VeganMoFo 2019: Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, Okayama

One of the great things about the UK is that a lot of the chain restaurants now have vegan options on the menu, and good ones at that. Our research pointed us towards one Japanese chain with a similar set up. We saw Curry House CoCos everywhere we went, and were always relying on it as an emergency backup just in case all vegan places were closed. Okayama was the only place where we actually needed it, because the vegan options were almost non-existent!

This place has a vegetable curry on the regular menu, but whatever you do, don’t order it! There’s a separate vegetarian menu, which is in fact all vegan, and that’s where you need to order from. It has several options, but they’re essentially all the same sauce with different vegetables.

Fortunately, it’s a good, flavoursome sauce! I got the mushroom, okra, and yam curry. The mushrooms were in the curry itself, while the okra and yam were sliced up in a little pot on the side, which was a bit perplexing. I just tipped it in and mixed it up! Despite this weirdness, it was a nice dish.

Dr HH got the aubergine and vegetable curry, which featured fried aubergine – there’s warning in the menu that the aubergine is fried in the same oil as the meat, so you can make an informed decision on that at least. He declared this a good, tasty curry!

All in all, this was not spectacular food, but it was a solid emergency meal, which is exactly what we were expecting. I’m happy this option exists, but also happy that we only needed to call on it once!

What’s your go-to chain for an emergency vegan eat?

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5 Responses to VeganMoFo 2019: Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, Okayama

  1. plumesworld says:

    We tried to go to a vegan place in Sendai that was closed for the Obon holiday so we ended up at CoCo but this branch didn’t have the fabled veggie menu so I ended up with corn salad and fries!

  2. I quite like Coco Ichibanya! I’m too intimidated to try the mushroom, okra and yam curry though because I’m worried the texture will be too sticky. I like the tomato asparagus curry and the tomato,s spinach and eggplant curry. I’ve spent several months in Okayama and vegan places are really thin on the ground, so Coco Ichianya is a lifesaver.

    Looks like you did alright locating the vegan menu but if anyone is confused, we have photos of it here: https://isitveganjapan.com/food-on-the-go/fast-food/

    • Jenny says:

      The okra looked really sticky in the pot, but when I mixed it in, it was fine. Well done on lasting a few months there without many vegan options!

      • it was rough, especially because I couldn’t control where I ate (I was volunteering and the group sometimes picked the restaurant). Once the place wouldn’t even give me a salad if I didn’t order meat. I had to have a black coffee and I couldn’t have any food at all. When the group leaders saw how hard it was they made sure our celebration dinner would have options for me. Also even when we went to convenience stores other groups volunteering tended to grab some of the few things I could eat…so I would come in to find every onigiri I could eat was already sold out.

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