Found myself dining at CoCo Ichibanya (The Curry House), just shortly after this chain from Japan, opened their first Singapore outlet. I am embarrassed to be pegged a kiasu Singaporean, but in my defense at least I didn’t go on the first day? I know, weak, but at least worth a try.
At first I thought to myself, there is a queue and it doesn’t seem to be moving, so perhaps we could come back another day. I actually wanted to walk over to Genki Sushi at Orchard Central. But my companion thought that since we were already here and the queue was short, we might as well give it a go. It was encouraging that there were many Japanese customers queuing up. I always take this as a good sign, as their taste buds would be more discerning.
I must say the Japanese and Singaporean managers and the Thai waiter who served us, were all so professional and welcoming. Immediately scored plus points in my book. The meal was very satisfying and because I ordered from the Omu rice selection I could not chose a smaller portion of rice which is an option for the other items on the menu. The rice was way too much for me. Very generous indeed, with the curry sauce as well. Didn’t know there was a 30% discount today so the meal came up to about S$11 each.
The mushroom version.
The beef version.
I didn’t find it spicy, but added the spice that was provided and it tasted of curry powder and pepper. This is more of a sweetish curry and an acquired taste. The very first time I had Japanese style curry rice, I didn’t like it, but it has since grown on me. It’s a completely different dish from Indian curry so I felt empathy for this person who did not like it as it was her first time as well. This elderly Indian woman was sitting down to have some Japanese curry and she looked so troubled after trying it. Her daughter didn’t make things easier for her, as she kept asking “You don’t like it?” and the timid mum kept saying “Yes” even though it was quite obvious she didn’t. Later she asked “Is this curry?” Gosh I must be sounding like such a kaypoh right now, but they were just beside me at the bar counter and I could not help hearing that part of the conversation.
The restaurant is very small, but the booth seats are comfy.
Flowers for the opening were still there and slowly wilting.
I took shots of the menu so that you can have a look. You can chose the portion of rice and even the levels of spiciness.
It has been in Japan since 1978. Took 33 years to get to Singapore.
Not a cheap option in Singapore when you have Food Republic upstairs and from what the Travelling Hungry Boy says, Go Go Curry, also from Japan and located at the Food Court, is what he prefers. He also has an excellent post on Coco Ichibanya and I tend to trust his judgement from what I’ve read over the years. Here’s another review by Daniel.
I do love that this is the company’s motto:
Always moving briskly and responding sharply, and doing so with a smiling face.
CoCo ICHIBANYA, #B3-25/27, 313 Somerset
Tel: 6636 7280
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon–Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat–Sun & PH)