Did you know at Coco Ichibanya in London, you can have a taste of Japan, right in London? Coco Ichibanya is located in Covent Garden, a fun shopping and entertainment district in London’s West End.
During my study abroad in Tokyo, my friends and I would always go to Coco Ichibanya which was right by our dorm, and to live my days there, we decided that we needed to eat there.
When you walk in, you’re immediately greeted by workers saying “irasshaimase” which means “Welcome!” In Japanese. In Japan, when you enter Restaurants/Stores, you are most likely greeted with those words. It is as if when you walk right through those doors, you are out of London, and into Japan!
It seems as if there is always a little bit of a wait time, so it’s best to go there when it’s not lunch or dinner time. We went at around 7pm so we had a bit of a wait, but it wasn’t too long.
After getting seated they handed us the menu, and the prices were noticeably very different from the ones in Japan; the menu can be found here. The most popular dish is the Chicken Katsu and Cheese Curry, which is the dish that I got, and is my personal favorite even in Japan. It’s £13.4 Pounds ($18.60), which is about double the price of the ones in Tokyo (~$9.50). It’s sad but it is what has to be done, anything in Japan is superior and cheaper.
The service was amazing and the atmosphere was nice. We were right by the window, but we were still able to look around the restaurant to see the other guests and the kitchen. After waiting a bit, our orders came! The smell of Katsu Curry is so distinct that I can still smell it as I type about it now.
When putting the two photos from the different locations together, you can really see how different they both are. Even though the one in London was really good, it really can’t compare to the taste of the one in Tokyo. The one in London gives more of a homey meal rather than Tokyo’s perfectly square-cut thick curry.
Even though it is hard to be at the same level as the original, Coco Ichibanya in London tries their best to get to their level, and I really commend them for that.
If you are ever in the area and want to have a taste of Japan, be sure to visit Coco Ichibanya in London! Address: 17-18 Great Newport St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 7JE, United Kingdom.
Any questions/concerns/help or want to know more about Coco Ichibanya in London?
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Some Useful Sources when traveling to London:
My Japan posts: Pennyless Travels Europe Posts
Youtube Channel: Just Coneys Corner
Food/Travel Instagram: @coneystravel
Best E-sim for travel in the UK: Airalo