Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spanish food @ La Cocina, USJ Subang Jaya

teeny weeny bites of awesomely good lamb meatballs (RM8.50++)

I'm still going down my list of places to eat in Subang Jaya..slowly but surely. One of the places that popped up on that long list was this Spanish restaurant. Not a new place, this was located in the quieter Taipan area near the branch of the ever famous Ah Koong fishball noodles.

chicken croquettes - mash potatoes with minced chicken served with garlic mayonnaise

For our first visit, I had zero expectations especially since this place was very quiet (only another table besides us and some people sitting at the bar), even though it was a weekend. In fact, I almost wanted to bolt out of the door but the restaurant was pretty cosy albeit a little cramped inside.

spanish omelette (potatoes with eggs)

I quickly changed my mind when I started tasting the tapas we had ordered before our main dish came i.e. the paella. Being cautious, we decided on two tapas dishes for the night - lamb meatballs (always a must with Splashie Boy) and soft shell crab. The meatballs were juicy and tender. Served with a divine tomato herb sauce, we wiped clean the plates with the bread given on the side. I also loved the soft shell crab - nice and crispy and delicious when paired with the creamy mayonnaise.

scrumptious Paella Negres with squid ink

For our second visit here, we decided to go for the paella set for 2 (RM80++), which came with 2 tapas dishes, paella and a dessert to share. The tapas dishes this time round were the chicken croquette and Spanish omelette. While the taste of these two tapas dishes weren't as fantastic compared to our previous visit, we did enjoy them as they were a light prelude to the main event aka the paella.

I have a love/hate relationship with paella served in Malaysia - most of the places I find just make it too mushy that ruins the whole dish. Here, they cooked the rice just right with taste and texture and best part of it, they have a nice layer of crust underneath. To be honest, it was my first time encountering a crust under my paella that I thought they got it wrong. A quick wikipedia check indicated that this crust is highly sort after - kinda like the crust you get from claypot chicken rice. Hence, I have been hooked on this version ever since. I love the squid ink version, with the clams mixed in to give it extra flavour. And since we knew the crust was something to look forward to, we scraped all those crusty bits and ate them too. Simply heavenly stuff.

saffron yellow crema catalana to end

For desserts, we had a choice of crema catalana or almond tart. We went for the Spanish version of creme brulee. Very creamy and soft, I thought it was extremely rich. Luckily we only had one small portion to share as it was a very filling meal.

Overall verdict for this place - we like it a lot and will definitely keep returning to try other menu items. Service is also very good and attentive but then, most of the time when we dine here it is pretty empty, so it has not been tested much. Upstairs the restaurant, there is a bar and it seems on Friday nights, they have salsa dances here. Sounds very happening.

La Cocina Restaurant & Tapas Bar
38, Jalan USJ 9/5P
Subang Central
Subang Jaya

Tel No: 03 - 8023 2395

(Pork free. Open daily for lunch and dinner. For further details on the location, menu and promotions, see their

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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suanie said...

i love this place! next time u should try the sangria. delicious!

myCoffee said...

This place has been around for years. The last time I went there was quite a few years back and it was as you describd - empty. I am surprised it survived this long. Looks like a revisit is in store!

J2Kfm said...

not bad. Spanish food's rather hard to find.
a set for two for less than RM100? that's reasonable enough.

Ciki said...

yum! another great find... i am not a fan of paella, but since you say the thin crust is highly sought after eh... ok la, maybe can try :)

Julian Si said...

I love paella!!!

An amazing find... can't wait to get back from Thailand :-)

Angie Tan said...

I have that same love/hate relationship with paella too!

The first time I had it, it was spectacular with the perfect amount of liquids and texture. This was at Sri Hartamas near Souled Out but it is now closed.

My recent paella experience wasn't so great. It was too wet but the flavours were all there.

Will try this place since it's near my home.

artworks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jasmine said...

hmm, and i never knew about this place. must try this place with my aunt since my aunt loves paella.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

it is dis kinda quiet places im always looking out for..provided the food is good of course..ohh i cant wait to try this!

sc said...

food looks good and sounds like a gem! i wanna go there too, them lamb meatballs are screaming for some TLC from me :p

Shell (貝殼) said...

i never visit spanish restaurant b4.. it is similar with italian food?

bawa said...

Paella can be more or less "liquidy" but rice should never be overcooked or mushy; that means exactly 20 mins cooking + a few minutes "rest" for the rice.

If croquettes were really potato then its disappointing. Authentic ones are always made of a kind of white sauce with chopped up ingredients inside. Good ones should be melt-in-the-mouth type!

Unknown said...

I live in Subang. was wondering if you posted your list of places to eat in Subang? Running out of ideas of where to eat.

Unknown said...

wow, there isn't really much Spanish restaurants around yeah? but at least we are seeing more of them, which give us more variety other than the popular French and Italian cuisines

Julian Si said...

Squid ink Paella droooolicious, as was the Creme Catalan!!


Two bloggers thumbs up!!


gen.u.ine.ness said...

This place looks slightly more decent than the rip-off joint, La Bodega (which I had the misfortune of visiting)
As a quick comment to other readers stating that there aren't many spanish eateries - it is for a reason.
Spanish cooking revolves around pork, pork and more pork. The spaniards pride themselves with their pigs (especially the pata negra) For example the chicken croquettes is made with ham (although chicken is used in muslim populated region). The sauce bawa is referring to is bechamel. Spanish paella also contain pork (in the form of Chorizo) although this can be ommitted to some extent by just using more smoked paprika. Spanish ham - jabugo pata negra - is simply the best ham in the world and fetches ridiculous sums of money (£700 for a leg)


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