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Coco Ichibanya @ Singapore – Salivating over Japanese Curry
Curry needs no introduction to Singaporeans – we’re all familiar with all its different variations and just how plain delicious it can be. But the Japanese have certainly brought their own twist to this popular dish – and we got to experience this recently at the newly opened branch of CoCo Ichibanya at Westgate Jurong. The Westgate outlet is the first cafe-style concept for CoCo Ichibanya in Singapore.
With its bright ambient lighting, accentuated by the mainly white furniture and round cushion tables, we were put to ease immediately.
CoCo ICHIBANYA offers varieties of Japanese Curry, and is perhaps the only curry restaurant chain that allows you to customize or design your plate of curry rice. The highly customisable menu allows you pick the amount of rice and the type of vegetable to go along with it, with different levels of spiciness, from the highest of level 5 to a mild level of almost sweet curry.
The curry sauce can go with a wide range of different varieties of accompaniments, from meat cutlet, vegetables, or seafood, there’s really something for everyone.
The selection process goes like this, firstly select the curry (with meat, seafood or vegetable), then decide how much rice you need, followed by the spice level (mild – for kids, standard at level 0 of almost not hot to level 3 of extra hot and highest level of 5 at crazy hot). Lastly, select an extra topping (eg. Bacon, tuna, cheese, corn, eggplant, kimchee, fried squid, fried shrimp etc)
We decided to explore the highly popular creamed mushroom omelette curry, pork cutlet curry with cheese, salad and the desserts.
Pork cutlet curry with cheese $12
We were indecisive about the level of spiciness, but we finally settled for level 2 for the pork cutlet and level 3 for the creamy egg curry rice.
Rice and curry sauce took up half of the plate – the curry was not the familiar velvety red curry we are used to eating locally, as it’s darker in colour with a taste more resembling South Asian curry. It was also much more viscous and rich, and the added cheese gave a different dimension to its taste. With the level of spiciness at 2, the curry in our opinion is already hot, but in a way that gave us a “shiok” feeling and we were fairly comfortable with it. We liked how robust and flavorful it was, and eating it with the pearl rice was simply enjoyable. The deep fried pork cutlet could be a little dry and not tender enough though though, but fortunately the curry helped to make up its shortcoming.
Creamed mushroom omelette curry $14
The dish has the same curry base but with the addition of creamed mushroom and egg as topping. Spiciness at level 3 – and we think for those who like more of a kick, level 3 could be a good choice. It could be too fiercely hot for some and our advice is to understand your own tolerance, for a quick reference, if you think curry fish head is already too spicy for you, then level 3 is definitely one or two notches stronger. The creamy mushroom blended quite well with the curry, that it actually accentuated the flavour of the curry with the buttery taste from the cream.
Be sure to add a small portion of crunchy fukujinzuke to your curry – a slightly sweet mix of pickles, it can be found on every table.
We had some greens to balance the hotness of the curry – while the salad was fresh, the chicken chunks added were a little too bland and dry.
Banana Choco Pancake $8.90
Japanese pancake topped with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, sliced banana and strawberry with dash of chocolate to make for a nice dessert to end off the meal.
Rainbow Fruity Pancake $8.90
Fresh cut fruits replaced ice cream as topping: the pancake here was not the light, soft and fluffy type but much more compact and heavy.
Our verdict, curry from Coco Ichibanya will definitely be able to meet your curry craving with its rich and flavourful curries. Though we have not tried level 4 and 5, judging from level 2 and 3, we think that’s already good enough for the general public who can tolerate some level of spiciness.
With their new branch at Westgate, the quality of the food, reasonable pricing, as well as the comfortable dining ambience is no doubt a hit amongst young adults. Though we’re not quite sure we can be classified as young anymore, we are pretty sure we will be back here for a plate of curry soon!
Coco Ichibanya @ Singapore – Salivating Japanese Curry
Westgate @ Jurong West, 3 Gateway Drive Level 1 Singapore 608532
31 1 Vista Exchange Green, #02-06 The Star Vista, Singapore 138617
3 Orchard Road, #B3-25/26/27 313@Somerset, Singapore 238895
201 Victoria Street, #01-10 Bugis+, Singapore 188067
Hrs: Mon – Fri: 10am – 10pm, Sat – Sun & PH: 10am – 11pm