‘Eater Eats Under $9

Where I ate: Curry House, 14407 Culver.Dr. Irvine, CA 92604
What I ate: Curry Rice Set
What it cost me: $8.25

Japanese curry.

You’re probably raising your eyebrows, wondering how Japanese curry made the cut. Despite misconceptions made about the mystic sounding curry, Japanese curry is one of the most underrated dishes that people have allowed to fly under the radar. Some people love it, others hate it, but the bottom line is this dish is definitely something you must try once with an open mind.

Welcome to the Curry House, an amiable restaurant that specializes in different versions of Japanese curry. Its menu offers a variety of oriental dishes, ranging from salads, stone pot dishes, Japanese spaghetti and many plates of different meat dishes. Curry is a gravy-like sauce that consists of a variety of spices. Don’t let the sound of that deter you; its flavor speaks for itself.

The Curry Rice Set comes with filling portions of salad, rice, your choice of meat and curry, a cup of soup and two pieces of fried shrimps. These dishes are presented neatly on a large porcelain dish. The portions of the food are just right, leaving you with a satisfied feeling by the time you are done with your meat.

The salad in this set is unique, with a tasty Asian-vinaigrette that tops a variety of different vegetables, like lettuce, string beans, corn and kidney beans. However strange this combination may sound, the overall taste is a delicious blend of healthy greens and flavorful dressing.

The curry comes in its own separate bowl. Upon ordering, you have the option of choosing between chicken, beef or shrimp curry. You also choose the spiciness level of your dishes. Here is where the difference between Japanese curry and Indian curry can be distinguished. The level of hotness of Japanese curry does not run very high. Spicy curry is more flavorful than it is hot. The rich blend of more than 30 spices within the sauce, drenched over the cute mound of rice that comes with the set, offers a unique and savory experience.

The two fried shrimp are a crunchy addition to the set, and the soup offers quite a contrast to the flavorful curry. The cream of corn soup that is served in a little cup is almost dessert-like. The combinations of these very different ingredients work to create a scrumptious meal.

Curry House, located on Culver Drive, is a well-known curry eatery amongst the Asian community. Once you open the doors to the Curry House, the scent of spices and intriguing flavors permeate the air. The light wood décor gives off a light and friendly atmosphere. The hostesses and servers are very hospitable and polite. The service is quick and accommodating. Curry House is a smoothly operated restaurant that allows for a stress-free and delicious experience.

Remember to keep an open mind if you have not tried Japanese curry yet. Also, do not try to compare this dish to Indian curry. Although they are different variations of the same dish, they are two very different flavors. According to Curry House’s festively decorated menu, 95 out of 100 Japanese people name curry as their favorite dish. And there’s no harm in trying a country’s favorite dish.