COCA Opens Newest Branch in Manila at SM Aura Premiere
When in Manila, or anywhere for that matter, few things can leave you so superfluously inspired the way a great meal can. Personally, an exceptional meal for me brings forth an outpour of adjectives in every bite, and leaves me a very sated palate in its wake. This is exactly what recently opened Thai-Cantonese restaurant COCA had me feeling. Hannah and I had the pleasure of joining them for a special dinner recently, graced by none other than COCA’s CEO, Mr. Pitaya Phanphensophon.
What started as a small 20-seater Cantonese restaurant in 1957 has successfully blossomed into a dining enterprise expanding all over Asia, and having opened its newest branch here in Manila. COCA, whose name translates into “appetizing” in Mandarin, first introduced an adaptation of Suki-style cooking to Thailand. This style of cooking is derived from traditional Chinese hot pot, and has catapulted COCA into the success it is today.
Now, all grown up and ready to tastefully take our dining scene by storm (pun intended), COCA shows us the ropes on how great food is brought to the table, as well as the palatable perks such work bring forth.
COCA’s famous Suki-style hotpot, best enjoyed with their signature COCA sauce.
One need not doubt that COCA does include only the freshest ingredients in their dishes. The proof truly, is in the pudding (or in this case, their Chili Crab.) Never have I tasted crabmeat so tender that the slivers melt in your mouth, or roast duck and chicken in their purest form, without a trace of MSG. As Mr. Pitaya claims, COCA does aim to bring the best out of their dishes’ flavors, unadulterated with obscene amounts of seasoning or artificial flavors. COCA’s dishes highly encourage you to go easy on the salt and soy sauce, and enjoy a plethora of Thai-Cantonese cuisine at the bare minimum.
Considering the latter, it should be said that COCA’s dishes aren’t at all bland, or lack any flavor whatsoever. Instead, COCA makes clever use of herbs and spices to further emphasize the fresh flavors of pork, chicken, seafood, and even vegetables.
Check out the next page to know what my top picks are at COCA!