Restaurant review: Coco Ichibanya is a Japanese food heaven
Japan on my plate! When it comes to Japanese food, Delhi NCR has only a handful of places that serve authentic fare from the Land of the Rising Sun. And recently, I found an unexplored gem in Gurugram's Cyber Hub which brings the quintessential Japanese comfort food to India - curry rice! From its decor to food, here's my honest review and favorite dishes.
Inviting ambience replete with warm people
As I entered Coco Ichibanya, a staff member greeted me by saying "Irasshai-mase," which means "Welcome to the restaurant!" in Japanese. The restaurant features a minimalist decor anointed with indoor plants, stylish lighting fixtures, and wall art. What grabbed my eyes were the food replicas that looked lively and gave an accurate picture of what I could expect on my plate.
You choose your own portion size and spice levels
Coco Ichibanya is not your fancy place for savoring sushi, tempura, or ramen. Instead, it does curry rice that the Japanese eat as a staple. You can customize the quantity of your Japanese sticky rice, with options starting from 150 gm to 500 gm. Not just that, you also decide the spice level by selecting flavors beginning from "mild" to "Level 10 Fiery Hot."
You can also choose your favorite toppings
Besides quantity and spice levels, the folks at Coco Ichibanya also offer customizations for toppings which are available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Momos, cutlets, eggplant, paneer, spinach, cheese, cheese croquette, mutton keema, fried fish, etc are some toppings you can consider adding.
I began my binge-fest with their corn salad
To begin with, I ordered their corn salad that had lettuce, cucumber, corn, and cherry tomatoes layered with authentic Japanese soy. The portion size was suitable for one person and featured a generous amount of all the ingredients. The lettuce was fresh and crunchy, while the corn was perfectly steamed. The soy was zingy and the perfect accompaniment to the salad.
Paneer and assorted vegetables with spicy tomato curry dip
The next on my list was paneer and assorted vegetables with spicy tomato curry dip that comprised broccoli, grilled paneer, potatoes, beans, butternut squash, zucchini, and carrots. All the veggies were fresh, crispy, tender, and nicely seasoned. The spicy tomato curry dip became my instant favorite owing to its flavorful composition. Definitely going back for this one!
Premium veg curry with fried momos was the next offering
I topped my premium veg curry with fried momos and thought to make it just a little piquant by selecting "Level 2 Hot" spice. My plate had Japanese sticky rice, served with a portion of the veg curry that was smacked by black pepper and featured baby corn, beans, broccoli, and carrot. On-point portion size, lip-smacking curry, and flavorsome momos made it the best!
I called it a day with Curry Udon and Cutlet
The final dish I ate was their curry udon that I ordered with a topping of a vegetarian cutlet. It had wheat noodles, eggplant, spring onions, and corn, all dunked in a flavorful, Japanese curry sauce. The cutlets were perfectly golden brown, while the noodles were fresh and hand-rolled. The nicely-charred eggplant made my bowl of goodness even more flavorful.
Coco Ichibanya is bang for your buck and worth bookmarking
I found Coco Ichibanya affordable, especially with their vegetarian line-up. They also offer paratha, spaghetti, and fast food dishes like fries to localize their menu. The portion size of the dishes is satisfying and features authentic ingredients that give you the real taste of Japan. Currently, they have two outlets in Delhi NCR, with the other being in Saket's Select City Mall.