Delicious “fire-hot” Japanese curry dishes are what Coco Ichibanya is all about, at least that’s the way I see it. There’s no need to go to Japan, thanks to this curry-savvy chain purveying “real-deal” set meals with heat levels ranging from low, mild, to crazy hot. Be ready to have extra napkins or better yet ask for wet tissue to wipe away the sweat and tears. We have tried dining at their first branch in the Philippines located at the basement of Estancia Mall and loved their curry so much.
Recently, it opened a new store in Eastwood Mall, just a short walk from our office. I invited my office mates to check it out and I’m so glad they liked the food, too! 🙂
Review of Coco Ichibanya (Eastwood Mall, Quezon City)
Coco Ichibanya offers a number of opportunities for decent dining. The atmosphere is bustling but not hurried. Yellow and nudes as its main color palette attracts a fun and casual crowd. I like the bright, contemporary and welcoming feel which sum up to a place where you can immediately be at ease in a dining room that is cheery without being kitsch or formal. Seats both inside and outside are plentiful. Wherever you sit, you will be treated with excellent food imbued with rich flavors.
In addition to the pleasant surroundings, Coco Ichibanya in Eastwood Mall offers friendly and attentive service. Waiters take the order promptly with the use of an app installed in their mobile tablet. Talk about being innovative. Food are served within the 15-20 minutes promised time frame, so for those who plan to dine here on their lunch break, either come out of your office early or eat faster. 😛
At Coco Ichibanya, it’s a common practice to customize your curry meal by selecting your favorite topping, amount of rice, and preferred level of spiciness for the curry sauce. On the menu, options for toppings include sausage with eggplant, fried squid and stewed shrimp, hamburger, clam, beef, pork cutlet, and chicken.
1st visit: I had one of the most recommended dishes of the house: Pork Cutlet and Vegetables Curry (PhP 440). The deep-fried pork cutlet was a splendid and savory combination of crispy bread crumbs and juicy pork. I felt courageous that time and opted for the crazy hot (max level), but the spiciness was too intense for me to handle. I learned the lesson and remembered to choose mild the next time.
2nd visit: With mild-hot curry sauce, Pari Pari Chicken Curry (PhP 310) was generally a crowd-pleaser. It immediately offered an island escape, sans flight, with its fragrance. The chicken was perfectly cooked. It was tender and juicy while the skin was still crispy outside. The spices were balanced so I did not get overwhelmed by the taste.
3rd visit: For something a little different, I got the Shrimp Curry Rice Gratin (PhP 330) which appealed somewhere between saucy and soupy. This Japanese curry rice gratin was a bit sweet, lending itself particularly well to shrimp. Unlike the other two though, heat level cannot be adjusted upon cooking. For “chili heads,” adding curry powder (available on the table) may do justice.
Pork Cutlet Omelet (PhP 360)
Pork Cutlet Curry (PhP 340)
The menu offers adding one to three pairings to go with the main course. The only reason not to order the set meal would be that you weren’t very hungry. But that could easily change once your friends start ordering the soup, salad, drink, and/or dessert altogether.
Price for Value:
Solid food, good vibes, reasonable prices. If you have these criteria in mind, you can be confident that Coco Ichibanya can deliver those needs. This Japanese curry restaurant meets the expectations in all areas, and for some fans of spicy curry, it even exceeds expectations.
Coco Ichibanya holds the Guinness World Record for being the “largest curry restaurant chain in the world.” Take that as an invitation to sample their curry dishes and learn why a lot of people in many countries give a nod to this specialty cuisine. 🙂