Tuesday, September 30, 2008

COCA means "Kekou" means Appetizing!

COCA started in 1957 as a humble 20 seater Cantonese Restaurant.

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 :)


Say Cheez!
(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

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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,
Subang Parade,
5 Jln ss16/1,
Subang Jaya
Tel: 03 - 5632 8766

Food (ala-carte Thai): 5/10
Seafood freshness:8/10
MSG levels: nil

Coca is Pork Free.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Service by Wheel-barrow

This morning, my husband had a craving. To satisfy this craving, we had to drive towards Zoo Negara...

We saw a sign that said we were on the right track...

When you spot the MacDonalds, and the Petronas sign...

It means you are really near! There it is!

New Heong Kee..

but good Old fashion Beggar's chicken!

Don't let the bungalow throw you off...

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Around the back is where all the ACTION is!

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Some Beggar's Chicken restaurants in Selangor mainly cater to the Dinner crowd.
Luckily New Heong Kee is open for lunch too.

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Not only can you have chicken, but there's also beggar's duck, beggar's mutton etc... but just make sure you call one day in advance to book your meal (see end of blog for contact number).

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Apparently during peak hour, this hot bed can cook up to 50 beggar's chicken parcels.

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Speaking of which, there is ours!

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The mud with which they wrap the chicken.

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Service by wheelbarrow! lol.

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A massive longan tree grows in the backyard...
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I wonder if longan is for dessert...

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Here's our lunch, being unwrapped.

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layer, after layer...

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Until our chicken emerges!

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Presenting.. the Beggar's Chicken!

Brown, Glistening and smoking hot...

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Another signature dish here is the reconstituted fish.. if done well, this dish truly rocks.

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The skin of the fish is kept intact, while the flesh of the fish is removed, de-boned, ground up with chestnuts and other goodies, and then stuffed back into the fish skin.

The whole reconstituted fish is then re-fried. Our old "ah-mah chay" who use to work for us, use to cook this for us on a regular basis and it use to blow our socks off... It really requires skill, dedication and patient and steady hand!

This one though, tasted like a 5/10 because they ground up the fish flesh too fine and added too much flour, until it tasted like fish ball..

oh well.. at least it brought back fond memories.. ;D

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This is the inside of our beggar's chicken stuffed full with the Chinese herbs. The chicken flesh was infused with this herbal flavour.

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This is a photo of all that was left of our meal. Not bad for just TWO persons, right? ;)

New Heong Kee,
446, Batu7.5, Jalan Ulu Kelang,
68000 Selangor,
Tel: 03 4106 8698
Business hours: 12pm - 10pm

MSG levels: nil
Salt levels: high
Oil factor: low

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Where can you eat Steam fish and/or Assam fish for just RM17-18 per dish.. with excellent flavour and freshness?

If you see this building, you are on the right track!

Warmer, warmer....


Very HOT! You found it... !
Hou Moon, Klang.

The Steamed Sek Pan(Garoupa fish).. huge, succulent and oozy with juices... the ginger stings, with a slight bitter edge, telling you that it's really young and fresh. Good for people with WIND problems!

The Assam Garoupa(same fish but fillet style) is so tangy it sometimes makes my hair stand. It's sour enough to make your enamels shiver, yet sweet and juicy enough to cover the sensation.
I love drinking the assam sauce;P

Don't forget to also try this - spinach in soup with herbs, as the sotong they use for flavouring is amazing. Flame grilled first to bring out the flavour - the strips of sotong in the spinach are chewy and delicious.

this... (garlic fried siew yoke)

AND this... (marmite squid)

the squid is puny, crunchy and really tasty.. like the Japanese sort..

And finally the 4 in 1 (4 juices in one),

if that isn't enough, the 5 in 1 !!! (watermelon, pineapple, orange, apple and lime)

To finish it off.. order the saccharin sweet honey pineapple, and say "What a good girl am I";)

Price:RM20 per head.. cheap & good!
Salt levels: low
MSG levels: moderate
Service: fast during non peak, but still relatively fast during peak lunch hour time

Hou Moon Restaurant,
No.34 & 36, Jalan Hip Hing,
Off Jalan Goh Hock Huat,
41400 Klang,
Tel: 03-33430467