Coco Ichibanya is known as King of Curry, with the most number of Japanese curry outlets in the world. wu ngia bo? I met yumyumformytumtum for lunner (late lunch/early dinner) to investigate. (this is Yumyum’s second time there!)
How to order: (1) You pick the curry dish first (2) customize the level of spiciness from 0 to 5 (there is also vegetables-based kids curry), (3) pick the amount of rice, (4) add toppings if you want.
For starters, we had sausage salad ($7) and salmon cream croquette ($4). The sausage salad came with soy dressing, which tasted like concentrated vitasoy! It brought out the child in me. The croquette was very creamy and smooth potato puree with just a slight hint of salmon-ness in it. Good stuff!
Yumyum’s Pork Cutlet with cheese ($14): The pork cutlet didn’t suit me because the batter was thick and the meat wasn’t tender. But the good thing is it was oil-free.
However, my Creamed Mushroom Omelet Curry ($13) was da bomb! You can’t adjust the level of spiciness and the amount of rice because the flavors needed to go together. On first bite, the molten egg, the cream, the sweet Japanese curry and the rice combined to give me a very sweet wine taste! I kid you not. It brought out the ooomph in me, like I was in some Taiwanese cook show. I wanted to say to my new friend, YumYum, “I don’t want to chat anymore. I want to concentrate on savoring the food.”
But because you know, I’m a carnivore, I added a topping of fried chicken ($4) which looked like popcorn chicken. A little tough for me. I think in general, the restaurant isn’t very good with deep fried meats, an area they need to improve on.
We also tried Hashed beef curry ($13) with a topping of mushroom (+$3). Another awesome dish! It wasn’t as spicy and had more tomato in it, making this a dish that you can keep eating without feeling excess or in Singlish, you can eat until siao but don’t feel jerlak.
Desserts: we shared three scoops of Italian ice cream ($7): vanilla, chocolate and strawberry sorbet. The vanilla was very rich; and I like the chocolate which was intense and bitter like my love.
Given the yoshinoya-alike decor, and given that there are some negative reviews, I was very pleasantly surprised that the food turned out to be fantastic and value-for-money. Where else in Orchard can you find such a deal? $13 for curry rice?? Even cai fan these days cost $8 (at Bugis Junction)! No wonder the queue is endless during lunches and dinners. Too bad it doesn’t take reservations. Is Coco Ichibanya the King of Curry? Ya, it’s Ichiban!
313 Orchard Road
313 @ Somerset
T: 6636 7280
Rating: 3.167/5 tum tums
PS: View yumyumformytumtum’s review.