The first thing that springs to mind when Coca is mentioned is a particular plant cultivated in certain parts of South America. However, that is not the Coca that will be reviewed in this post. ;) This Coca is the steamboat franchise. My first experience with Coca is in Kuching, which Andrea, the Marketing Manager who invited us, said was under different management.
I went with Yiling to the outlet at 1Utama. There are two outlets in Klang Valley – one in 1U and the other in Subang Parade. I recommend going to the second one – Andrea gave us the lowdown on the difference. The latter is larger, with live aquariums and fresh seafood from said aquarium. I hear the ambiance is better too.
However, I found the ambiance at Coca Restaurant, 1U to be quite pleasant too. The interior is dominated by hues of red (a color which can either cause arguments or create passion, depending on who you listen to), which is also the corporate color of the franchise. Andrea gave us a warm welcome when we stepped in and ushered us to our reserved table.
Coca is having a promotion on their steamboat set menus. It starts from RM 98++ for 2 people and includes:
Deep Fried Fish Paste
Tiger Prawns (200 grams)
Coca Foo Chock
House Special Dumpling
Yiling had the new Roselle Flowers d’ Juice (RM 12.90), which actually has the edible flowers garnishing the tall receptacle, as well as a slice of lemon. She opted to substitute the water with soda water, which made it effervescent and very thirst quenching. I love the pitchfork to stir the drink – it’s very novel, the other end is a small spoon. A spork of sorts! =D
I ordered a jug of beer, which Yiling doubted I could finish. She should know better coz she’s seen the way I drink in Ipoh. I offered to pay for the beer, but Andrea would have none of it – cheers for the great hospitality! :)
I’m sure I don’t need to put photos of the jug of beer up – you know what it looks like anyway, unless you’re living in Afghanistan or something…in which case you wouldn’t have net access anyway. ;)
Coca Restaurant also has a buffet promotion where you can have unlimited appetizers from the buffet line. We checked out the appetizers on offer and it’s very well presented, hor d’oeuvres style with a lot of them on spoons and such. Check out the succulent prawns in the foreground! I like the miniature Coca steamboat in the middle too – it’s little touches like these that shows attention to detail. They are also going healthy – substituting yogurt for coconut milk in a lot of their cooking.
Anyway, back to our Coca Experience (TM) we were served Tiger Prawns stuffed with fish and prawns for the appetizer. The crustacean is a bit tough with a fearsome carapace but a tiny fork is more than adequate to get at the succulent flesh inside. The fish and prawn mixture works very well, creating a fusion of flavors that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The second appetizer we were served is the Pandan Chicken. It’s tender chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and the cooking process retains all the juicy and moist goodness of the chicken. It’s almost melt-in-your-mouth!
The steamboat was ready after that and the best thing about Coca Restaurant is the excellent service. The waiters help you with everything – doing it the Proper Way (TM) – first using the broth to loosen the ingredients before carefully putting it into the steamboat. This is a very nice touch, and different from other steamboat establishments.
We went for the mixed steamboat – one side is Tom Yam soup and the other side is chicken broth. I like the Tom Yam soup better as I have a love of all things spicy, but I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the chicken broth too. It’s very flavorful with hints of real chicken essence, unlike the watered down Oliver Twist soup-without-bread version that some other establishments serve.
This is the Tom Yam soup version.
I just love this photo of Yiling. She looks so cute! :)
This is the chicken broth version.
Memorable dishes in the RM 98++ set meal are the spinach noodles, jellyfish, and the house specialty dumplings. I’m not a big fan of tofu so I can’t comment on that.
Andrea was kind enough to furnish us with a plethora of desserts – the most remarkable being the Fresh Mango Pulut with Durian (RM
23.80). It’s absolutely sinf
ul. It’s fresh mangos sliced into manageable pieces, served with glutinous rice drowned in coconut milk and a side of durian puree. The durian puree is to die for! It has a creamy texture with heavy notes of the King of Fruits and an orgasmic aftertaste. I even ate the durian puree straight from the cup; it’s just that good.
It should be noted that a lot of the items here (e.g. some appetizers) and desserts are not included in the RM 98++ steamboat promotion for two. Those items came courtesy of Andrea. Thanks a great dining experience! :)
P/S – The best thing about Coca Restaurant is their secret dipping sauce. It’s so closely guarded, the sauce is imported in from Thailand and no one knows the exact ingredients. Secret recipe. I like.