Yeah, after the sublime Tamarind Hill and all its “rustic-ness”.. it’s good ole Thai food again, this time at COca Restaurant, Subang Parade.
The Marketing Mgr cum host – super cool and frank lady Andrea..& celeb bakers BigBoysOven.
I like her, yup I really do.. a very unpretentious, astute lady who is very open to feedback and encourages frank judgments of the food. She has as a matter of fact, over time, invited quite a number of floggers for review in this restaurant
In operation for about 9 years in Malaysia, Coca has its own loyal followers and market niche.
Being strictly pork-free, their Malay clientele forms the bulk of their customers base, as well as the middle to upper class crowd, no doubt due to the quality and taste of cuisine served.
We started out with drinks and I ordered ais kacang, my all time fav dessert.
Let me gush please…this is one absolute divine-ish Ice Kacang ever!
Loads of firm yet soft (yup, no mushy ones here) squiggly chendol strands, this luscious concoction was made even more decadent with the topping of creamy raspberry-streaked vanilla ice-cream. Let it melt & mix it in with the ice and be assured of heavenly bliss in every spoonful.
Sigh.. do I need to elaborate further??
Generous with the ingredients, I unearthed cincau, jellies; both round and in strips, shredded nutmeg (that adds that nice nutty, cinammony taste), crushed peanuts for a bit of crunch, BIG soft attap seeds – which I normally omit in my ais kacang order BUT here they got the really good ones, for it was chewy and sweet; in my little bowl of treasure. Well worth the price of RM9.50? I’ll let you decide, for you just got to try it!
Moving along, before I dedicate this whole post to the Ais Kacang alone, the main course was spread out for us..
However…. here I would like to start off with the desserts review instead of the mains..I think the reminder of the Ais Kacang just got me going.. cos now my mind is all on sweets and desserts..
Nahhh..this is not on the menu, for it was personally baked by Sunny of BBO.
Tartelette Citron Meringue. Price to be advised. .
But one of the sinfully marvellous desserts we had that night. Very zesty filling, with fresh cream and crunchy tart shells. Kindly order from BBO to get your fix!
This is a winner too, Steamed Tapioca with Coconut Milk. RM12.00
Sweet, dense and..chewy too. Drenched with thick creamy coconut milk, every chunk was a pleasure. The sprinkling of sesame seeds on top imparts a roasty- nutty flavour to it. Good idea.
Same sauce, this time rained over The Mango Pulut with Durian. RM23.80
For the consideration of the customers, the durian puree was served separately, so durian- haters (whoever you are, you’re weird! ;p) you are still able to enjoy this dessert with the sweet mangoes and sticky glutinous rice.
Note: Only setback here was the section right in the middle of the mound which was hard and dry. We suspected that the glutinous rice was made in advance and frozen, and was not properly thawed- through before it was served.
Ken’s favourite – Tub Thim Krub – Water chestnut with coconut milk and jackfruit – RM7.50
He considers himself an expert and Tub Thim Krub the litmus test of any self-respecting Thai restaurant.
Plus, he slurped up every drop of it. Guess you guys know the verdict..
Ok now that i’m done gushing myself out with the desserts..here are the mains..
Sultry Mango Salad was up first..
Those strands of toothsome crunchy green mangoes, evenly coated with the piquant and sour dressing certainly did a good job of whetting the appetite and got us craving for more.
The Deep fried Mussels. RM12.80
Frankly I didn’t like this. The batter was dry and hard and the mussels inside tasted rubbery. Probably over-cooked?
BUT the rest enjoyed it and had no complains so please don’t mind me. ;p
Steamed Jade Fish Thai Style (Market Price @ Rm17 per 100g)
Steamed with chili padi (bird eyes chillies), garlic, lime and fish sauce. Truly Thai-style and extremely fresh; for it was just ‘fished’ out from the aquarium inside the restaurant itself.
(Recently COCA has diversified their business and expanded their menu. Aside from the traditional steamboat offerings of which they have established a name for themselves, ala-carte dishes, fresh seafood, Thai traditional dishes & buffet takes centrestage in their outlets, both in Subang Parade and 1 -Utama)
Pandan Chicken RM8.80 for 2 pcs.
The quintessential Thai style chicken. Their version may not be the best I have tasted, but nevertheless it was well marinated with soft meat texture.
Tamarind Style Prawn (Market Price @RM18 per 100g)
Really large, see this fella on my plate??
Sweetish and sour sauce complimented nicely by the fresh natural sweetness of the prawns. Perfect for prawn lovers. Just like the next dish.
Though it was a vegetable dish; Brocolli with Prawn (Market Price @ RM16 per 100g) one can be forgiven for thinking that this was another prawn dish, for the crustaceans again are big and literally engulfed the greens.
One of their signature dishes : Coca Curry Live Crab (Market Price @ RM12 per 100g)
The curried crabs had firm white flesh and sweetness that indicates fresh fresh fresh! The gravy was thick and fragrant. While I find it a tad overwhelmingly strong of curry powder taste, I could be wrong.
Still it was a delight to pick out the flavourful bits and savour it slowly.
Another way to enjoy the sauce is to mop up with a side order of man tou (flower buns) at RM1.80 per pc.
Food outlets nowadays does not only market their food, but the ambiance as well. Decor, lighting and settings plays a huge role in the branding package. Being a Penangite, I couldn’t care less if I got to squat to chow my favourite dish, since ultimately its the taste that matters, but that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
So we see arty set-ups, colourful objects and intricate handiwork. Hence the start -up cost of a restaurant spent on decor alone probably exceeds the chef’s salary for a few years!
Nevertheless, aesthetically pleasing surroundings does adds up to the dining experience.
At COCA, the decor focused on (what else) Thai ornate furniture, handmade artwork, dazzling statues and rustic vases; all beautifully displayed with cleverly positioned lights.
More on the session:
Ken of FoodPOI, plus credits for the pics!