A newcomer in town, Cocos restaurant and bakery is the latest trendy eatery on Tahlia street. This restaurant has become quite popular in neighboring UAE where the chef and some staff of the Riyadh branch have been trained. From outside the restaurant looks inviting and very sophisticated with the dark colors and dim purple lighting. Inside was a little bit disappointing though, the atmosphere seemed cold or empty, as if still not finished. Cocos is very small compared to other restaurants in this area. They offer the choice of a few open area tables and booths in addition to the Saudi style family section booths which have simple but trendy décor inside.
We chose the closed seating area with a sliding door to be able to keep our toddler in check. This had the disadvantage that the waiters, although very efficient and super friendly, did not seem to hear us calling for them and there were no call bells. Another issue that arose during the evening was an acoustics problem; they background noise and hall-like structure made it at times almost impossible to hear one other clearly. The high ceilings echoed the noises from the bakery which also had a loud blender right next to the tables that every once in a while would interrupt the awkward silence.
Quiet background music might have warmed up the atmosphere and made the place feel less empty. We asked why they did not have music and the waiter just shrugged his shoulders. The Cocos metro-mix cuisine menu is impressive; they have a wide selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers to choose from. In addition there are Italian, Indian and Mexican food sections in the menu. They also serve breakfast and there is a menu for the onsite bakery.
The prices are average to above average especially for the seafood and steaks.We ordered the cream of broccoli soup which comes in a bread bowl and it was absolutely heavenly. Probably one of the best dishes I have ever tried in Riyadh. I would go back just to have this dish. The baby loved it too! You can scrape off the yummy bread with your spoon and it becomes a wholesome meal. The gorgonzola pasta was also very delicious and all the pasta options seemed interesting with new ideas.
The proportions at Cocos are very generous and we found ourselves unable to finish the dishes. Some of the main courses come with complimentary soup of the day or a salad. The food arrived very swiftly and even too quickly because we received the appetizers and main course at the same time, which meant the main course had gotten cold by the time we got to it. This was fixed with a quick reheating by the prompt waiter.
The bakery is supposed to serve some delicious pies but to our disappointment they had no pies available at the time, only choice of few cakes and some muffins. The reason they told us was that the bakery was not yet in full function. We ordered the chocolate marble cake which was divine, finished it within minutes. Despite the slightly dull atmosphere I would go here again just for the amazing food and next time we will try out the Cocos breakfast for sure.Cocos,