Thursday, November 7, 2013

Curry House CoCo ICHIBANYA 壱番屋 @ Star Vista

This top curry rice restaurant chain from Ichinomiya, Aichi (Nagoya) Japan, is also known as CoCo Ichiban or CoCo Ichi. According to wiki, カレ (karē) is one of the most popular dish in Japan and カレーライス (karē raisu) is a ubiquitous dish in Japanese household. It is quite amazing that CoCo Ichi has a thousand over branches in Japan alone, and another thousand over more worldwide!


Such popularity! Makes one even more curious to try it. The chance came, in the form of an invited tasting session, much thanks to the good people from Imagine Consultancy and CoCo ICHIBANYA.

good curry, good taste

The restaurant was moderately busy on a mid-week evening. I do like Japanese curry rice, especially beef curry. But I've never had omelette curry rice before, and CoCo Ichi has it, so right from the start, I knew what I wanted. Target locked.

show me the curry!

Food tasting and curry rice. Hmm. Overload of carbs? No worries. For small eaters, the menu here is pretty customizable. Prefers less or more rice? Yes, you can. Choose level of spiciness? Yes, you can. Add toppings? Yes, you can.

more or less

Started off with mini-salad. Nicely refreshing with crisp greens.

mini salad (available as part of Set Menu top-up @$3.50++ for 2 items of either a drink or dessert)
dig in!

Omelet Hashed Beef Rice (non-spicy @$14++)

Hashed beef rice is also known as Hayashi rice. Western-styled and its sauce is a demi-glace with tomatoes. Non-spicy and some sweetness. Not too thick and quite yummy. Prefers slightly fattier beef slices though.

fluffy omelet and sticky japanese rice

Next, pork curry rice with Level 1 spiciness. Very very mild, slightly thick curry and enjoyable. This one would be the Indian-influenced curry.

pork curry rice

Ordered Pork Cutlet Omelet Curry Rice with a Level 3 spiciness for comparison, and the verdict? Had some heat but still manageable. In fact, it was not easy to break out a sweat. My bro preferred Level 1, while I thought Level 2 and 3 were pretty similar. Unfortunately, the pork cutlet was rather lean and slightly tough that day.

pork cutlet omelet curry rice

If your tongue starts to tingle from too much heat, then perhaps a smoothie to cool it down? Mango flavour was definitely much stronger than orange! Nicely cold.

mango orange smoothie

The chicken karaage omelet curry rice had very good karaage. Tender bite sized chunks, freshly fried but limited edition with only 6 pieces!

karaage omelet curry rice

How about some desserts? Ice-cream and cheesecake!

vanilla and strawberry ice-cream
green tea cheesecake

The green tea cheesecake has three layers; cheese, red bean and green tea base. Most prominent was the slightly bitter green tea base. Most surprising was that there wasn't any cheese taste in this dessert. More like tofu pudding with dense green tea base. The red bean layer was useful to offset the bitterness by having some sweetness to it.

Special thanks to Glenn, Taisong and CoCo ICHIBANYA for the invite.


Address: #02-06, Star Vista, Buona Vista
Tel:  (65) 6570 2457
Website: , or


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