By Calvin Tung
There’s a new kid in Kuala Lumpur’s increasingly exciting foodie scene.
Introducing Coquo Restaurant Wine & Bar, touted by co owners, Tricia Kandiah and chef Toni Valero to be somewhere one can ‘come, chill, open a bottle of wine and relax the night away’.
The newly opened café, located in the heart of Solaris Dutamas is certainly an interesting one to watch indeed and seems to be headed in the right direction.
Chef Toni, no slouch in both international and the local food industry with resumes including El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz, previously helmed Ohla Tapas before joining forces with Tricia; who manages the day to day running of the business. Then there’s sommelier Gustavo Arriaga, also formerly of Ohla Tapas to create a new modern dining experience for those who seek to enjoy food at reasonable prices without compromising taste and quality.
Billing itself as neither European nor Asian, the restaurant’s menu instead defines itself as modern contemporary cooking, unfettered by region. What drives the menu instead is chef Toni’s own whimsy and desire in the kitchen unfettered by his renown and expertise on Spanish cuisine only.
Accordingly, the menu features a deliberately limited selection of over a dozen dishes and seeks to change it every few months to keep things interesting and new. What they hope to achieve is perfection in the selective menu over mediocrity with a large selection. To that end, only the best internationally sourced produce and meat will be used. Wherever possible, local ingredients are substituted instead to highlight the best of Malaysian produce and to keep the dish as fresh as possible.
Coupled with an extensive wine and alcohol collection and the help of an experienced sommelier in Gustavo, the restaurant aims to pair both food and wine together to create the best dining experience that the restaurant is able to provide. In short, an amazing dining experience.
Featuring prominent murals on the wall of the cafe by acclaimed street artist Thomas Powell, the restaurant blends the current rage of street murals popular in Penang and the sophisticated urban lifestyle.
Drawing upon chef Toni’s experiences in Ohla Tapas, the open long communal bar and kitchen concept seeks to invite patrons willing to make small talk with the chef and kitchen as they work on the food preparation. Or if they wish, other patrons sitting next to them.
For those who seek a more intimate space, there are plenty of tables that provide a respite away from the clamor and bustle of the kitchen area itself. Wherever you choose to sit, it doesn’t matter. Because what matters is that one goes in there, has a good time and enjoys the best that a place can offer. And this restaurant does it.
Tuesday to Sunday: 6pm – 12am
(Last order at 10.30pm)
Coquo Restaurant & Wine Bar
D1 – G4 – 6,
50480 Kuala Lumpur