doughy for my taste.

The desserts all come with cotton candy, crafted melted sugar, fruits, and one scoop of homemade ice cream (flavour of your choice). They are huge! We had the creme brulee with green tea ice cream ($12). The ice cream was good, the creme brulee better, and the melted sugar in the shape of a candle was a nice touch.

Go for dinner, not for lunch (unless you intend to go twice!) – the dinner menu is much more extensive, and lunch isn’t any cheaper unless you are intending to order a donburi or udon. Make a reservation; we were fortunate we did, as the place was quite full when we arrived.


Summary: Excellent sashimi.


Cost: $15 – $35 pp
Food: 5 Stars
Service: 4 Stars
Ambience: 4 Stars
Value for money: 4 Stars

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