CHECK IT OUT: CoCo Ichibanya at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City
Curry love? This Japanese curry house has everything from mild to crazy hot
Basement 1, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue corner Shaw Boulevard, Pasig City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Tucked in a corner of the basement floor of Estancia Mall is a famous Japanese curry house-the largest curry restaurant chain in the world, with over 1,400 branches. Now, it’s our turn to see what the fuss over CoCo Ichibanya is all about.
Its modern-minimalist interior is accented by a brick wall and wooden shelves lit up in yellow. A pop of orange, green, red, and brown give life to the otherwise usual Zen-inspired Japanese restaurant. It’s a place that’s perfect for families to enjoy a sumptuous curry dish in comfort.
Options are always good, and CoCo Ichibanya offers plenty-from the amount of rice (200 grams to 600 grams) to the spice level of your curry sauce (from Mild to Crazy Hot). You can also go crazier and add tuna, corn, vegetables, shrimp, and a host of other toppings to your meal to give the curry more texture.
The Chicken Cutlet Curry (P340) in Hot curry sauce is a pile of rice (200 grams) on one side, and a pool of thick curry sauce on the other, topped with tender strips of lightly fried and breaded chicken. The smell of the dish alone already teases the taste buds, and then you’ll realize your first mistake-you should have gotten 600 grams of rice.
Swimming in a slightly thinner sauce, Fried Squid and Stewed Shrimp (P380) is a chewy choice for seafood fans. The shrimps are soft and plump (we’ve met shriveled portions before) and the briny flavor of the squid adds excitement to each spoonful of curry. If you’re averse to spicy tones, the standard sauce won’t have you reaching for a glass of water to douse peppery fire in your mouth.
The four thin logs in the Sausage Curry with Cheese (P310) look a bit forlorn by themselves, so get them with a serving of vegetables (P100). The firm sausages go well with the sweet potato, carrots, and string beans, their flavors melding with the curry's earthy spiciness.
Set meals (additional P80/choice of two) include the soup of the day, salad, and/or two scoops of ice cream for dessert. Don’t linger on your sweet too long though. There’s a long line of people waiting to be seated. They deserve to have a turn, too.