Restaurant Review: Coca Restaurant at SM Aura Premier

Hubby and I had time to spare one Thursday night while waiting for the number coding scheme to be lifted. Weather was very erratic at that time so we decided to go to SM Aura where there is ample (and covered) parking space. It was also fitting because we are aiming to try as many restaurants as we can at SM Aura. After walking along a strip of restaurants in Sky Park, Coca Restaurant caught our attention. A lady staff member who was stationed at the entrance told us that they serve Thai-Chinese dishes. I was really craving for Pad Thai, but to my dismay, it wasn’t available in their menu. But despite my initial disappointment, we still gave Coca Restaurant a try.

A staff member directed us in one of the available tables, but we requested to be seated somewhere else. Luckily, we were the only guests in the spot we chose. I am not sure if my husband felt the same, but I felt like the place (or at least where we were seated) has that unique romantic vibe. I am not sure if it was the comfy couch, the monotone interiors, the warm lightning, or this…

Coca Restaurant SM Aura
This woman was staring at us the entire night! :p

Hubby and I immediately placed our orders, and the food was served to us in minutes. We were trying out the camera feature of my husband’s new mobile phone when the food was served to us. Just so you know, I used his phone to take these photos. I therefore conclude that we should switch phones! Mwahahaha! Anyway, my first choice was to get this Stir-fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts. Tamarind’s version of this dish stills lingers in my mind so I opted to give Coca’s version a try just so I could make a comparison.

Coca Restaurant SM AuraStir-fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts PHP380

I actually liked Coca’s take on this dish. The chicken is very tender. The sauce is more on the sweet side so those who don’t like eating spicy food will like it. They have also managed to preserve the natural crisp of the vegetables. But if I were to rate it, Tamarind would definitely get the higher score, primarily because it is very spicy. I would have appreciated the fact that Coca’s version has more cashew nuts (because I looooove cashew nuts), but the nuts leave a very bitter aftertaste. I am not sure if they toasted the nuts too much.

The Stir-fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts may have fallen short of our expectations, but the Stir-fried Squid with Garlic and Chili saved the day!!! We always make it a point to get stir-fried squid when it’s present on the menu. I loved that the squid is cooked to perfection! It’s not chewy at all. I was able to eat one whole squid ring without worrying that I’d die of indigestion. Nyahaha!

DSC_0019Stir-fried Squid with Garlic and Chili PHP280 

The chef was definitely not lying when he/she named this dish as Stir-fried Squid with Garlic and Chili. First, there was a ton of garlic in this dish. I went home, brushed my teeth thrice, and still slept with some remnants of garlic flavor in my mouth. Haha! But I am not complaining. Ang mahal kaya ng bawang! :p And second, the presence of the chili was undeniable! I think my husband just ate three pieces, and he threw the white flag after. I brought home some leftovers. And Papa, who just like me also loves spicy dishes, enjoyed it too. Super sarap, promise!

Aside from the food and ambiance, the service was commendable too. We were immediately attended to by servers even if we were on a quite secluded spot. If given the chance, I would love to come back to Coca. I got so curious with their hot pots so I’ll probably try it when I come back with a bigger group with me. And if ever I get the chance to come back, I would remind myself to ask one of the servers the reason behind that portrait of a half-naked woman. Hindi ko kasi ma-gets bakit siya nandun habang kumakain kami! Hihihi! =))

DSC_0029I just want to post this photo to let you see the effect of the lights on top of us. Parang may aparisyon lang. Lakas lang maka mestiza! Char! :p

Coca Restaurant
Level 5 Sky Park SM Aura Premier
26th St. cor. McKinley Pkwy,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

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