Mother’s Day Menu
Open in April 2016, Coquo Restaurant and Wine Bar is an elegant speakeasy restaurant and wine bar yet to be fully discovered by many. For gourmands who makes extra effort in seeking out Coquo, they certainly know how to return for an unforgettable culinary journey of modern cuisine.
Located in Solaris Dutamas, just right above a popular hangout bar named Barfly, Coquo is helmed by Spanish chef extraordinaire, Chef Toni Valero together with partner Tricia Kandiah. Tricia first met Toni when she dined at Ohla Tapas & Cocktails, where Toni was working previously. Through mutual passion for the love of food, they ventured on their first restaurant together with Coquo.
Coupled with Valero’s impressive resume which boasts of Michelin star establishments in Spain like El Cellar de Cane Roca (El Cellar) and Mugaritz, diners are in for a gastronomical journey of flavours like no other on our Malaysian shore. Having successful stints in London, Barcelona and was even responsible for the popular Ohla Tapas, Valero hopes to embark on a new culinary journey of modern cuisine at Coquo.
At first sight, Valero remains reserve and direct but as we progressed through the dining experience, Valero speaks passionately about the culinary world with much pride on where his vision for the modern cuisine is heading towards. The very talented and meticulous chef show exceptional culinary foresight through the use of Malaysia’s local produce combine with modern culinary skills and techniques. Foraying into the world of molecular gastronomy, Valero uses various modern culinary techniques to showcase the best of our local produce to its best potential. It is only when the local ingredient is not available, the chef will then outsource it from elsewhere in the world.
Coquo, which translate to I cook in Latin, is designed with elegance and easement in mind of diners enjoying great food and wine set in smart casual ambiance. Pure wood and leather takes precedence in the theme of the décor as well as artist Thomas Powell’s Banksy style art reflects the speakeasy’s concept of food and wine. Elegant, mysterious as well as exquisite modern flavours brought together by the skill of Valero and his team sums up Coquo.
The restaurant and wine bar currently carries over 80 labels of wine with a small and tight menu that changes every four months.
Through the eyes of the famous personalities of the Banksy art mural who has created history in the culinary world such as Audrey Hepburn, Ferran Adria, Louis Pasteur, Joan Roca, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley and Salvador Dali, Valero hopes to create his own gastronomic history in the culinary scene in the city.
This Mother’s Day month, Valero takes his inspiration from non-other than his beloved mother’s recipes to bring diners a taste of Spanish dishes prepared the Valero way. Though Coquo menu doesn’t focus solely on Spanish cuisine, Valero speaks fondly of his yesteryears of growing up and enjoying his mother’s cooking, saying that the memories of that flavours are priceless. In tribute of his heritage and his mother, Valero brings forth two special dishes available only for a limited time during this Mother’s day in Coquo.
Gazpacho is said to originate from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia but today, it’s widely savored all over Spain and Portugal, especially during summertime when the hot weather is cooled down with this chilled soup. Valero whips up his gazpacho from his childhood flavours in his mother’s kitchen and elevates the chilled soup with slipper lobsters from Johor in Gazpacho with Grilled Lobster and Cured Egg Yolk (RM 48++).
Succulent lobster tails poached to perfection is paired with brunoise of bell peppers while the gazpacho is poured at table side on to the crustacean. The gazpacho has vibrant freshness of sweet tomatoes along with peppers, garlic and herbs. Velvety smooth and fairly thick, each spoonful of gazpacho was fresh and heavenly on the palate, leaving me satiated for more to come.
Through tedious efforts and days in the kitchen, Valero creates an intense and smoky caramelized sofrito for his base of Spanish Bomba rice cooked paella style. Tomatoes slow cooked over 8 hours in Jasper oven, a seafood stock that screams crustacean essence, Iberico pork ribs sous vide over 14 hours and more is meticulously prepared in honor of his interpretation of his mother’s dish of Pork Rib & Crab Rice (RM 58 ++).
The result is perfection of a cast iron pan of smoky and unctuously creamy al dente rice with crusty bits, served with delectable and fabulous Iberico pork ribs and sweet chunks of crab meat from our very own Pulau Ketam shore. Talk about flavours, this plate is jam-packed with rich and luscious flavours that is heighten with porky ribs and crab. The dish is divine… so much so that you may not want to share this with anyone else.
Apart from the special Mother’s Day menu, one should not miss the Prawn Carpaccio (RM38 ++) from the regular menu. Locally sourced prawns, artfully bundled and sliced carpaccio style is served with Laksa caviar, prawn cracker and spicy Laksa oil.
When asked what inspired the dish, Valero immediately says that one of his favorite local dish is Sarawak Laksa. Inspired by the rich flavours of the laksa, he uses molecular technique to create laksa caviar pearls to be paired with the prawn carpaccio on crackers. Everything is literally made from scratch, including the laksa paste he uses to create the laksa caviar downright to the crackers.
When savored together, this dish is truly memorable on the palate. Lush flavours of popping caviar of creamy and spicy laksa, sweet prawns, crispy prawn rice crackers and hints of spicy oil is a clever compilation unlike any other dish that I have ever tasted. Addictive as well as moreish, we kept going back for more of this delectable dish.
Just when we thought that nothing could outdo that excellent Prawn Carpaccio, Valero brought out his Curry Leaf Ice Cream (RM22 ++) served with strawberry Szechuan pepper and jasmine green tea gelatin.
Wait a minute, I had to ask Valero again to reaffirm what I heard, strawberries with Szechuan pepper and curry leaf ice cream? Try it first, he says.
Upon savoring the curry leaf ice cream on its own, it was an instant hit of cold and smooth sensation of cream and aromatic curry leaves. There is no sweetness at all in the ice cream but rather just notes of rich cream and curry leaves.
And then we savored the ice cream with the strawberries set in light floral jasmine green tea and what a turnaround. The strawberries were sweet and fruity with a lovely tang, smoothen out by the aromatic ice cream. Then you get an after subtle hit of heat from the peppers creeping slowly up which really gave the dessert an element of surprise. The duo of cold and heat really works wondrous on the palate. Kudos to Valero for his brilliance on combining unusual ingredients together and this extraordinary dessert!
If you’re looking for a culinary journey like no other, Coquo is the place to be. Intimate, excellent modern cuisine, impeccable service and a menu that truly epitomize gastronomic sensations, Coquo is a haven for those seeking adventurous culinary journey as well as a place to unwind with good wines and company. Reservations recommended.
Coquo Restaurant and Wine Bar’s special Mother’s Day menu is available from 12 to 14 May, 2017.
For reservations call 03-6211 2822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COQUO RESTAURANT & BAR (located above BarFly)
D1-G4-6, Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: + 60 3-6211 2822
Business Hours: 6pm to 12 midnight (kitchen menu ends at 10.30pm)