Will a curry with toppings randomly chosen by a computer be remotely edible? Let’s find out!

Like many people across the country (and indeed, around the world), our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma is a big fan of Japanese curry house CoCo Ichibanya. The chain specialises in Japanese curry, with an impressive number of toppings on the menu for diners to add on top. Customers can choose the spice level, rice amount and what toppings they’d like to create their own curry with each visit!

Despite this, or maybe because of this, Masanuki almost always gets the same selection of toppings every time he visits a branch of Coco Ichibanya — crispy chicken, spinach and cheese. And there’s nothing wrong with his curry combination, but he can’t help but feel like he’s missing out on the chance to try something new and exciting.

Clearly, Masanuki isn’t the only one stuck in their curry creation ways either, as the store has created a CoCo Ichibanya Gacha — an app that randomly chooses a selection of toppings for you to try with your next order.

Of course, curry is curry no matter what, and Masanuki felt confident that, seeing as the gacha app was made by CoCo Ichibanya themselves, there wouldn’t be any rogue toppings included. No matter what was suggested to him by the gacha, it was sure to be tasty, and this was a hassle-free way to expand his curry horizons.

So, after selecting his budget from a drop-down menu, Masanuki went with the most expensive choice of 1,600 yen (US$11.93) and clicked the ‘spin the gacha’ button. Interestingly, there appeared to be different topping suggestions depending on where you live — anyone in the Tokyo, Kanagawa or Osaka areas should click the top button, and people living elsewhere the bottom button. Masanuki was in Saitama that day, so clicked the bottom button.

As he clicked, a curry instantly began to form, with a number of toppings descending onto the curry.

Ta-da! This would be Masanuki’s order for today. The gacha gods had blessed Masanuki with a curry with roasted garlic, natto (fermented soy beans), corn, crispy chicken, cheese and spicy umami garlic toppings. All in all, an eclectic selection, with each ingredient bringing a lot of impact to the overall flavour. This was not a curry for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure.

The total of all his toppings, which came with a pork based curry sauce and 300 grams (10.5 ounces) of rice, came to 1,589 yen. Of course, the gacha result was just a suggestion, and there was no obligation to actually go through with ordering what came up, but Masanuki felt that re-rolling for a safer selection of toppings would be pretty lame, and it was his responsibility to go with what the gacha gods had bestowed upon him; not only as an esteemed gourmet writer, but also as a mortal human being.

So he made his order, with the exact toppings that the gacha had suggested for him, and after just five minutes…

… it arrived.

Looking down at his plate, Masanuki started sweating. This was no ordinary curry; this was like a curry that an Olympic champion wolfs down after a hard training session. Masanuki was no longer a man enjoying a bit of curry at lunchtime; he was a general leading a team of soldiers into a gastronomic battle. While he was already familiar with ‘lieutenant’ crispy chicken, he was also having to contend with ‘corporal’ cheese and ‘brigadier’ natto, who were already on the plate…

▼ … as well as ‘sergeant major’ spicy umami garlic…

▼ … ‘colonel’ corn…

▼ … and ‘field marshal’ roasted garlic.

All in all, a pretty intimidating selection of toppings, not only for Masanuki’s stomach, but also for his breath — at least for the next couple of days. Luckily, Masanuki was working remotely that day, so he wouldn’t stink up the SoraNews24 office, although we’re used to that sort of thing by now.

So now his ‘soldiers’ were all aligned and ready for battle with his tastebuds, there was nothing left for Masanuki to do but get stuck in. Each topping seemed like it absolutely didn’t belong on the plate with its fellow ‘soldiers’, but would Captain Masanuki be able to unite them as an army?

It was good, but… Masanuki couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to eat each topping separately. They didn’t blend together as an army would; each topping was too impactful on its own to work with the other toppings. It was good, but it would have been better if the toppings stayed separate.

So while the gacha gods didn’t quite bless Masanuki with his new favourite set of toppings for his curry, he was happy that he’d been able to try out something new and exciting. And if you’re someone who always orders the same stuff every time you hit up a Coco Ichibanya, give the gacha a try and see what crazy combinations it comes up with!

Related: CoCo Ichibanya Topping Gacha
Images © SoraNews24

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