Most of my meals in Japan were the cheap and cheerful and a highlight for me was this dinner at CoCo Curry House – a chain of restaurants that specialise in the popular yōshoku dish, Japanese curry rice.
Options are aplenty. Diners are invited to customise their curry from their favourite flavour to the level of spiciness (mild, regular and spice levels 1 – 10!), portion size (200 – 600g), toppings (garlic bits, hard/soft boiled egg, corn, tuna, potato, tomatoes, bacon, eggplant, fried quail eggs, natto, omelette, fried fish or cheese) and add-ons (stewed/fried chicken, cuttlefish, vegetables, stewed shrimp, mushrooms, cream croquette with crab, spinach, pork cutlet, sausage, minced meat cutlet, hamburger, tonkatsu and more)!
Most branches are fairly small with just a handful of stools at the counter.
I start with the potato salad (280円), a scoop of creamy Hokkaido Shihoro potatoes floating on a light bed of green leaves, with corn kernels and shavings of cabbage and carrot. It comes with a choice of three salad dressings – the original house dressing, a sesame dressing and an oil-free vegetable dressing. Delish!
Thinking I wouldn’t be able to squeeze in a repeat visit to CoCo Curry House, I opt for the specialty handmade tonkatsu curry (880円). The pork is lavishly juicy. The coarse panko breadcrumbs wraps around the succulent meat evenly and adds a delicious crunch to each bite. Meanwhile, the curry (I just have the regular), is so flavourful with just enough spice to stimulate my tastebuds. I’m glad there’s enough curry to drown my tonkatsu but I’m definitely trying a higher spice level next time!
The boy has the thin-sliced pork curry (680円) with fried quail eggs (150円). This is his second visit in one day, having had it for lunch as well and his well-demolished plate at the end of the meal says it all.
Don’t let the fast-food setting turn you off. The service here is fast and efficient and the food is fresh and absolutely satisfying.
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CoCo Curry House
(Near Namba Station, opposite Swissotel Nankai Osaka, Japan)
Phone: +81 6-6633-9155
For other branches, visit their official website –