Back to our normal type of posting…
We recently returned from a vacation (of sorts) in Japan. While we had heard many stories about the variety and quality of food offered, one thing that we surely did not expect was the prevalence of curry. In our hotel, a “curry and continental breakfast” was offered – exactly what it sounded like. A large bowl of curry plus assorted fruits, a salad, and baked goods. We were also offered curry on a prix fixe dinner at the Fujiya Hotel in Hakone. That may have been the most expensive curry I have ever consumed, at appx $50/pp for four courses (salad, soup, curry and sorbet).
We discovered that the train station kiosks where we often stopped for most reasonably priced soba and udon also sold curry as well, though in the interest of variety we never stopped to try it. At $5 for a huge bowl with rice and pork on the side, the udon was a fantastic deal.
Though by this point I was definitely curried-out for our trip, Matt had curry for breakfast at the Owakudani Sky Restaurant. Searching for this restaurant online brought up tons of pictures of the curry – I guess we weren’t the only tourists taking pictures of our food at the sky restaurant! The restaurant, which is reached via cable car and gondola, is set high in the Hakone mountains and features great views of the sulphuric surroundings.
Japanese curry is much different from the curry we’re used to in the US. It’s sweet and lacks the complex spices we associate with Indian food. The broth is thick and it’s served over rice. Most are vegetable curries, although the pieces of anything in the curries are much fewer than I’m used to in Indian curries. It’s basically a thick, sweet sauce served over rice. It definitely takes getting used to… and once I was used to it, I didn’t really want any more…!