Sometimes Japanese cuisine and the tastes it offers oftentimes astounds and surprises me. Oftentimes I am left dumbfounded and stumped by the exquisiteness, the quality, the simple extravagance of Japanese cuisine that I am left craving for more. In the past few days my tongue has been craving for some raw sushi, or the tangy taste of soy sauce, or the biting kick of wasabi that drives the flavor of any meal to the roof. Instead of looking for another place to eat either sushi or ramen there was another option, the heavenly aroma of Japanese curry.
Historically speaking Japanese curry isn't really Japanese, it's an offshoot of its culinary cousin the Indian curry. British officers stationed in legations during the scramble for Japan introduced this food variant to the local populace and like anything else, adapted to Japanese tastes. To be honest there's not much difference in tastes between Indian and Japanese curry, the turmeric makes the dish flavorful and very aromatic. The smell heightens the taste buds, forcing you to salivate and crave for it, add some Japanese pickles (those red little bits) and Japanese curry becomes a gustatory experience unlike any other. With curry being so simplistic it is easily passed off for its more famous and vogue cousins like: tonkatsu and katsudon who crave to be eaten and relished with gusto. Protein adds a decidingly good layer of enjoyment to our meal. But what happens when you replace traditional meats with US grade beef? The effect is superb, textures and flavors work to create a one of a kind meal.
A meal of this caliber would leave any diner begging for more, the flavors pack a punch and can become highly addicting. The curry slow-cooked and perfected till your nose dies from the heavenly scent from the land of the rising sun. The meat tender and soft with just the right amount of grilling you could still taste the near-barbecue effect of it all. Never mind that this meal came with a side of melted cheese and a perfectly cooked egg, I would have asked had the sides removed and enjoyed this meal all by myself.
To be honest, the meal wasn't the most appetizingly or the most instagrammable, from the onset it looked quite ugly and would be unnerving to dig into if it hadn't been for the egg on top of the meal. But like most things, appearances can be deceiving and only your palate will be the true judge in this interesting and delightful meal.
Izumi Curry and Grill is located at 5/f The Podium, ADB Avenue. Mandaluyong City
My name is Alfonso your nerdy history teacher, bookworm and lover of all things cultural and exciting. You can find me in a weekend market, in a bookshop, or eating in Japanese restos during the weekends.