Return to Tokyo Kitchen: Revenge of the Curry
For those of you haven’t studied my bio extensively, I lived in Japan for a year teaching English. It was a pretty good time, but I came down with a horrible affliction while I was there known as Curry Fever. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, a strong craving for Japanese curry anytime one thinks of Japan. While most people might immediately think of sushi, ramen, or soba when they think Japanese food, curry is what immediately springs to my mind. (That and karaage. Oh karaage, I miss you so!) And to be completely honest, good Japanese curry is hard to come by in this town, and yes, I’ve been to GoGo Curry. While they do a great job on their katsu, I’m not wild about the curry itself. So when Lunch’er Miche endorsed the curry at Tokyo Kitchen (10 John Street, at Broadway) when Kevin wrote about it back in January, I had to investigate. So investigate I did.
I managed to try both the chicken and pork katsu curries (both ringing up at about $8 once you include the tax), but only had my camera to document the pork. I got a little miso soup on the side to see if it was any better than the one I’d had at Cafe Hanover and because it imparts a bit of nostalgia for me.
The pork came in the form of a cutlet about a half inch thick and covered in breading ranging from crispy on the edges to slightly soggy on top. This was likely the result of the hardcore seal the counter girl put on my styrofoam box. It was nasty outside so she busted out the masking tape to seal my box and assure that none of the rain would get to my curry and that none of the curry would get all over the plastic bag. It was, as Lunch’er Miche noted, a little on the dry side, but still not too bad. The chicken was really tasty, but not at all what I was expecting. I was looking for a good, well-breaded and fried cutlet, but what I got was closer to chunks of battered chicken. Neither were really the classic katsu I wanted, but they did the job for now.
The curry, on the other hand, was exactly what I was looking for. Rich, slightly spicy, and downright delicious. If somehow I could get the fried cutlet from GoGo and the curry from Tokyo Kitchen, it would be a match made in heaven!
The miso soup ($1.50) was a good side to grab. The chunks of tofu were larger and less uniform than the ones found at Cafe Hanover and included some seaweed (standard in Japan, but less so here). While it was definitely good, it wasn’t quite as good as at Cafe Hanover. It was a shade too salty for me and lacked a bit of the subtle depth that the good stuff carries.
At the end of the day, you absolutely cannot go wrong with katsu curry at Tokyo Kitchen. While the meat options aren’t strictly authentic, the curry itself is really something special and more than I could’ve hoped for down in the Financial District. Finding this gem was a dream come true. Now, if only someone would bring Coco Ichibanya Curry to New York. Then my dreams really would come true. Minus the olympic size swimming pool of curry, of course.
Tokyo Kitchen, 10 John St. (btw. Broadway and Nassau St.), (212) 608-3094