Headed over to 1 Utama on 6 March 2015 with Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers members Stephanie Lim, Kelly Siew, Sharon Loh, Jiayeen and Kate for the official launch of the internationally acclaimed Japanese Curry House – CoCo ICHIBANYA which has finally arrived on our shores! CoCo ICHIBANYA is widely known worldwide as “The Japanese Curry House” with 1,350 restaurants in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, North America, Singapore and now in Malaysia!
Honestly, although I’m quite a fan of Japanese cuisine, I have never eaten Japanese curry before because my opinion of it was that it was not as spicy or tasty as other curries and therefore I’d always choose to go with other items on the menu. Therefore with that preconception in mind when I went over to the launch, I was really wondering what would be in store for us and whether we’d get some bland and tasteless food.
CoCo ICHIBANYA’s tagline is “The tastiness you can choose” where you get to customise your meal based on your preference and appetite – from the spiciness level of the curry, to the various toppings, and even the amount of rice. There are 7 different levels of spiciness for the curry, starting from mild for kids, the signature original flavour, and from level one’s medium hot to level five’s “crazy hot”.
There is a selection of over 30 meat and seafood varieties to choose from including chicken, beef, pork, prawns, clams and more, and some are paired with toppings such as egg, corn and croquettes. If you’d like more toppings just add-on what you want or if you want more/ less rice, simply order the amount that is right for you.
On the menu are also some fusion items like spaghetti with curry meat sauce, curry gratin and curry pilaf, while for those who don’t eat spicy food there are also non-spicy options such as seafood spaghetti with cream, creamy corn soup and salads. Have some juices, coffee, teas, soft drinks, floats, milkshakes or even beer to go along with your meal and have a sweet ending with some Matcha or vanilla ice cream!
Here’s a look at some of Coco ICHIBANYA’s signature dishes:
Pork Cutlet Omelette Curry – RM26.00
Fried Chicken Curry – RM20.00
We got to try this one with the standard curry and to my surprise the chicken was crispy and tender while the curry was actually very flavourful although not very spicy! We also got to try the Lightly-Crisped Chicken Curry, Fried Shrimp Curry, Salmon Cream Croquette Curry and Fried Fish Curry. Although all of the proteins were friend in batter, they were not oily but rather were nice and crispy on the outside and deliciously tender inside. My favourite? The Salmon Cream Croquette which was was a little creamy and really went well with the curry.
Remember how I had the preconception prior to attending this event? Well I was well and truly wrong about Japanese curry and I was actually quite happy that I was wrong.
We were also served three (3) types of curry sauce – standard, level 3 and level 5 and I’m proud to say that level 5 was very bearable for me. Then again I do like to eat Indian and Malay curries which can be really really spicy. Level 3 had a nice amount of heat and I think most Malaysians can handle it. Standard was definitely too mild for me. The taste of the curry is unlike the spicy Indian curries or the rich Malay curries, it has its own individual taste to it and it does not overpower the meat or vegetable that it’s served with.
The next time I’m there I want to try the pork cutlet curry with 2x extra bacon and level 5 curry sauce!
Grilled Spinach, Bacon and Corn Curry – RM20.00
Seafood Spaghetti – RM22.00
Fried Fish Curry – RM25.00
Some notable items that stood out from the menu were the beef yakiniku curry, grilled garlic prawn curry, and salmon teriyaki curry, while there’s even vegetable curry for those who don’t eat meat.
Check out the full menu here – CoCo Ichibanya Menu
The CoCo ICHIBANYA branch in 1 Utama seats a maximum of 65 persons in the 128 square meters restaurant which exudes a casual, friendly and unpretentious ambience. Folks in Penang, look out for the second outlet which will be opening in Queensbay Mall soon.
I was pleasantly surprised by my experience dining at CoCo ICHIBANYA and although I only managed to try a couple of dishes it was enough to impress me and I will definitely return to try out more items on the menu. A good addition to my neighbourhood mall!
CoCo ICHIBANYA is a non-halal establishment which serves pork and beer.
CoCo ICHIBANYA is located at:
Lot LG 333A, Lower Ground (New Wing),
1 Utama Shopping Centre,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
Operating Hours: Daily from 10.00am to 10.00pm
CoCo ICHIBANYA is a restaurant chain owned by Fuji Group, the company of Fuji Japanese Restaurant in Thailand, and for more information, head over to http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/english/index.html