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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Extra-spicy Japanese curry, anyone?

Famous Japanese curry chain CoCo Ichibanya opens at 313@Somerset's basement three on Oct 1
The Straits Times - September 19, 2011
By: Eunice Quek
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Extra-spicy Japanese curry, anyone?

Singapore's range of curries from all cultures is about to get a new addition. Famous Japanese curry chain CoCo Ichibanya opens at 313@Somerset's basement three on Oct 1.

The brand debuted on the outskirts of Nagoya, Japan, in 1978. There are now 1,275 branches worldwide, with outlets in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and the United States.

Mr Daisaku Tanaka, managing director of CoCo Ichibanya in Singapore, says: 'We now have 12 branches in Thailand and have decided that it is time to move to Singapore.'

Its Singapore outlet, which will be more than 1,000 sq ft in size, will look different from other outlets, he says, but the restaurant's signature curry dishes will largely remain the same.

This will not be CoCo Ichibanya's only outlet in Singapore, but it cannot confirm as yet how many more shops it will open here.

The typical Japanese curry is like a stew that is slightly sweet and does not use coconut milk, unlike Indian curries.

But what sets CoCo Ichibanya apart from other curry outlets is that diners can customise the curry and rice (ranging from 150g to 550g) portions, as well as the spice level of the curry.

The three curry sauces available are original, mild and hashed beef. The curry levels start from level one, which is for children and customers who cannot take spicy food, and increase to level five, which is not for the faint-hearted.

According to netizens' comments on the company's Facebook page, level three seems to be the maximum that most people can handle, with daring ones taking on heat levels six to 10, which will not be available in Singapore.

You can also add various toppings to your meal, such as breaded shrimp or pork cutlet.

The chain's two best-selling dishes worldwide are curry rice with fried chicken and vegetables and curry rice with mushrooms and omelette.

Other dishes include hamburger curry, sausage curry, seafood curry and vegetable curry. Pasta and salads are also part of the menu.

Hoping to attract the crowds along the Orchard Road belt, Mr Tanaka says: '313@Somerset is located among our target group of diners, which includes young executives, tourists, families and Japanese people.

'We hope that when CoCo Ichibanya touches down here, customers can give us feedback so that we can improve.'



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