COCA Restaurant is a household name for people who grew up in Klang Valley. According to my sources, back in the days it was one of the best hotpot restaurants around and to my surprise, a lot of my friends do miss it a lot when they closed down for a few years. Well, good news is that, they are now back!
And for the uninitiated (ie me, who hail from the other part of Malaysia) Coca is a contemporary Thai, Chinese and hotpot (suki) restaurant which originated from Thailand. A brain child of Khun Srichai and his wife Patama, they were responsible for creating the ‘suki’ trend in Thailand back in the 50s!
Jannio Shun and Elizabeth Thea Lee are the new owners of the COCA franchise in Malaysia. Both passionate foodies, they found their new calling in life to get into the food business and having eaten in COCA and even once having dated at a COCA restaurant growing up, it was a dream come true to actually run the franchise in Malaysia. It took them a while to find the perfect spot, but once they saw the lot at BSC, it’s like the common saying: the rest is history. Of course, this will not be the only COCA in KL, as they definitely have a few more babies in the works.
3 generations down the line, it’s clear to see that while COCA has evolved over the years with vibrant interiors and changeable plate presentations, the brand has true to its’ roots, offering the freshest ingredients and good value for money as their core principals.
The menu in COCA Restaurant offers an enticing à la carte menu of Thai-Cantonese cuisine, along with their COCA’s signature hot pot, famous suki sauce and a new Southern Thai soup base exclusively designed for Malaysian diners. The restaurant features two private rooms inspired by a solarium concept and semi private dining areas for families and large groups. Large panel windows make the most of the views and natural light with 180 degree vistas of the city.
On the night of the Media Launch, the brand owner and celebrity Chef Pitaya Phanphensophon, the son of COCA founder Khun Srichai Phanphensophon and his daughter COCA Restaurant COO Natalie Phanphensophon were also present and we were lucky enough to taste Chef Pitaya’s cooking! In his own words, I’m not a chef, just a damn good cook! Well I will certainly not disagree to that!
The restaurant prepared a special menu specially designed and cooked by Chef Pitaya Phanphensophon for this session. Featuring some superfoods as ingredients to showcase Chef Pitaya’s beliefs in healthier cooking without compromising the taste. So let’s get to it!
We are used to Yum Mama, a classic Thai salad using Instant noodles, but here we are given a nutritious twist with the swap to Quinoa. Fresh Tiger Prawns, USA Digby Scallops, Fresh Lime and Chili, Quinoa, a mingle of familiar flavours with more textural fun.
Deconstructed Australian Wagyu 180 Days OX Tongue Wonton (Lin Wua Tua Lima)
This was amazing! The beef has been slow cooked for 24 Hours, served with Butter Beans, a single wonton sheet and Shu Hao Reduction. We were only sad that we only get a small portion, but that beef had me thinking about it for days.
Thai Herb Infused Organic Hill Station Chicken with Organic Black Jasmine Rice (Gai Baan Khao Mun Gai)
Chef Pitaya is definitely proud of his Chicken rice recipe. The Organic chicken (basically Kampung Chicken) is properly aged, giving its meat a good bite and flavour. Served with very unique black jasmine rice and housemade dipping sauce (it’s the bomb). Chicken Rice has never been so classy!
And of course, how could we go without having their Signature Hot Pot right? The Tom Yum is their signature broth, but for Malaysian diners there’s also a new Southern Thai broth and boasts an extra punch of spice.
Signature COCA Tom Yum Hotpot with Signature Suki Sauce
So there are a few combo platters available, and you can also add on ala carte dishes. We had both types of broth to try and the Meat Bombo Platter. As I normally don’t eat chicken, I swapped out for Beef instead. The platter comes with a good variety of fresh organic vegetables, meat and meat balls.
COCA uses electronic stove which is powerful enough to bring the stock to a boil straightaway, you can adjust the heat at ease, which is a bonus. I love both types of broths, although if you can’t take spicy, maybe stick to the Tom Yum which already has a kick. The Southern Thai broth had Kevin sweating like mad! But what I do love about their broth is that the flavours are very concentrated. You don’t even need the dipping sauce after you cook the ingredients.
With the frequent rain these days, it’s just one of the best things to do!
For dessert, they offered these goodies:
COCA’s famous fresh patanko with sweet condensed milk
Simple, yet comforting.
The Grand Finale, Dessert Extravaganza for a special treat!
Thank you COCA Restaurant for such a memorable dining experience!
3rd floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre.
For reservations please call: +603 2011 3575
2 Comments Add yours
I remember this Coca restaurant from my school days. Unfortunately at that time, I had no love for hotpots like I do now. It’s good to know that they are making a comeback.
I loved Coca! Used to go to their outlet at a leading hotel in Kuching but that was many many years ago. Dunno if it is still there. I love that fish cake in a plate where they splash the hot soup onto it first.