CoCo Ichibanya makes some great curry, and it turns out they make a great spoon too.

With some restaurant chains in Japan, it’s pretty easy to tell what they sell. Mos Burger has hamburgers, for example, and Kura Sushi has sushi. CoCo Ichibanya, on the other hand, might feel like more of a mystery for the uninitiated, but to those that have had the pleasure of eating there, it’s synonymous with delicious curry. CoCo Ichibanya doesn’t only sell curry, though. They also sell spoons.

Go to CoCo Ichibanya’s online shop, and one of the items on offer is their “Original Spoon,” a metallic utensil with the restaurant’s logo at the end of its handle. Priced at 262 yen (US$2.30) here, it’s not exactly a luxury item, but considering we get most of our cutlery at the 100 yen shop, this is still a big extravagance for us, especially since after you include shipping the total cost came to a little more than 1,000 yen.

Still, with what a large portion of our diet here at SoraNews24 is made up of CoCo Ichibanya curry, we were curious to see if their special spoon could elevate our curry consuming contentment, and so we ordered one. When it arrived, we quickly rushed out to our local CoCo Ichibanya branch to get some takeout so we could subject our new spoon to a plate test.

Before digging in, though, we did a visual comparison between the CoCo Ichibanya Original Spoon, the plastic spoon they offer customers getting takeout, and a random spoon we happened to have lying around.

▼ Left to right: CoCo Ichibanya plastic spoon, regular spoon, and CoCo Ichibanya Original Spoon

The special CoCo Ichibanya spoon is the longest of the three, though there’s not a big gap between it and the regular spoon, and the shortness of the plastic spoon is probably a result of cost-saving/waste-reducing measures.

Viewed in profile, both the plastic and metallic CoCo Ichibanya spoons have a gentler curve between their bowl and handle than the regular spoon, which drops dramatically at the handle’s base.

▼ Top to bottom: CoCo Ichibanya plastic spoon, regular spoon, and CoCo Ichibanya Original Spoon

The biggest difference, though, is at the tip, where the CoCo Ichibanya Original spoon comes to a more pronounced point than the others.

Still, these aren’t shockingly different proportions, so our taste tester, SoraNews24 Japanese-language reporter Yuichiro Wasai, wasn’t expecting the difference to make much difference as he started eating his curry with the CoCo Ichibanya Original Spoon…but he quickly found out that he was wrong, and that eating with the Original Spoon really did make the meal much more enjoyable.

Why? Because when you get takeout curry, the rice and roux are put into separate sections of the container. This is a good thing, because it keeps the rice from getting soggy on your way back home or to the office. However, it also means that when you sit down and start eating, you’re constantly trying to slide your spoon into small partitioned-off portions of the container.

Together, the pointed tip and flatter curve of the handle with CoCo Ichibanya’s Original Spoon are just different enough to go past some sort of curry-eating tipping point, and so it’s a snap to scoop up rice and toppings, dunk them in the curry, and then commence scarfing. “It was on a whole other level” says Yuichiro.

▼ It even made getting the pickles out of their little side compartment a breeze.

While CoCo Ichibanya’s takeout container is unique to the chain, most other takeout places uses something similar, and the Original Spoon should provide the same benefit with them: a smooth, irritation-free meal. So while it goes without saying that there’s never a bad way to eat curry, if you get it as takeout as often as we do, the CoCo Ichibanya Original Spoon isn’t a bad investment at all.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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