Unlike Italian or Japanese, there aren’t as many Spanish restaurants around the Klang Valley — pricey places like Marta’s Kitchen in Bangsar, or chain restaurants like La Bodega usually come to mind. Pre-pandemic, my favourite was Tapas Club at Pavilion KL (their gambas al ajillo was divine!), but sadly, the restaurant closed some time in 2020.
It was by pure chance that the Hubs and I found La Cocina Restaurant and Tapas Bar — we were in Taipan to look for craft supplies — but it looked like a good spot for lunch, so we popped in. According to its website, the restaurant is helmed by a Swiss-trained chef/owner, and since it has been around for over two decades (in different locations), we had high expectations.
The interior is cosy, with a bar in one corner (it opens in the evenings), dark tiled floors, brick pillars, and tall windows that allow for plenty of natural sunlight to filter in. I also like the Spanish touches like the posters and paintings of matadors and flamenco dancers, Spanish flags, etc. The ambience upstairs, where there is an outdoor terrace, is very romantic — so you can consider booking a spot for date nights.
The menu is extensive, with a large selection of tapas (appetisers), sopas (soups), and mains such as paellas, meats, seafood, pastas, and even vegetarian dishes. You can check out the full menu here.
Wanted something soupy, so I went for the Sopas de Maricos (Mixed Seafood Soup) (RM23.90). The dish came chock full of seafood — shrimps, mussel, clams, squid, and fish fillet, swimming in a light, tomato saffron broth. It was warm and hearty, especially when paired with the basket of bread that was served together with it. The flavours were well balanced too — although there was quite a lot of garlic in it, this did not overwhelm the lightness of the tomato saffron broth. Solid (pun intended) bowl of soup!
The hubs had Prawn Aglio Olio pasta (RM33.90). Not strictly Spanish, but good nonetheless. The portion was very generous, with huge prawns and lots of mushrooms. Tasted great too; pasta was done al-dente, nice balance of olive oil and garlic, not too greasy. If there’s anything I would tone down on, it would be the parsley.
We also got fried calamari to share. They were fresh, springy to the bite, and crispy on the outside. Loved the dip it was served with, which was creamy and tangy.
There are many other items on La Cocina’s menu that we have yet to try, but I’m looking forward to it the next time I’m in Taipan; especially the paellas. Service is friendly, and although prices are above average, they are competitive in comparison with some of the higher-end Spanish restaurants.
1, Jalan USJ 10/1e, Taipan Business Centre, 47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor
PS2: Opinions here are entirely my own.