Friday, May 15, 2015

CoCo Ichibanya

Location: CoCo Ichibanya
Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch
Price: 1200 yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dishes:Tonakatsu and vegetable curry with italian veggies
English Menu:Yes
Smoking: No

CoCo's is probably one of the most famous curry chains in Japan and even has some restaurants in other countries.  There are two CoCo branded store chains, one of which is more a typical family style western food chain (i.e. hamburg steak), and this one, the Curry House.  Both have similar logos and yellow signs, so if you like one but not the other (ahem) it can be disappointing when you get close enough.  There are actually two CoCo's curry restaurants in Yokosuka, seeing as we are somewhat famous for Japanese curry.  This one is across from Daie mall and the other one is just down the road from Yokosuka Chuo station.

As a chain, they are good for consistency, and if you are craving some curry in a hurry (tm), they can really hit the spot.  They are also for some reason very famous and loved by the American crowd from base, and for some are the epitome of Japanese food that they will carry with them forever.  Of course, Japanese curry is really an interpretation of British curry, which is an interpretation of Indian curry, but hey, let them have their fun.  One thing CoCo's does really well is spice.  Their scale goes up to 10 (past 10?  maybe...) and it get's pretty blistering for me past 6.  I actually can't tell the difference after's all just hot, so I usually go for 5 or 6.

Everything is customizable at CoCo's.  You can point at a picture and get that, but then you will have to specify how much rice you want (default is 300g) and how spicy you want it (0-10).  Or, you can get really detailed and start by selecting your type of curry and exactly what additions you want (chicken, tonkatsu, veggies, etc...).  They also do a good job of bringing the specials in and out with the seasons, so it's always worth checking to see what new stuff they have going on.  Today I went for a pretty standard tonkatsu curry, adding veggies and a bowl of "italian veggies' which was kind of a disappointment.  But it was tasty and went down good.

The trouble with CoCo's for me is that it's kind of like the McDonald's of japanese curry.  There are sooooo many other curry places in Yokosuka that I feel obliged to try something else since I've eaten at CoCo's plenty of times before.  Still, if I am bringing newcomers to try Japanese curry, I would probably start with CoCo's and if they like it keep exploring.

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