Now that Stamford House is under renovation, my favourite Japanese curry restaurant, Curry Favor, is closed. I was having one of my Japanese curry cravings; so when I heard the new Coco Ichibanya had opened at 313@Somerset, I made my way there in hopes that they would be able to fill the void in my heart – and stomach.
The restaurant was crowded during lunchtime – I guessed my fellow Singaporeans shared the same sentiments about finding a new curry joint to frequent. With its open concept, the lack of privacy catered more towards diners looking for a quick meal. No first dates please.
It always entertains me to read the short synopsis restaurants have on themselves in menus. Coco Ichibanya proved equally thought-provoking with its odd choice of words, long sentence structure, and the impromptu decision to include an abbreviation in mid-text. I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Ordering is fairly straightforward. One begins by selecting the curry of choice, followed by the amount of rice, level of curry spiciness, and lastly any other additional toppings. Or at least so I thought, or what the menu had led me to believe.
Not all curries could have their level of spiciness adjusted, and this was not shown clearly. Rice wise, I would suggest you opt to save a dollar by going with the 150g option – the standard 250g portion would be what marathon runners call ‘carbohydrate loading sessions’.
We started with the Tuna salad ($5). The salad looked generic, and I highly suspect the various types of salad in the menu only involved a change of the topping. It came with two kinds of dressing – Soy and Sesame. Personal preference led me to the Soy as it offered a sweet, nutty taste to it.
I had the Creamed mushroom omelet curry ($13) The dish looked unique, putting together mushroom, cream and curry together. When I began on my main, I figured out why no other restaurant attempted this combination. The mushroom with cream gave me reminiscence of a Carbonara. So it was similar to having Carbonara pasta, sans the pasta and with rice instead, drizzled with curry. As this was one of the dishes that could not adjust the curry’s level of spiciness, the cream overwhelmed its mild taste.
I also had a side of Chicken cutlet ($4). The batter of the chicken cutlet was a tad too thick. However, dipping it into the curry helped to soften and tone down the taste of the batter. Or perhaps in my case, the creamed mushroom curry also overpowered it.
My friend had the Pork cutlet curry with cheese ($14) with a side of Salmon cream croquette ($4). His curry offered a better blend of flavours, but the batter issue persisted in his pork cutlet. The Salmon croquette had a tad too much mayonnaise in its filling with sparse amount of salmon cubes.
We also had the Clam & tomato omelet curry ($14). This dish was generous with the amount of clams served. The dish offered a new perspective on curries, as I have never had clams with curry. The dish was not bad, but neither was it spectacular; it was alright.
The Hashed beef curry with mushroom ($16) with Tuna ($1) should be renamed. The apparent “curry” tasted more of beef stew; there was no hint of curry taste.
For desserts, we had 3 scoops of ice cream ($7) – Strawberry sorbet, Chocolate and Vanilla. We were told that these were Italian ice cream, though to be honest, I am unsure which component of the ice cream is Italian.
With Coco Ichibanya’s affordable prices and friendly wait staff, the restaurant is a good choice for quick meal – if you happen to be in the town area. There was nothing particularly disastrous about the restaurant, but neither was there anything that pleasantly surprised me.
PS. Their 10% opening discount is apparently running till the end of November.
Did it turn us on?
It was like switching the lights on at 6pm. Not too dark, but not too bright either.
CoCoICHIBANYA Curry House
313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895
Tel : +65 6636 7280
Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 11pm