Curry is a common and classic Asian favorite existed for centuries. It is so popular that it is not foreign to Westerners as well. The origin of curry started from India where the spices and the herbs are more hot and heavy in aroma compared to the rest. The popularity of curry has spread until The Land of the Rising Sun where it is so common to find “kare” dishes on Japanese menus.
Since we are talking about “curry” today, it is important to know the difference between “hot” and “spicy”. If you see in my other articles, spicy is usually referring to the burning sensation. However, in this article, I will use “hot” as the burning sensation adjective and “spicy” to describe the flavor of spices with a hint of heat but not to the extent of having burning sensation. Japanese curry is the type of curry which is rich and packed with aroma and yet less hot compared to the rest of the curries in Asia. Personally, I love Japanese curry as the flavor and aroma of the gravy is more compared to the level of hotness. The overwhelming of hotness is a big no to me.
There is a place in town which has recently started serving Japanese-inspired curry dishes. This hidden gem is called ‘Kai Curry Bar’. To locate ‘Kai Curry Bar’ you might require some skillset as the shop is not located on the main road. If you are driving from Penang bridge via Anson road, you will come to a junction where turning left is to Burma Road. Driving towards Burma road, you will see Union Primary School on your left. At that moment, you will see a junction on the opposite direction which is on your right, turn into to that junction where the road is known as Jalan Phuah Hin Leong. Keep driving for 30 meters and you will see the restaurant on your left.
The main selling point of Kai Curry Bar is their homemade curry made from raw ingredients. The curry powder is made from fresh herbs such as fenugreek and turmeric which are sourced from the market. They use no preservatives and no artificial flavorings on their food. All the food are hand made and even the shop is also very simple and homely. There are 2 options of curry base: pork or vegetable.
We were offered Fukujinzuke on our table. This is the pickled mixed veggie consisted of reddish, egg plant and lotus root. The taste of the Fukujinzuke was sour and sweet which counter the hotness and richness of the curry taste.
Japanese cold dish starter consisted of chilled mashed potato, seaweed, cucumber and sprinkled with somme white and black sesame seeds. This is also a delicate homemade dish.
Pork Hamburg Curry (with cheese topping) – RM16.90. The pork minced meat was mixed with herbs, onions and garlic. After marination, it was grilled until aromatic. The pork Hamburg were then sided with pork-based Japanese Curry which had been topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
The patty of the pork hamburg is one of the signatures here, which I totally agree. The taste of the patty was packed with aroma and it was juicy and tender. It matched perfectly with the rich and spicy curry. This combination is simply divine. I would definitely come back for this dish.
Pork Katsu Curry (with tomato & okra topping) – RM17.90. The pork slices were battered with homemade bread crumbs and egg. They were then deep fried till golden and crispy. The pork katsu was then accompanied with their signature curry with vegetable topping.
The pork katsu slices were crispy and delicious. The battered skin was not too thick and tasted real unlike other commercialized Japanese restaurants. However, I still prefer the pork Hamburg instead as I like the hamburg’s unique flavour which keeps appearing in my mind until now.
Kids menu are also available at this restaurant.
Rice topped with scrambled egg with the option of fish fingers – rm12, The rice was perfectly wrapped with scrambled egg and sided with cherry tomatoes and broccoli. It was then sided with vegetable-based curry. The entire set also included a cup of orange juice and 3 pieces of fish fingers.
The hotness of the curry which was made for kids was milder compared to pork-based. The hotness level was 1 out of 10. Besides, the taste of the curry was slightly sweet compared to pork-based as it was cooked with mixed vegetables and fruits.
If you think the main serving is not enough, additional add-ons are always available here:
Meat and seafood Topping:
Salmon Cream Croquette – RM3.50
Seared Chicken – RM5
Fish Katsu(Mahi Mahi) – RM6
Crumbed Prawn – RM5.00
Apart from the meat and seafood add-ons, there are vegetable toppings available as well:
- Sautéed tomato – RM2.00
- Okra (lady fingers) -RM2.00
- Cheese – rm3.50
The homemade curry powder is shown as below. The curry was then cooked for long hours with either vegetable or pork until the curry was flavorful.
The detailed menu for those who would like to pre-order or booking:
Overall, this place is dedicated to those looking for homemade food and curry lovers. The great thing about this place is everything from this shop is homemade and no artificial flavor and preservative has been added. The price of the food here is reasonable with generous portion. On the other hand, this place is a bit hard to get parking and is not located anywhere near the main road.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
|Price (more stars, more reasonable)|
|Private Room (Private Area)|
Contact: 04-226 0322
Address: 15, Jalan Phuah Hin Leong, 10050 Penang.