KUALA LUMPUR: Coca Restaurant, the innovative Asian dining chain, made a stylish entrance to the Malaysian capital with the launch of a new outlet at the cosmopolitan enclave of Bangsar on September 21. Brand owner and celebrity Chef Pitaya Phanphensophon, the son of Coca founder Khun Srichai Phanphensophon, was on hand to present a special chef’s tasting dinner menu to invited media and celebrity guests.
Coca Restaurant is a contemporary Thai, Chinese and hotpot (suki) concept. The group’s heritage dates back to 1957, when Khun Srichai and his wife Patama opened the first Coca restaurant in Surawong, launching the ‘suki’ trend in Thailand.
The restaurant group now spans three generations and it is clear to see that, while COCA has evolved over the years with vibrant interiors and changeable plate presentations, the brand has been true to its roots by offering the freshest ingredients and good value for money as their core principals.
Since its origins, Ccoa brand has expanded outside Thailand and continued to grow over the years to its current count of more than 30 outlets across the region. It has now has set its sights firmly on Kuala Lumpur where it plans to open four restaurants in the next three years, beginning with the new premises at Bangsar Shopping Centre.
Seating approximately 100 diners, the new Coca restaurant will serve an enticing à la carte menu of Thai-Cantonese cuisine, along with Coca’s signature hot pot, famous suki sauce and a new Southern Thai soup base exclusively designed for Malaysian diners.
The restaurant features two private rooms inspired by a solarium concept and semi-private dining areas for families and large groups. Large panel windows make the most of the views and natural light with 180 degree vistas of the city.
The stylish event in the semi-fine dining ambience of the new outlet saw Chef Pitaya hold court as he shared his passion and enthusiasm for cooking, along with his unique philosophies on food and the food and beverage industry.
“We want to emphasise looking after your health through eating healthy cuisine,” said Chef Pitaya. “It is a turning point in many ways for the Coca brand here and around the region that is now being influenced by my eldest daughter Natalia Phanphensophon who studied food science in the UK.”
“We’re very happy to be in Kuala Lumpur. Being an immediate neighbour and sharing many culinary similarities, Malaysia is an important market for us and we’re excited to embark on this journey with our owners who share the same values as us,” he added.
Jannio Shun and Elizabeth Thea Lee are the new owners of the Coca franchise in Malaysia. Both passionate foodies, they found their new calling in life to get into the food business and having eaten in Coca and even once having dated at a Coca restaurant growing up, it was a dream come true to actually run the franchise in Malaysia.
“We’re both super excited about the opening and delighted the brand owners had faith in us to do a great job and grow the brand in Malaysia. Opening this outlet was at times challenging as we are new to the industry but we have the drive and the passion to make it work. We’re sure KL diners will love it – love the ambiance and the healthy, fresh food we are bringing to the city,” said Jannio.
“We’re really happy with the end result and being foodies ourselves, we believe that we’ve managed to achieve a balance between providing an aesthetically pleasing space and high quality food products and ingredients, all brought together of course by the signature hot pot and suki sauce,” added Elizabeth.
Chef Pitaya presented a special chef’s tasting dinner which comprised:
Yum Quinoa with Prawn & Scallop (Yum Talay Quinoa)
Fresh Tiger Prawns, USA Digby Scallops, Fresh Lime and Chili, Quinoa
Deconstructed Australian Wagyu 180 Days OX Tongue Wonton (Lin Wua Tua Lima)
24 Hours Slow Cooked, High Protein Butter Beans and Shu Hao Reduction
Thai Herb Infused Organic Hill Station Chicken with Organic Black Jasmine Rice (Gai Baan Khao Mun Gai) Organic Chicken Rice with Thai Herbal Soup and Housemade Dipping Sauce
Crab Cake with Curry Hollandaise (Tod Mun Poo)
Crab Claw Cake Maryland Inspired Style with Natural Butter Curry Hollaindaise
Coca’s famous fresh patanko with sweet condensed milk
COCA Restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre. For reservations please call: +603 2011 3575