When we were invited recently by Army Navy to sample new items in their menu, Pearl – the bubbly head for marketing – told us about their new restaurant called Coco Hut. This is supposed to be the healthier chain of the Army Navy group since there’s a predominance of fish & vegetables on the menu. My interest was so piqued that I decided to check it out on my own this weekend.
Coco Hut only has three branches at the moment (Alabang, Ortigas & UP Town Center) but five more are going to open this year. The ambiance at their Commercenter outlet was so welcoming. When placing your order at the counter, you can also see the action in the open kitchen.
Presumably, the store’s name and overall theme were inspired by the use of the humble coconut in the food prep.Coco Hut gives diners a refreshing new take on Filipino comfort food in a quick service resto setting by including the well-loved laing and ginataang langka (both P69). Both are excellently interpreted, and I actually prefer the latter… so tasty. I just wished they removed pork in the two dishes to also cater to vegetarians.
Fried chicken is Coco Hut’s flagship dish and it doesn’t disappoint. You order it by piece (from P90 to P110 each, depending on the part.) You also have the choice of the classic or the Hut chicken, which is tossed in its special hot sauce. Beware, both versions – served with pepper gravy – are addicting.
The battered & fried cream dory (P155) was a big winner for me. At a very affordable price point plus served with tartar sauce & coco squash, this is the best I’ve tasted in town. I just wish they offered a chips option for this too para maka relate ang taga UK. lol
Poor Man’s Fish (P175) is the native galunggong fried to a crisp and served with a spicy soy vinegar dip. The addition of chopped leeks and chili lend a new flavor to how ‘gg’ is cooked, but my favorite is still the cream dory 🙂
We also sampled the macaroni salad (49) using fusilli pasta which had chopped carrots, pineapple, cheese and chicken bits. It was a bit sweet and should cater to the Filipino taste.
I also tried Clam Chowder (P120) which tasted rich and creamy,as expected. But by this time, I was already overwhelmed with tasting too many dishes with coconut milk (read: naumay na).
Anyway, don’t forget dessert. The dirty yogurt with ube & cheese is so yummy and is a must-try.
It is worth it to plan what you order when you’re in Coco Hut so that the dishes are not similar. So yes, marking the Tipsy Mussels or the tilapia next time, or even the calamari and monggo. They also have this All-Day Breakfast rice meals like tapa, longganisa and tocino because Coco Hut locations are open 24/7. If only because they serve delicious food and are affordable, I expect this new fast food chain to be a hit with the public in due time.