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FIRST-EVER COCA BAR LAUNCHES WITH GLITTERING EVENT IN MANILA

October 8, 2014

FIRST-EVER COCA BAR LAUNCHES WITH GLITTERING EVENT IN MANILA, ADDING NEW DIMENSION TO MANGO TREE WORLDWIDE’S GLOBAL GROWTH

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – A chic and sexy new bar in one of Manila’s toniest malls is the new face of the evergreen COCA brand, almost six decades on from the launch of the original Thai-Chinese restaurant in Bangkok.

‘Sex and Two Cities’ was the theme of last night’s celebrity-studded launch event, which opened a new chapter in the COCA story in The Philippines with an intoxicating collision of the great culinary cultures of Hong Kong and Bangkok…in a cocktail glass, and on a plate.

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The new COCA Bar concept involves curating the best tastes and tipples from Asia’s two most colourful and exciting cities, and serving classic and cutting edge cocktails along with Thai and Cantonese-infused tapas in a stylish atmosphere with just the right amount of privacy in a great location.

COCA Bar shares an address with the already-established and very popular COCA Restaurant, located in the SM Aura Premier mall in Taguig City, natural habitat for successful professional women and well-heeled ladies who lunch, as well as metrosexual movers and shakers and assorted entrepreneurs and ‘C Suite’ types.

COCA Restaurant Philippines General Manager Karen Tanchanco-Caballero said: “With COCA Bar, we dial up the sexiness and spiciness to create a chic new spot for cocktails, mixed to perfection by our dashing English mixologist, Liam Gillies, complemented by Thai and Chinese-infused tapas.

 

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“The ambience and location mean just the right mix of privacy and see-and-be-seen and we expect the bar to attract a colourful, flamboyant and lively mix. Guests at the party will get the first preview of our new Thai-Chinese tapas creations, like the more-ish Shrimp Sarong, Basil Pork Frito and sensual beverages like the Black Mandarin and Siam Sexy.”

“COCA is all about connecting people in stylish restaurants buzzing with life, energy and conversation, and that will certainly be our guiding inspiration for COCA Bar.”

“COCA Restaurant has become much loved in the Philippines for honouring the origins of Cantonese cooking while adding the freshest Thai ingredients, with quality items like live mud crabs, live sea bass. We do a signature dish with crab, squid and fresh prawns called Pacific Sunset, with a tasty COCA sauce and an array of herbs and spices.”
COCA Bar’s launch was foreshadowed earlier this year when Mango Tree Worldwide announced an ambitious expansion program to double its branded restaurants and cafes in the Philippines to 12 by next year.

Manila currently hosts the flagship Mango Tree Restaurant in Bonifacio Global City, two Mango Tree Bistrobars – one in Trinoma, Quezon City, and the other in Green Belt 5 in Makati – and one Mango Tree Cafe in SM South Mall Food Street in Las Pinas City, with a COCA Cafe in SM Jazz Makati.

Mango Tree Worldwide’s Bangkok-based chief executive officer, Pitaya Phanphensophon, who flew in to Manila from Bangkok to attend the launch, said he was delighted to see a new brand in the COCA family and congratulated COCA Bar’s owners and team on a job well done.

“This is an exciting time for us, with lots going on in the Philippines while in the US, we are getting set to launch our first restaurant in America in a collaboration with Latin celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, a legend in the US, with Mango Tree Washington DC in October.”

“Our success worldwide, and certainly in the Philippines, is down to choosing great partners, having unique concepts, a sound strategy and, above all, a team which believes in itself,” Pitaya said.

Trevor MacKenzie, the group’s managing director and the driving force behind COCA’s and Mango Tree’s franchising programme worldwide, said the Philippines continued to play a major role in the group’s growth.

“We now have over 70 restaurants in 15 countries worldwide and the group is on track to achieve our target of 100 restaurants, bistros, bars and cafes around the world by 2015.”

“I look forward to continuing to grow in the Philippines in locations outside of Manila and further extend

our leadership position in a very important market,” he said. “The creation and launch of COCA Bar adds another fine brand to our portfolio and the concept could be rolled out in other markets given the right partner and location.”

Notes to editors:

The Mango Tree group is a dynamic, innovative and fast-growing company that has a vision to bring authentic Thai cuisine with a creative twist to the world, and to plant a Mango Tree in every major world city. At the vanguard of the global Thai food explosion, the Mango Tree group comprises the Mango Tree, Mango Tree Bistro and Mango Tree Cafe brands, as well as Coca, the contemporary steamboat suki concept. The group’s heritage dates back to 1957, when Khun Srichai Phanphensophon opened the first Coca restaurant in Surawong, launching the suki trend in Thailand. The pioneering spirit continued when the group’s CEO and celebrity chef Pitaya Phanphensophon, Srichai’s son, opened the first Mango Tree restaurant in the heart of Silom in 1994. Today, the group operates more than 70 restaurants and cafes in 15 countries in Asia, the Middle East, and the USA. Part cultural ambassador and part culinary innovator, Mango Tree has charted a course to become the premier global Thai cuisine brand, delivering quality Thai cuisine, stylish design, and intuitive service that always exceeds diners’ expectations.

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