A day or two into your visit to Japan and you would know that restaurants here are pretty specialized. A tempura restaurant offers only tempura, and maybe soba and udon, but not tonkatsu. A tonkatsu restaurant offers deep fried breaded pork chops and other bread crumb coated offerings like ebi-fry and potato croquette, but not sushi. What do you do then if you have a craving for curry and ramen like my husband and I had one evening?
Enter Menya Cocoichi, a restaurant that offers curry ramen. We are loyal customers of Curry House Cocoichibanya, a restaurant serving consistently delicious curry rice, so it was reassuring to see the Cocoichibanya logo in the banner outside. Much like their curry rice counterpart, you can customize your curry ramen by selecting the soup base (you can choose between a thicker, richer soup base, or a thinnner soup base), the spice level, the thickness of the noodles, and additional toppings you might like. I enjoyed the thicker soup base with thick noodles and regular spice level, which was already spicy enough to make me sweat and turn red in the face (and that says a lot since I have high tolerance for spicy food). I highly recommend ordering the chashuu (sliced pork) with your ramen. Menya Cocoichi takes home the prize for having one of the tastiest, most tender, melt-in-your-mouth chashuu in the ramen world.
Unfortunately, this restaurant is not very child-friendly. There is only counter seating for a maximum of ten customers. Even the mildest curry ramen was still too spicy for our kids. You might be able to get away with ordering rice, gyoza (dumplings), or a deep fried breaded pork topping for kids. It is a restaurant that we will definitely go back to without the kids though.
To get to Menya Cocoichi, go to the JR Showa Dori Exit of Akihabara Station (near Yodobashi Camera) and head towards the main road. Before the big pedestrian crossing, turn left. Go straight for about two blocks. You should see a standing red flag with the Cocoichiban sign on your left side.