I don't know about you but I enjoy congee, porridge and risotto a lot. It just goes to show how Asian I am; we love our rice. So when I was invited to learn the Art of Ojiya by COCA Restaurant, I simply had to go and learn more about it!
I have dined at COCA twice before. The ambiance is very relaxed, very homey. It's also family friendly with high chairs if you need them, which is always a requirement for a mom like myself.
Before the program started, all of the ingredients were placed in the center of the restaurant. You guessed it, all of us got hungry at just the sight of these!
At this point, I was still pretty much clueless on what Ojiya is exactly. After seeing all the ingedients, I assumed that it was hotpot.
Karen and Ida of COCA
The Art of Ojiya is derived from Khao Tom, which is a breakfast staple in Thailand. It is essentially porridge that can either be served plain or with a variety of ingredients. It is a mild and thinrice soup akin to a vegetable soup with lots of rice. It is made from pre-cooked rice and water seasoned and cooked with other ingredients such as meat, seafood, mushrooms, and vegetables.
At COCA, guests are encouraged to end their hotpot experience with the Ojiya – a delicious combination of rice slowly cooked in your hotpot broth with sesame oil, egg, spring onion and fried garlic.
After the demonstration, we were grouped by tables to do a little cook off. It felt like I was in Master Chef! Imagine, our dishes will be judged by professional chefs. I knew we had to bring our A game. Good thing my groupmates were so game too!
We all grabbed different ingredients while the servers filled our hotpot with 2 different soup bases.
We thought that it would be good to have a seafood dish and a meaty dish. We chose Tom Yum base for the seafood dish and Chicken Soup for our meaty dish.
We simmered and cooked all of our ingredients to perfection.
After which, we enjoyed our hot pot lunch. We had to leave just enough soup for the rice for our Ojiya. Because of all of the ingredients that we put in the soup, the flavors come out and would be the main flavor of the rice.
After cooking the rice for about 15 minutes, we now added our condiments. Little sesame oil here, some lemon there, garlic for that kick and fresh egg to pull everything together.
And here's what my team came up with:
Looks appetizing right?
It was time for judging! Unfortunately, our group didn't win. But it was a lot of fun! And the food was spectacular; perfect for that rainy day!
Other than that, we were also served more food. Unfortunately, I had to leave early because I had another event to attend to and my car was coding. Boohoo!
Coca is also highlighting items in the menu that will definitely have customers want to come back for more. The Pacific Sunset, which is served with a king crab, squid, tiger prawns, pork sausage and corn is a hearty dish that can serve a big group. It goes with a hint of a variety of spices from around the world and may be enjoyed with rice or bread.
Other notable dishes include the Salted Egg Salad with Pork Belly and Shrimp, which is a favorite starter. Then there’s the Beef Fillet with Black Pepper, and for a healthier alternative, Braised Tofu with Taiwan Bokchoy in a Clay Pot. These go well with COCA’s Yang Chow Fried Rice, among other rice specialties. The Nachos with Curry Cheese Dip is good for snacking, as well as the Buffalo Bites.
For leisurely drinks, COCA has the White Sangria, white wine with orange juice, lime juice, dalandan juice and soda with apple and pear.The Sunset Sangria is concocted with white wine, watermelon, dalandan juice, lime juice, soda and lemon. And the Mango Mint Sangria, a mix of white wine with rhum, lime juice, soda, apple, mango and a tinge of mint.
I highly recommend Ojiya for families! It's a fun DIY meal that everybody will enjoy and the flavor will surely relax and satisfy your cravings! No two Ojiyas are ever alike as each takes in all the flavor and character of one’s personalized hotpot experience. Every Ojiya gives a distinct flavorful experience so whatever hotpot combination is preferred, the Ojiya is definitely in for a warm and comforting finish.
Here are the soup bases to choose from:
And the sets available:
You can also choose to add more ingredients:
Here's my vlog that day:
Here's COCA's menu:
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