There’s no use belaboring the concept of Japanese curry. Sure there are ways to bring out the flavor better: Yoko adds chocolate to hers. Others use apple extract. Surely there’s room in this crazy world for a beer curry, too. But at the end of the day, it’s pretty much just brown and water. To combat this grim reality, Coco Ichiban-ya, the largest curry chain in Japan and possibly, the world, offers a variety of curry-complementing side dishes, such as salad, fried pork cutlets, and the almighty“Hurricane Potato”.

I was amazed to see that they’ve also started selling naan. Really? Are they seriously still trying to play the Indian angle? Granted curry is originaly Indian, the same way chocolate is originally Central and South American beans. It’s an Indian concept distilled to a point of Japaneseness, and the Indian curry restaurant across the street has all the proof you need. If CocoIchi is Indian food, then I’m like nine different nationalities at once. And if this is their way of desperately groping for credibility, then maybe they shouldn’t be advertising the naan right beside another ad for kei-chan curry. Because nothing screams “Japanese” quite like half-raw chicken neck meat. And I’m no India specialist, but I wouldn’t guess they’d be too big on flirting with salmonella, what with the sweltering heat and the masses upon masses of poor vegetarians with insufficient medical coverage. Just a guess.

Kei-chan curry. I think the US equivalent would be the club sandwich masala. Feh.

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