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japanese curry?

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so i keep hearing that japanese curry is really amazing and i'd love to try it. are there any japanese restaurants in the area that offer a particularly good curry? i eat sushi fairly often but don't recall seeing it on any menus...then again, i rarely get past the sashimi list.

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  1. So called Kari-raisu (curry rice) is very popular in Japan. There are numerous little hole-in-the-wall places in Tokyo that serve it sometimes along with other dishes. Most of the time it consists of a large serving of steamed white rice over which they pour a heap of curry flavored sauce. The sauce contains a few pieces of chicken or beef and a few chunks of potato. This is certainly not gourmet fare and other than the curry flavor it bears almost no resemblance to real Indian curries but as I said it is very poplar and very cheap. I have never seen it served in any Boston Japanese restaurants but I wouldn't be surprised if you could it in cans at the Kotobukiya market in Porter Square.

    4 Replies
    1. re: RoyRon

      As fate would have it, it's prepared in at least two places right in the Porter Exchange building (same building as Kotobukiya market): Blue Fin (the sit-down Japanese restaurant) and Cafe Mami (in the food court). Both renditions are excellent.

      1. re: finlero

        There are actually three. If Cafe Mami is too busy, I go two restaurants down (can't remember the name). They make a great breaded pork cutlet curry.

        I tried the golden curry box from the grocery store once but didn't like it. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

        1. re: heWho

          The other two donburi-style places are Tampopo and Ittyo-- neither stacks up to Mami, but both are, well, OK. Tampopo has homemade Takoyaki which are sometimes quite tasty with their spicy mayo sauce (though unfortunately, they're sometimes a bit underdone). The canonical Japanese curry house presentation is rice on one side of the bowl, curry on the other, with something fried (cutlet, croquettes, etc.) on top, and plenty of pickles on the side! (Or, alternatively, spaghetti and curry sauce) Ittyo and Tampopo are a bit different, with more ingredients--egg, seaweed,broccoli, etc--layered vertically. It's not bad, just not necessarily the same thing you might have heard mentioned as Japanese curry house.

          [Side note: the Burren in Davis Sq offers a side of Japanese curry with its fries, and I've seen this at another pub in the area too but can't remember which]

          Curry is also super easy to make at home, and even easier with a mix. For some reason the Japanese markets in Boston seem to have only a small selection of box curries, focusing mostly on the saltier, less interesting ones-- if you can find House brand or Java, they're a little nicer than S&B. Tossing in some grated apples while it cooks or a little bit of yoghurt at the end can help lighten it up, too.

          1. re: another_adam

            adam - could you be referring to Thirsty Scholar and their curry with fries? I think both Burren and Scholar are a more British style curry sauce (but tasty to me, nonetheless). What could be better than chips and curry sauce? Boston needs a fry place like Pomme Frites in NYC or Fritz in SF.

    2. Cafe Mami in Porter, get it with an egg on top

      1. cafe mami. definately

        1. We've moved a digression on making your own curry to the Home Cooking board at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/420261

          1. Tampopo, a little restaurant in the Porter Exchange building, serves Japanese curry. Look on the Katsu-Tama Curry Don section of the menu. You can get a pork or chicken cutlet (among other types) over rice w/ curry sauce and egg.

            1. They also serve Japanese curry at Kagawa in Quincy Center. They didn't offer a straight up curry rice at Beni Cafe off Hancock St in Quincy, but they did offer a katsu-curry, which wasn't bad (but no where near as good in Japan). This is just curry over katsudon (or a fried pork cutlet on a bowl of rice).

              Just a note that if you're a fan of Thai or Indian curries, Japanese curry is nothing like that. It's thicker, non-milk based, brownish in color and much saltier.

              1. perfect--thanks, everyone, for the responses! looks like i'll need to plan a porter square trip very soon!

                1. agree that cafe mami is the best. a slightly better than mediocre version can be had at wagamama (no egg, though).

                  1. After having the Curry rice at Mami, be sure to stop by Cafe Japonaise which is in the back of the same building and try their curry dougnut(curry-pan) also. This is one of the most popular snacks in Japan, and Cafe Japonaise is the only place you'll be able to find it in Boston.