Coco Ichibanya Curry, Tokyo, JAPAN

A delightful and unexpected find in Tokyo: Coco Ichibanya, a local Japanese curry chain with an allergen free menu in six different languages.

Coco has an extensive menu of fine curries. You can choose the ingredients and the level of spice on a scale of 1 to 10. Ingredients include shrimp, beef, aubergine, eggs, pork and spinach and chicken. There are both Japanese and Indian style curries available at this restaurant, which is a popular chain.

Japanese curry as you like it

Japanese curry as you like it

But for there is also a special curry on the menu. The non-allergenic curry is free of dairy, wheat, egg, buckwheat, crab and shrimp (from what they told me, this means “shellfish”)

There is even a kid’s version.

There is something even more exciting about Coco Ichibanya: not only are we getting a delicious, allergen free curry, it’s only¥430, or less than $5. Our entire dinner for 2 (2 curries, a beer, an orange juice and a salad) came to ¥1800.

Coco Ichibanya is not glamourous by any means, but it’s clean, the service is fast, friendly and it’s very cheap.

Clean and simple interior

Clean and simple interior

Coco Ichibanya has outlets all over Japan, the ones I have been to are in Tokyo (Akasaka, Roppongi, Shinjuku and Shiba Koen) check their website for a list of locations – although they are only in Japanese there are maps you can give to taxi drivers/a concierge/Japanese speaking friends/Friendly locals. You’ll find Coco easily as they all have a distinctive yellow and brown exterior.

Just look for this sign

Just look for this sign


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