The first Coco Hut I’ve ever seen is the one in Filinvest Alabang, but back then I wasn’t curious enough to stop by. This one, on the other hand, is in a good location (Translation: it’s only a couple minutes’ walk from my office, though I’ve been known to travel far on purpose for lunch just to get away from work), so I figured now’s as good a time as any to try it.
The interior is mostly white, with brown wooden tables and seats. Save for the awning hanging over the cashier, nothing really resembles a “hut”, so I guess the name’s really just referring to the mostly Filipino menu.
The place is pretty big. Cold, too, with the constant whoosh of loud air conditioning mingling with the sporadic voice over the PA calling out the ready-for-pick-up orders. There’s a doorway connecting it to its partner establishment Army Navy just in case you have a change of heart at the last minute.
Since their specialty is chicken and fish, I thought it only fitting that my first meal there be fried chicken. My friends, on the other hand, asked for the seafood kare-kare pasta, said to be enough for two.
The drumstick is rather sizeable. Also, it’s got a nicely crisped-up skin, while the inside is tender without being bloody, which is sometimes the case in fried chicken leg. I liked how peppery the gravy was. What I didn’t like was how ungodly salty it was. What the hell? It’s like they were using it to get people to buy more drinks.
The seafood kare-kare pasta wasn’t overly seasoned, and you can actually taste the kare-kare. The noodles are also nicely cooked, and being a dish for sharing, it did have enough squid and mussels for two. The only thing I have against it is it’s kind of an artery-clogger; there was enough oil left in the serving platter to fry up another dish.
That same day, we went back at around 3PM for merienda. I found out earlier that they have saba con hielo, which I’d been craving for for a while, so my friends and I asked for one each. Theirs costs Php95, comes in a tall glass, and has coconut shavings as well as ice cream. One taste and I wished I hadn’t ordered it. It was bland, and the banana was so tough it felt like it wasn’t even boiled. I probably would’ve had a better experience if I forked over around Php20.00 for the same thing at a Jolly Jeep. Never again.
Also, the price is just a tad steep. A one-piece with rice meal costs Php100-Php120 depending on the part of the chicken, and you don’t even get a drink. And how about paying Php175 for fried galunggong, coco squash, and rice, a dish ironically named “poor man’s fish”?
Still, I generally liked Coco Hut’s offerings (except for that saba dessert), so I’ll be back. Besides, I’m a sucker not just for pancakes but for adobo flakes, and I hear Coco Hut’s rendition is a hit with customers.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
Coco Hut Fried Chicken and Fish
Ground Floor, Solaris One Building, Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
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