Monday, May 27, 2013

Coco Royal Officially Launches at NamNam

Coco Royal, a Thai company that produces the rare Basil Seed with Honey Juice, has now come to the Philippines! It's about time, too! I thought the next time I'd taste this was when I visited Thailand and scoured the grocery store looking for it because I wanted to know what basil seed, or tulsi, tasted like.

I was lucky enough to get invited to Coco Royal's official launch and try their other flavors, too!

The official launch was held at the new Filipino comfort food restaurant, NamNam,  below Burger Bar at Greenbelt 2. The launch also included shooters of Coco Royal-infused cocktails, and a pairing with NamNam's best-selling, innovative dishes, which was quite the gastronomic experience and a lot to take in for just one launch!

We were greeted by a very festive Hawaiian named Abby, and clearly, this was the theme for the night. Coco Royal is a new, refreshing brand that is perfect for the tropics, like Hawaii the Philippines,with three variations on coconut juice and three thirst-quenching juice flavors. While waiting for the other guests to arrive, we enjoyed NamNam's appetizer, Laing na Dulong, which was quite spicy and very different - I was really liking where my night was heading.

After a short presentation, we were served three NamNam appetizers that were paired with the three variants of coconut juice. The first that came out was the paired with the Ensaladang Paco. I loved the Ensaladang Paco - it was light and fresh, with the salted egg and shredded tawilis lending their flavors to the simply dressed salad. It paired nicely with a bottle of Coco Royal Coconut with Aloe Vera, the fresh buko juice with tiny aloe bits felt like popping little bubbles of dew drops in your mouth and washed out any saltiness that may have remained of the tawilis or salted egg.

I couldn't stop popping the Pinsec Frito in my gob - it was so addicting! Paired with Coco Royal Pure Coconut Water, don't be afraid to add a generous dollop of spicy salsa on top of the delicate wonton, before biting in to reveal the juicy, meat-y goodness inside. If the spice is too much for you, the pure coconut water helps immensely with cleaning your palette.

The last of the coconut juices was the Coco Royal Coconut Water with Water Chestnut, and this was paired with the simple yet delicious Corn Okoy. Now, this is my kind of okoy! I'm not a huge fan of the shrimp version, so I enjoyed this vegetarian one immensely.

After the appetizers, we moved on to sample NamNam's entrees paired with Coco Royal's juices. We kicked it off with Sauteed Baby Squid. The baby squid was very tender and the dish was executed very well. This was paired with Coco Royal Mango Juice, a favorite of mine - it was a bit thick and tasted like a dozen sweet Indian mangoes decided to come together and have a party in your mouth! It was so good!

Another favorite dish of mine was the Chorizo & Kesong Puti Spring Roll. Imagine, inside this very unassuming spring roll lies a wondrous combination of ground up chorizo and pieces of  delicately flavored kesong puti. This was paired with Coco Royal Pineapple Juice,

The last dish we sampled was Batil Patung, a noodle dish that had slices of chorizo, bean sprouts, a sunny-side up egg, and liver. I'm not a big fan of liver that isn't in pate form, so I went around those bits and stuck to hunting down the bits of chorizo in the dish instead. I really enjoyed my glass of Coco Royal Basil Seed with Honey though! The sweet juice has bits of tulsi seeds floating around that had sopped up some of the water, much like chia seeds, and they just float around in your mouth like bits of caviar, just waiting to be popped, if you can!

We ended our night with one-of-a-king cupcakes with Coco Royal-infused icing. There was a Banana Cupcake with Coco Royal  Basil Seed and Honey Icing, a very tropical Vanilla Cupcake with Coco Royal Pure Coconut Water with Water Chestnut Icing, and my favorite of the lot, a Carrot Cupcake with Coco Royal Mango and Pineapple Icing.

When mucking around the supermarket, keep your eyes peeled for these Coco Royal bottles and make sure to bring a couple home!

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Photos courtesy of Jericho San Miguel