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

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