Founded by a Thai couple, the restaurant gained success when they moved to a nearby location on Soi Tantawan, were it expanded to a 150 seater restaurant and suki style cooking was introduced. Hence the birth of the first COCA restaurant in Thailand. The show is now run by the owner's son, Mr Pitaya Phanphensophon.
The name "COCA" derived from the Mandarin is "Kekou" which means "appetizing".
However, the objective of coming to Coca tonight was not to sample the mainstream, more popular Steamboat, but rather to do a simple review on the Ala-carte Menu.
In 1987, the first overseas branch opened in Singapore followed by Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc, etc... In this part of the world, COCA has 2 branches, one in 1-utama shopping complex and the other at Subang Parade.
Well, when we got the invitation from COCA's Marketing Manager, Andrea, we obviously didn't think that we were the only food bloggers invited to do a review.
Sure enough, we met the darling pair, Kampungboy & Citygal... ! Photo moment.. with the popular blogger duo :)
(As usual, my better half is taking the shot.. hence missing from the photo:P)
After giving Andrea our contact info, we get down to the serious business of eating..
But 1st... you need to pick out your dinner before you eat it.. no? lol
The fish were contemplating... "Which one of us will become dinner tonight?"... :(
The crabs were busy too ... as they were "all tied up".. harhar :P
But nobody left without a fight! The seafood was so fresh, you could see the catch jumping and struggling in the net!
Here is the Squid with Garlic and Pepper, priced at RM12.80. Fresh and juicy with a crispy batter. No complaints here.
The battered mussels were good as well. This dish is called Deep Fried Mussels priced at RM12.80. The mussel was a little overcooked and too chewy for me, but the husband liked it.
Ah! My favourite dish normally. The crab!
This is the Coca Special Curry Live Crab, Market price- RM12 per 100g ! The texture of the crab was fantastic. Fresh, succulent and with that bounce in the meat that only fresh crabs can give you.
Unfortunately I did not really fancy the curry sauce as it was not pungent nor spicy enough for me.
It was kind of anti-climatic, when the freshness of the crab was so good, if you know what I mean. The sauce did not do the crab justice.
The 'Man-tou' (fried bun) at RM1.80 per piece, was a little on the heavy side. I prefer my fried Man -tou, light and fluffy with a crispy outer layer!
Here's me, working the crab!
Ah.. my two favourite dishes in any Thai restaurant are the Som-Tam (papaya salad) and the Tom-yam (sweet, sour, spicy, tangy, fishy seafood soup - milder up north of thailand, spicier as one heads south).
The Som-tam should be stinky and zesty... whilst the Tom-yam should basically, just plain blow my brains out!
Coca does not do Som-Tam.
The prawn in the Tom-Yam they served was faultless - very fresh and juicy. The Tom Yam Seafood Soup is priced at RM13.80 per bowl. The head of the prawn was 'suck-worthy' if you catch my drift. Oozing with brain matter.. and all the cholesterol-ly stuff. Unfortunately, the soup lacked kick. I realise some people prefer their Tom-Yam less hot. So maybe, Coca could have a spice-factor option for patrons who like to feel the burn? ;P
These were my two least favourite dishes. The green vege was a little hard/old and cooked in too much oyster sauce (too salty).
By the way, COCA has recently changed all their coconut based dishes, except for desserts, to yogurt to encourage healthy eating. The green curry, though healthy (i.e. cooked in yogurt instead of coconut milk), was just not what we expected of a Thai green curry. Which just goes to show.. you cannot cheat with your food! The fat factor has to be there la.. with green curry.. you know? Otherwise, how can?!
Stir Fried Baby Kailan - RM11.80
Green Curry with Chicken & Fishball - RM11.80
The steam fish, Thai style was good. Fresh and sweet and cooked just right. We hate our fish overcooked. This was fine.
Steamed Siakap with Thai Sauce – Market price - RM9 per 100g.
And this was my favourite of the night. The butter prawn. The seasoning is far better than any other Thai restaurant (in KL) that I have eaten. The herbs especially the lemongrass, lent an amazing taste to the dish. The prawn was just fried to perfection. The skin was so thin and crispy you could eat the prawn whole... and that .. WE DID!
Thai Butter Prawn – Market price - RM16 per 100g.
Dessert.. fluorescent green honeydew sago...
And, the Tap-Tim-Grob.
Both were less sweet than usual, which was good. Both needed more fresh Santan(coconut), if you ask me.
Sago in Coconut Milk- RM7.50
Water Chestnut with Coconut Milk - RM7.50
All in all, I would say that the freshness of the seafood was undisputed. Some of the sauces could be improved on. A spice factor option should be added, as some like it hot. Please also consider introducing the Som-Tam. And finally, the thing with the yogurt.. erm.. I am guessing that Thai food lovers are probably not quite ready for healthy curry just yet, lol.. unless you can make the yogurt, taste like 100% fatty coconut milk.. that is ..
Other than that, the ambience of the place was excellent and the service impeccable. I will definitely be back to sample the Thai Steamboat.
Coca Subang Parade,
Lot G28, Level G,
5 Jln ss16/1,
Tel: 03 - 5632 8766
Food (ala-carte Thai): 5/10
MSG levels: nil
Coca is Pork Free.