Coca Restaurant: Thai Cantonese at SM Aura Premier
One of the unique things about the bustling food scene at Bonifacio Global City is the wide array of tastes that cater to anyone and everyone. With the recent opening of SM Aura, an additional avenue for the palate tasting types was again populated with several new choices.
There is no question that the new SM mall caters to those who can afford to pay, and yes it really does feel a few notches above the rest. In one of our family lunches, we decided to try something new and something different. I actually chose the place on a whim, based on something I faintly remember reading online about the restaurant. It says that it was a Thai-Cantonese fusion restaurant. I like Thai food and Chinese food so perhaps both would be really good together. The interiors were well appointed and thought of, it really was a nice place to dine. Without question, the vibe was really set for a fine dining experience. Although I went in with two rowdy kids and wearing just a shirt and jeans with my flip flops, there was no stuffy feeling of over formality. To us, this was a good sign as they were quite welcoming of families with small kids.
I have to mention, the array of food that they offer is quite expansive with a lot to choose from the menu. There were appetizers, selection of proteins, noodles and they even had a hot pot selection.
Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (PhP320)
Now this was a treat, it was really crispy and succulent. It wasn’t as greasy as in other restaurants. The peculiar thing though is that it is listed as an appetizer. We had it with rice, as I think this is already an ulam.
Stir Fry Squid with Garlic and Chili (PhP280)
I like this one as well, as it had really deep flavors and the squid as perfectly cooked. The danger with the squid is that if it is not done right it gets a bit gummy and hard to chew, this one was just right. Really nice.
Tofu Garlic and Chili (PhP300)
It was nicely seasoned, but nothing really out of the ordinary. The tofu was cooked well and the taste was OK. A bit spicy I have to say, so for those who doesn’t like the spice, better steer clear of this offering.
Red Fire Platter (assorted meat, vegetables and glass noodles) PhP 1,100
Now this we enjoyed, there’s really something about cooking food on your table, an appeal of sorts. We liked this one as the ingredients were fresh especially the vegetables. I remember though that the stock wasn’t as tasty but there are condiments that goes along with it so you can customize based on what you want. The serving was also quite generous, of course given the price it should be.
Stir Fry Beef Fillet with Ginger and Chinese Spring Onion (PhP480)
This has to be the best of what we had ordered, I really loved the subtle flavors that when combined with the really tender meat is like food Nirvana. Too bad the serving portion was quite small, nothing really surprising as I think they used premium beef strips for this one. A must try, we took the advice of the waiter and we were not disappointed.
The Final Verdict
Coca was a delight, although on the pricey side. The price point was expected as you will be dining at SM Aura, and the majority of the food joints there would charge not so ordinary rates. We brought in a family member who just came in from abroad and they seemed to like it as well.
I was happy with what they had offered and the beef was really something to try. The hot pot was pleasant and is an enjoyable dining experience that you can share with your family. But again, expect to pay between 400-500 pesos per person.
MFB Rating: 3.5 out of 5