It has been raining in Singapore and the temperature dropped to an average of 22˚C in the afternoon. What better than hotpot for a chilly “winter day” in Singapore.
Originated from Bangkok, COCA established its first hotpot restaurant in Singapore in 1987 and remains well-known amongst Singaporean diners as an established Thai-Chinese hotpot restaurant. And of course, their claim to fame is their tomyum soup base and the sweet and hot Thai chilli sauce.
Coca’s only offering is a buffet hotpot. It is not those Chinese all-you-can-eat hotpot joints that simply throw all the ingredients in a large pile for you to pick. They do it with a bit of class – and for this special pandemic period, a very hygienic way of serving buffer. Everything you would like to put in the hotpot, you pick from a tablet.
The ingredients are served individually and in the right amount for the number of people having the buffet. Of course you can ask for less and go for more variety. It’s a buffet, eat as much or as little as you want.
This time, we opted for their Sichuan spicy mala hotpot base and the double boiled chicken soup base. Of course, you can go for the premium huadiao yellow wine chicken soup base for that extra kick (and extra cost), but I was curious about their mala.
To our surprise, their mala soup base was as good, if not better than Haidilao. The soup base infused the ingredients with the spicy flavours of Sichuan peppercorns and chilli, but did not overwhelmed the ingredients itself. There’s a sweetness in the soup base not found in Haidilao.
And to round off a great dinner, we ordered a Red Ruby – a classic Thai dessert that is made with water chestnut cubes coated with potato starch and cooked in red rose syrup. The result is a clear gelatinous red skin around the crunchy water chestnut.
What I loved about the variation they did was that instead of shaved ice and coconut milk, the red ruby was served with a creamy quenelle of coconut ice cream. Very sweet and delicious end to dinner.
They used to occupy a larger space in Ngee Ann City, but that space was taken by Crystal Jade. They have moved into a smaller space that used to be a Javanese restaurant, but the service level was good and the space was ample and cosy. Can get very busy at meal time, so please book ahead.
COCA Hotpot (Ngee Ann City)
391 Orchard Road #04-23 Ngee Ann City Singapore 238872
Tel : +65 6734 7887
Date Visited : Jan 2021