This local curry chain in Hokkaido serves a curry so good it should be popular all over Japan


Seriously, who is responsible for this place and why haven’t they expanded to the rest of Japan?!

Maybe it’s because they spend so much time writing about food, but our writers know the secret to finding good food while traveling. The first thing they do is check the grocery store to see if they sell local specialties. Then they find out if they exist local restaurant chains. These are the best ways to find out what kind of food is the area’s specialty.

So our Japanese-language reporter Haruka Takagi has checked out Indian curry shop while visiting Japan’s northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido. Haruka, a curry fan, was excited to try a curry shop she had never been to before and, judging by the name, assumed she would be served a very spicy Indian-style curry.

▼ Curry Shop Indian has twelve branches, but they can only be found in Hokkaido.

The branch Haruka visited was known as “Nishi 18-yo Branch” in the central city of Hokkaido Obihiro. Located in the Piazza Fukuhara mall along National Highway 38, it is in a pretty convenient spot.

Haruka’s first impression was this somehow she had seen this store before. The logo in particular seemed familiar, but Haruka couldn’t understand why. At least until she remembered visiting a restaurant in Osaka named Indian currieswhich had a similar logo.

Haruka was curious if they were connected at all, so she called Fujimori Shokai, the parent company that manages Indian Curry Shop restaurants in Hokkaido. Apparently they do no relationship; they just somehow managed to use a very similar logo and go with similarly simplistic names.

Anyway, back to the point. Curry Shop Indian (Hokkaido version) has three types of curry roux: Indian, mild roux of beef and ten types of spices; Basic, simple beef extract and onion curry; and Vegetables, curry stuffed with potatoes, carrots and onions.

All three were at the same price, coming out to 528 yen (US$3.78) for lunch, 518 yen for takeout, and 410 yen for a curry without rice. Like CoCo Ichibanya and other nationwide curry restaurants, you can too choose additional extrasincluding fried pork chops, Hamburg steak, shrimp, chicken and cheese.

▼ Apparently eggs (110 yen each) are only available as an extra at the Nishi 18-jo branch.

What surprised Haruka was that the restaurant was there very enthusiastic about offering takeaways. You have to pay 66 yen for a container, unless…

▼ “Please bring your own pot. We strongly encourage you to do so.”

You bring your own pot!

According to the menu, brochures, and website, Indian Curry Shop values ​​ecology very much, so they strongly encourage you to bring your own containers from home when ordering Indian curry to go. In fact, CoCo Ichibanya and other restaurants also offer this service, but Haruka feels that no other restaurant has been as enthusiastic about the idea as Curry Shop Indian. Apparently this is a service that many customers use to bring their own pots to take their curries home.

Haruka didn’t have a pot with her, so she ordered dinner Indian Curry With Chicken. The chicken topping was 198 yen, making it a total meal cost of 726 yen.

At first glance, this curry really didn’t seem like anything special. It didn’t smell particularly aromatic and there was no trace of the promised 10 spices. Haruka felt a bit disappointed, fearing that curry wasn’t something to write home about, but as soon as she took a bite, her opinion completely changed.

“W-wow… This is really good!!!”

The roux of the curry was thick, rich and sweet and reminiscent of curries from the old days. It was similar to curry you can make at home, but it was much richer and had much more umami than anything Haruka could cook.

Haruka is the type who prefers to mix her curry roux with rice before eating it, but the curry here was so thick she thought she would only be able to eat half of it. But it wasn’t; it wasn’t too salty or too rich. How did they make it taste like that?

The large pieces of chicken added to the curry were really good too, and Haruka was delighted to find small pieces of beef in the mix as well.

About halfway through, she added some spicy oil to change the flavor a bit, which made it progressively spicier, which was also delicious in itself.

The more Haruka ate, the more she realized: no one in Japan could hate this curry. From the first bite to the last, it was very satisfying. Haruka can confidently recommend it to anyone.

Although it wasn’t the super spicy curry Haruka expected from the name of the restaurant, it wasn’t a problem in the end because it was a delicious curry in itself. Next time Haruka is near the Curry Shop Indian, she will definitely try the basic and vegetable curry as well.

Pictures © SoraNews24
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