I’m a huge lover of Japanese food. From sushi, sashimi, ramen, down to all the -dons you can find on the menu. I will gladly gobble them all. But one thing that not a lot of people know about Japanese cuisine is how diverse it is.
They even have their own version of curry (which tastes quite Westernised in my humble opinion)!
Recently, I was invited to try out some of the dishes offered by Coco Ichibanya – Japan’s largest curry restaurant chain – which recently opened their first store here in Malaysia. In this restaurant, it’s all about choices – particularly in how spicy you want your curry to be.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the dishes we tried!
BEEF YAKINIKU CURRY
Tender and flavourful yakiniku beed served with curry sauce that has the ‘standard’ level of spiciness. Despite the chillies in this photo, I didn’t feel that it was one bit spicy. This curry sauce is for people who love the curry taste but can’t deal with the spice – a.k.a. children or me.
PORK CUTLET OMELETTE CURRY
Just look at that deep fried goodness! Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, the pork cutlet (katsu) is one of my favourites in this restaurant. Pair it up with a perfectly cooked omelette, and we’re good to go.
This was served with curry sauce that’s on spiciness Level 1. Still pretty much negligible and can be eaten even by people with the lowest spice tolerance.
WAGYU BEEF STEAK CURRY
Can anybody go wrong with Wagyu beef? Seared on all sides with a beautiful pink centre, the meat is not the least bit overcooked and guaranteed to be not short in flavour.
This was served with the Level 2 Spicy Curry Sauce and you can already feel the burn in your mouth with it unlike the first two sauces. But don’t worry – a cold and sweet drink can still give you immediate relief.
CREAMED MUSHROOM OMELETTE CURRY
At Level 3, this dish is already hard to handle for me. (Please note that my tolerance for spicy food is low) However, I loved the cream and mushroom combo too much to give up too quickly.
GRILLED SQUID WITH MAYONNAISE CURRY
Level 4 was enough to stop me from eating curry that night. That’s how spicy it was! I took one bite of this squid and tapped out. The squid is fresh and tasty but if you’re not used to really spicy food don’t even dare try level 4. It will overpower every other flavour in your dish. I really don’t like it when the chili is just too strong and you don’t get to taste anything anymore! 🙁
We were also served the Level 5 curry sauce separately – just for people who were brave enough to try. I wasn’t one of them. 😉
SMOKED SALMON GOMA SALAD
Coco Ichibanya also has salads on the menu and when it comes to salads, the Japanese seem to be winning. A lot. I’ve always been a fan of the goma dressing even back in Manila. I would eat it even with just plain, shredded cabbage. That’s how good it is. It’s made out of sesame and is quite creamy. I actually prefer it over Western salad dressings but not over Balsamic vinegar which remains to be my fave-st salad partner of all time.
BACON AND PUMPKIN SALAD GOMA
Bacon (real pork!) automatically makes this dish awesome.
GREEN TEA AND VANILLA ICE CREAM
Not a fan of anything green tea flavoured (except for actual hot tea) but I can speak for the vanilla ice cream. It’s the right balance of being creamy and light. A perfect way to end your meal without adding width on to your already bloated tummy. 😉 That’s a lot of rice right there, you guys!
Needless to say, I ended up going to the gym the next day to burn everything I ate that night. Servings at Coco Ichibanya are pretty generous so if you’re going with a group of friends or your family, it’s best to order different dishes so you can try a bit out of each other’s orders. Ordering more than one dish for yourself can result to foodcoma. 😉
You can visit Coco Ichibanya at:
LG333A, Lower Ground, New Wing, 1 Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Call them up for reservations at: