What the experts say:

Shropshire Star, July 19, 2014

Taste of Tokyo at Koo-ky gem

Sake, dashi, lotus...not flavours you would expect to find in Ludlow. Koo brings the spirit of Japan to Shropshire, as Andy Richardson finds out

"The taste of the veg sang like a harmonious choir"


The Shropshire Magazine

If awards were being given out for the restaurant serving Shropshire's freshest food, Koo might well win the Gold Medal. The eaterie, in Ludlow’s Old street, is the county’s only specialist Japanese restaurant and serves a remarkable array of freshly prepared dishes.

The Times Online

Mari Kure's intimate Japanese restaurant is well worth seeking out for Japan’s biggest culinary export – sushi – as well as Gyoza, tempura, miso chicken, yaki niku (stir-fry beef in a fruity sauce) and unusual vegetable side dishes.

The Independent On Sunday

This charming little Japanese might not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Ludlow's formidable reputation as a food destination, but it's a big hit with the locals. Popular orders are sushi, gyoza dumplings, karaage (crisp, fried chicken) and sake itame (baked salmon parcel). There are also take-away bento boxes, handy for the annual Ludlow Festival.

The Guardian Guide

"From the pristine tableware to the tenderness of the gyoza, smacks of a loving attention to detail and eagerness (discreet leaflets outline the basics of Japanese cooking, owner Mari Kure will happily elaborate) to spread the word".

Friendly atmosphere in a simply styled interior decorated with banners and artefacts. Good value meals from a regularly changing menu of authentic and tasty japanese dishes.

Time Out
A Japanese restaurant in Ludlow? It seems rather odd in this historic setting, but it's a welcome arrival all the same, With decent prices and surprisingly good food on the set menus, this elegant little place seems to be doing well. Sushi and sashimi are spot on and mood for clean-tasting, healthy oriental food full of lively flavours. Try the delicious yaki sakana (poached sea bass with saké and ginger) or the equally tasty buta tomato sakana - stir fried pork with spinach and tomatoes. If you want to up the heat factor, gyu karani - spicy stir-fried beef with peppers and chilli - is a must. Dead friendly too - you may even get a visit form the resident cat and dog.

Daily Express May 2004

Good quality Japanese food - sushi, noodles etc - at a great price. A contrast to Ludlow's gourmet palaces.

Telegraph Weekend September 2004
A friendly hidden gem in the gastro Mecca of Ludlow.

Delicious Magazine September 2004

It is a confirmation of Ludlow's gastronomic credentials that this little market town in Shropshire is also home to an elegant little Japanese restaurant, which is run by Mari Kure. Michelen star chef Shaun Hill says "Koo is a charming Japanese restaurant. Mari used to run a pub but she is obviously much more at home with authentic Japanese food."

"Artfully prepared" and "exquisitely flavoured" Japanese food has created an instant following for this new establishment,which is "small, intimate and very friendly".

Shropshirestar   2017                                                                                          Koo has done remarkably well to survive the ever-changing Shropshire restaurant scene for 17 years.  Modest & unprepossessing, quiet and humble, it offers  delightful, healthy, flavour-licious food at fair prices in congenial surroundings. Mari Kure is one of the countrys unsung foodie heroes .