A long overdue post surely, but nevertheless one about a little gem at Ion Orchard's Food Hall that you may like to know about, and also something that is of a personal favourite. Go! Go! CURRY! is one of Japan's popular curry-only eateries that first started in Tokyo in 2004 and it has since opened a branch in New York as well as two others right here in Singapore (the other outlet can be found at 313@ Somerset), bringing its total tally to thirty. If you like your sweet Japanese curry, this is something worth trying.
Apart from the advertising jingle that has been in my head and pops up everytime I think of Japanese curry (hynoptic effect I tell you, made worse because my friend was thirty minutes late and I had nothing else to do but watch rerun after rerun of ads), there was also a very candid write-up on Go! Go! CURRY! that I found on the geeky US-based Wired website. Here's a long but entertaining excerpt from that write-up:
"I love Japan’s curry in the same way that a heroin addict loves shooting up. The only significant difference between the two is that eventually, if you stop doing heroin long enough, you are no longer addicted to it. Japanese curry addiction does not leave you even when you move back home. You just spend your days wishing you could eat it again, saving your money so you can fly back to Tokyo and eat more.
You never forget that first amazing high. For me it was in the school cafeterias at Kanazawa University, where I discovered that what most of the Japanese students were lining up for every day was not teriyaki or sushi rolls but curry: A brown glop that looked for all the world like severely burnt chowder, ladled obscenely over a giant plate of rice. As a final f***-you to the arteries, it was often topped with whatever fried thing the cafeteria had whipped up that day: pork katsu, usually, but sometimes chicken. Sometimes a chicken-fried steak, to the extent that Japanese lunch ladies were capable of making one.
I don’t know who first convinced me to try it, but: bliss! This was absolutely nothing like Indian curry. It was a little spicy, sure, but mostly it was just sweet and savory — a rich, creamy flavor full of ingredients that were mostly unknown to me but almost certainly included crack cocaine. It blended perfectly with the rest of the ingredients: The pure flavor of the sticky rice, the crunchy breading and devil-may-care fat of the pork." [*]
Don't expect me to blog this way, but this writer certainly has some style.
Chicken Katsu Curry
The dishes here come in four portions - healthy, economy, business and first - healthy being the smallest and first threatening a coronary attack. The economy portion filled me well enough, especially since it's thick curry mixed with deep-fried chicken katsu and moist, sticky rice. Did I like it? I certainly did, and it's comfort food at its best.
The Japanese curry here is thicker, sweeter, more stew-like and less spicy than most of the other Japanese curries that I've tried in Singapore. I still like Tampopo's Stone Grilled Beef Curry but this one from Go! Go! CURRY! is almost entirely of a different form and so shouldn't really be compared. The chicken katsu was crispily good and not too oily that it would spoil your appetite, and went well with the moist rice. My friend somehow ordered just the curry and rice but even he felt the curry was quite good. Not suitable for those on a strict diet, but otherwise it can be quite satisfying indeed.
Good. You have to place your orders at the front counter first before you're being allocated to a seat. Limited seating space here.
$12.50 for the economy class chicken katsu curry
$8.50 for the healthy class go go curry
$1.00 for a boiled egg
* The menu can be found here.
ION Orchard, #B4-55.
Also: 313@somerset, #05-01 Stall 24 Food Republic.
First and second pictures taken with the Canon Ixus 80 IS, while the third and fourth pictures were taken with the Canon EOS 500D.