Go Go Curry Hits a Japanese Curry Grand Slam

I haven’t really been interested in baseball this year, but I still followed the Yankees every day.  Not because I’m a fan of the pinstripes (10 years of living in Boston beat that out of me), but I am a fan of fried meat cutlets served over mounds of rice and covered in curry.  And every time Hideki Matsui hit a homerun this season, it meant free topping coupons at Go Go Curry, the Japanese Curry shrine to the Yankees #55 (Go means 5 in Japanese).  It only happened 25 times this season (so disappointing!), but hopefully he’ll overcome his injuries in the Playoffs to salvage a few more coupons for us before the end of the season.

Kare Raisu (Curry Rice) is an incredibly popular lunchtime dish in Japan, and while a number of Midtown Lunch places serve it (Yagura, 47th St. Convenience Store), Go Go Curry is the only place in Midtown where it is the specialty.  You can’t get anything else.   I wrote about it when it first opened, but didn’t give it a proper write up at the time.  With baseball season coming to an end, I figured it was a perfect time to really see what they’ve got, and give it a proper +/-.

The Katsu Curry (fried pork cutlet) is the industry standard, but they also offer chicken cutlet, sausages, & fried shrimp- and if you are anything like me, there’s only one option.  All of it.  And the only way to do that, is The Grand Slam- a $12.50 platter of everything Go Go Curry has to offer.

Here’s what a normal $7.50 order of Katsu Curry will get you:

The $12.50 Grand Slam after the jump…

Do you see how I sacrifice my body for you people?  I wish I could claim that I ate the whole thing by myself, but I had to bring help in the form of a co-worker.  And while I’m pretty sure many of you Midtown Lunch faithful would be able to polish one of these off yourself (and I’m very sure you all would have liked to have seen me try), technically the $12.50 Grand Slam is out of the Midtown Lunch price range, unless you split with someone else.

In a platter more than twice as large as the normal order, they start with a gargantuan mound of rice, and cover it in their version of Japanese curry, a sweet and very slightly spicy thick sludge of a sauce.  Hearty and tasty, it’s good- but very rich, and the type of thing that will have you digging for some un-sauced plain white rice three quarters of the way through your dish.

On top of that, they pile one fried pork cutlet, one chicken cutlet, two sausages, one fried shrimp (with a tartar sauce kind of thing on top), a hard boiled egg and some shredded cabbage.  It was as glorious as it looks.

There are only a few other toppings they have that don’t come served on the grand slam, but can be added to any order.  Fukujinzuki, a Japanese pickled relish is now on the menu, and can be added to any dish for $1, as well as Natto (fermented soy beans), Rakkyo (pickled shallots) and raw egg. 

As we scarfed it down, I was urged on by this nice looking young lady on the wall:

As well as the desire to not let down Hideki himself, who has his own shrine in the corner:

Hopefully Hideki will recover from his knee problems, and hit us a few more free topping coupons before the end of the playoffs.  I think I may have the perfect cure for him, and it only costs $12.50.

THE +

  • The only place in Midtown that specializes only in Japanese Curry
  • The cury is rich and very flavorful.  Sweet, and slightly spicy.
  • The food comes out fresh to order, instead of prepackaged in lunchtime bento boxes
  • The fried cutlets are crispy and delicious.  The pork is more flavorful (i.e. it’s more fatty), but if you are squemish about meat, go with the chicken which is white meat.
  • They list the Katsu Curry as the best deal, but if you have a friend to share with, the Grand Slam is easily the best deal.  $6.25 a person, and you get a little bit of everything.
  • They have a monkey as a mascot.

THE -

  • For some, the curry may be too thick.  There are lighter Japanese curries to be had in Midtown
  • If you don’t eat pork, nothing is safe.  I’m pretty sure the curry is made with pork.
  • I’m still not exactly sure of the difference betwen the SM, M & L portions.  I think you just get more rice and meat in the same size container.  Medium is a pretty safe bet, I think. 

Go Go Curry, 273 W. 38th St. (btw. 7+8th), 212-730-5555

22 Comments

  • so good. i will def be going back this week.

  • Giving up on the Yankees because you lived in Boston? For shame!

  • Completely addicted to this place.. been going once or twice a week since it was first written up here. Haven’t braved the Grand Slam yet though…

  • Look’s great value

  • The message board is very weak of late -

  • the curry sauce is made with pork? no love for the jews…

    anyone know somewhere in the bryant park vicinity to get
    1. good wings (grilled preferably)
    2. good thai food (read: not Yum Thai)

  • Only one shrimp?!!

    Tell me more about the sauce. Is it like teriyaki sweet?
    Looks kinda like gravy..

  • Matt — kind of a hike from Bryant Park but Atomic Wings on 9th bet. 39th & 40th is supposed to be good (never tried it myself, though, and don’t know if they’re grilled)

  • man, i miss the $5 deal they had in may. that was such a bargain.

  • those sausages look like cocktail wienies

  • I just got back to midtown, working on 38th st., and remembered that this place was on 38th (although didn’t realize how far over). went here my first day. the “single” is a lot of food, i might try a smaller portion the next time, but omg is it super-yummy.

    it is curry flavored. think curry. spicy. not sweet. and it tastes better than it looks.

  • One shimp is the Grand Slam’s only draw back. Honestly when I got it I didn’t notice at first that I had pork AND chicken katsu on my plate – I think I was scarfing it down too fast! I had to take half of it back to the office with me, but it was so good I kept picking at it. I didn’t end up finishing all the rice but my chickenpork was devoured! I could almost do without the rice, just put the sauce on the meat!
    Has anyone tried any of the toppings? Besides hard boiled egg :)

  • If you like curry and pork katsu, you should also try Katsuhama on 47th between Madison and 5th. They specialize in pork cutlets and theirs (both the cutlet and the curry) are the best I’ve had. (Haven’t been to Go Go Curry yet, but I can’t imagine the pork being any better–it’s very moist and breaded perfectly.) I alternate between the curry and the katsu-don when I get a chance to go there.

  • Matt — I think Virgil’s has the best wings I have ever had. Rather pricey at ~$11, but, by Jeebus, they are GOOD.

  • I just moved to Tokyo and all I can say is Curry, Curry everywhere so let’s all have a bite.

  • OK, I just got this for lunch for the first time. This is my reaction:

    HOLY FURKING SCHNIT!

    This is the single most disgusting midtown lunch that I have ever had. I got the pork katsu, a single, and added a chicken cutlet. There is no way I could have finished just the pork. Adding the chicken cutlet was like taking a really huge bong hit after drinking a two forties of da Colt — i.e. totally unnecessary, probably dangerous, and it will surely make you sick.

    Gross. Gross. Gross. The whole experience is a little like my reaction to the concept of auto-flagellants in Dostoyevsky, people who whip themselves into a state of holy communion with god — taking a very bad idea and misconstruing it and then believing it is a good, holy, even culturally defining experience. Gross. Gross. Gross.

  • the difference between the sizes (besides the grand slam) is the amount of rice they give you. they weight the rice on a scale before they plop your meat of choice on it.

  • You can also get a curry/pork cutlet/rice meal at Men Kui Tei on 56th St. It’s a ramen shop, but I actually prefer their curry rice to their ramen.

  • May 5th, GoGo’s birthday, 5 dollar curry for sizes up to large.
    After seeing the link to GoGo on the Monday AM links page, I gave this place a try, being that it’s only 4 block from me. The curry is indeed delicious, Thick, dark and creamy, and not overwhelmingly spicy. The curry is sweet, and goes well with the chicken katsu. The Medium order is very filling and works well at 7.50, but compared to Yagura, It’s feels alittle overpriced. At Yagura, you can get similar curry, with fried chicken or pork a little bit more rice and a little bit more curry and a dash of pickled vegetable for 5.50. They curry is not as dark as GoGo, but just as thick and tasty, and comes with a piece of carrot and a potato. plus they sell the curry packs in the store, so you can make the curry yourself at home!
    Also, At Yagura, they don’t pad your order with worthless cabbage, though the take out container is a two-compartment container, with about 1/4 being a reservoir of curry and the rest being rice with the fried meat on top.

    For the sheer variety of different things you can put on the curry, Id go with GoGo, but if you only want plain-jane fried meat and curry, i say Yagura is a better deal.

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