Coca, a restaurant originating from Thailand, started out as a Cantonese restaurant in 1957. It was founded by Mr. Srichai Phanphensophon, and his wife. After gaining success, they moved to Sol Tantawan, where the resto became famous for its Hot Pot/Sukiyaki-style cooking.
Today, Coca is being handled by Mr. Srichai’s son, Pitaya Phanphensophon. Aside from Thailand, Coca has opened up branches in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Taiwan, Myanmar, and the Philippines. The restaurant also continues to expand internationally, through offering franchise opportunities. ^^
Earlier today, I had the chance to visit Coca’s branch at SM Aura. I really loved its dimly-lit Asian-inspired interior, since it gives the resto an intimate, romantic vibe.
Menu: Appetizer and salad (house special roast duck, COCA chicken in paper bag, trio of jellyfish, mixed barbecue appetizer, seafood durian spring roll) Prawn and crab (steamed king crab with egg custard, live king crab with salted egg), Fish and seafood (live steamed white shrimp with lime sauce, deep fried fish with fish sauce, stir fried squid with garlic and chili), Beef (steamed US prime striploin in soy sauce and ginger), Chicken (COCA Portuguese chicken curry), Pork (steamed kurobuta in soy sauce and ginger), Tofu and vegetables (stir fried morning glory with garlic and chili, eggplant in Chinese anchovy sauce), Rice and noodles (COCA noodles, stir-fried noodles with beef, chicken, or pork, COCA yang chow fried rice).
And of course you can try the restaurant’s specialty, which is Sukiyaki/Hot Pot! Their hot pot comes in four varieties – The Green Earth platter (veggies), Red Fire platter (meat), Blue Ocean platter (seafood), and the Emperor’s Platter (meat + seafood combo).
Okay—Honestly, I was a little surprised when I read the menu items since I thought that Coca was going to be a Thai restaurant that served Thai cuisine. But it turns out that their specialty is Asian dishes in general. ^^
Fried Fish Cake for our appetizer. I wanted to try their COCA Chicken in Paper Bag which is actually one of the resto’s bestsellers, but our waiter told us that it wasn’t available at the moment since the chicken hasn’t been marinated yet. Tsk tsk! We ended up ordering this dish instead. It was a little bit dull.
Toasted Pork Belly Noodles. The noodles were SUPER thin and pretty much resembled strings. The huge pork chunks were nice and tender. Really delicious, but they need to add more sauce! This dish can also be served with rice, instead of noodles.
For my drink, I had the Minty Lemonade. A little bit sharp-tasting and sour, but let me tell you, this drink is absolutely perfect for the hot summer weather.
This plate of COCA Yang Chow Fried Rice was slightly toasted, giving it a nice,slightly crispy texture.
Coca’s food, atmosphere, and staff all get high marks from me, but I only have a couple of suggestions about the servings… They shouldn’t charge the food way too much for small servings. Or maybe they should go for big servings to compensate for the price. Other than that, I’m glad that I got to know the humble beginnings of this restaurant, and was able to partake in the fruit of their labor.
Coca is located at 5/F SM Aura Premier, Sky Park, McKinley Parkway McKinley Hill, Taguig. Tel no (02) 218-1110.