Before stepping into La Cocina, I had never tasted genuine Spanish food other than a few tapas (that weren’t very good) during a wine session somewhere in Bangsar, hence I was delighted when the owner, Mr. Jeganathan invited me for dinner at his restaurant in USJ. After all, I am always a keen experimenter in food and never shun away from tasting new cuisine.
paella negres – seafood in Spanish rice cooked with squid ink
After giving us a brief tour of the 2-storey restaurant (wine club and cellar upstairs, dining on ground level), we were served a host of tapas as appetizers and a glass of sangria that was very fresh and undiluted. The main dish was the very interesting paella negres (seafood with Spanish rice in squid ink), and we rounded off the night with a couple desserts.
Throughout the night, Mr Jega played a very warm and inviting host, never lack in enthusiasm explaining each dishes as they are served as well as telling us his passion for Spanish food.
wonderful host, manager, and owner – Mr. Jeganathan
- calamares a la romana – squid with home made garlic mayonnaise. I just can’t get enough of the
myannaisemayonnaise, and the squid fried perfectly too.
- gambas al pil pil – garlic shrimps, pan fried with fresh garlic, olive oil & dried chili.
- champignones al ajillo – button mushroom, fresh button mushroom with garlic, onion, herbs & olive oil. This goes really well with the bread.
- tigres– mussel and shrimp croquette, breaded and deep fried, with garlic mayonnaise. The mussel and shrimp is mashed up and served on the shell, perfect for those who does not like the texture of shell fish.
- we also had meat balls and some very nice bread to go with all these.
five different tapas – squid, mussel, mushroom, meatball, shrimp
The main dish, paella negres, is a mixture of large prawns, shrimps, razor clams, fish fillet, squid, clams, and vegetables with Spanish rice in squid ink. I would have been hesitant looking at the completely black rice, but after tasting some of the best appetizers I have no doubt that the main dish wouldn’t disappoint. Furthermore, the TV show Iron Chef has had squid ink dishes as well. The ink actually provides a very subtle seafood taste, and with all the fresh seafood ingredients, it proved to be a delight to any seafood lover. You just had to try this at least once.
sangria and desserts
By dessert time, I was already pretty full. The crema catalana, spanish custard with caramelized sugar on top was very refreshing, while the tarta de santiago, almond tart with vanilla custard can be a little rich especially with a full stomach. It was a very good meal overall, and there is no doubt I will be there again.
Price wise, La Cocina is very reasonable, the tapas averages about RM7-10, the Spanish rice dish is RM58, but you can feed 2-3 person. Dessert is another RM 7 or so. The restaurant also offers set meals for 2 that are priced below RM 100. There are also more familiar dishes available, such as steak, lamb shank, pastas, and even fish and chips.
Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.046711, 101.587143
Tel: 03-8023 2395