In Case You Forgot, I Love Both Anime and Food

I’ve written a blog post on Sailor Moon as my introduction to Japanese food over at the Waku Waku +NYC official blog. If you’re interested in me waxing nostalgic and rambling the way you expect out of Ogiue Maniax, take a look.

Sailor Moon Was My Gateway into Japanese Food

I’ll be a regular contributor to the Waku Waku +NYC blog from now on, so look forward to more posts from there in the future. As always, I will continue to devote myself to Ogiue Maniax as well.

If you’re curious, Waku Waku +NYC is an upcoming Japanese popular culture festival from August 29-30 in Brooklyn, NY. Unlike a lot of anime cons and Japanese events, this one looks to more thoroughly integrate food with Japanese anime, games, fashion, etc. If you’re even half as interested in eating and watching anime as I am, it might be worth your while.

Souther’s Holy Emperor Curry is a Real Thing

souther-curry

The magazine Comic Zenon has recently announced a special Fist of the North Star-themed curry based on Souther, the strongest of the various practitioners of Nanto Seiken, the Sacred Fist of the Southern Cross. Souther, who uses the “Nanto Houou Ken” or “Southern Cross Phoenix Fist” style, is known for fighting without stances, having his heart on the right side of his body instead of his left, using child slave labor, and riding a three-wheeled motorcycle with a throne on top (sometimes affectionately called a “thronercycle”).

More specifically, the curry is based on the recent parody manga of Fist of the North Star titled Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor. Fist of the North Star is considered one of the most significant, influential, and popular shounen manga series of all time, making it a prime target for parodies both official and otherwise. In this case, Souther is specifically “Supervising Director Souther.”

Fans of Souther and Fist of the North Star will notice that the pyramid shape of the rice is a direct reference to the character. In the original manga, Souther uses his child slaves to build a pyramid in honor of his dead master, which then becomes the site of his and Kenshiro’s final battle.

The curry is available at Cafe Zenon in Tokyo and Kichijouji until January 15th. Other foods include Supervising Director Souther’s Strawberry Sweets and Hyui’s Blue Hawaii Lassi. Stickers, metal badges, and other products are also available.

souther-badge

Hey, You Got Curry On My Fried Chicken! Kushi-Q

Kushi-Q is another Japanese fast food joint located in New York City that I’ve only recently discovered. While their main product is yakitori they do have curry on the menu and the fan of curry that I am I had to try it out.

Before we start though, I have to give a warning to those who want to try it out. There are two Kushi-Q locations in Manhattan, one on 3rd Ave between 45th and 46th, and the other in the Citigroup Atrium on 53rd and Lexington. Only the latter one has curry available, but if you want to try out the stick foods then the 3rd Ave location will do.

Wanting to get the best of both worlds, I got the Karaage (fried chicken skewers) over curry.  Potatoes and carrots as well as a bit of onion mixed into the roux, giving Kushi-Q’s curry an overall mild flavor that I typically expect out of a Japanese-style curry, as opposed to say,  Go Go Curry’s. As far as I can tell there’s no trace of meat or animal flavoring inside the curry itself, and the task of fulfilling the carnivorous desire of the eater falls entirely on the karaage, which is I think the real winner here. It’s not great by any means, but still quite delicious and a relatively good price for a stick of meat, especially from a non-cart-based food vendor. Actually, it’s a pretty good deal for the price overall.

I may be sounding like a broken record, but if you’re deciding between Go Go Curry and Kushi-Q, I recommend Go Go Curry. However, if you’re already a fan of Go Go but looking for a change of pace, or you’re someone who can’t eat meat or dairy (pork and milk are both present in Go Go Curry’s roux), then I think it’s worth checking out.

Curry at Donburiya: Sauce and Rice, to the Next Level

Let it be known that I am a proponent of curry. I’ve written many times about the fabulous Go Go Curry, but whether it’s Thai, Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Caribbean, you name it, if you’ve got a curry dish then I want to try it. Still, there’s a special place in my heart for Japanese-style curry. In fact, all those Chinese-run sushi places that sprung up over the past decade? I think they should be making curry instead.

It is my delight then to discover that a place I’d already gone to for quality donburi (bowls filled with rice and other ingredients, generally some kind of meat + egg), the aptly named “Donburiya,” also houses a fantastically good curry as well.

I’ve talked before about how Go Go Curry differs from most Japanese curries in that its flavor is much bolder than the norm, and Donburiya’s curry is similar in the sense that it seems to have a more complex and spicier flavor than what I’ve come to expect, but without being “intense,” with layers of subtlety underlying the more immediate spiciness. The rice itself is on par with what they serve normally, which is to say “perfectly done” and the “hamburg” I ordered with it was very juicy, and the diced onion in the hamburg was in no way overwhelming.  If you’re not familiar with Japanese hamburg, it’s something akin to a salisbury steak or a meatloaf more than it is an actual hamburger patty. I also did not feel like I got cheated out of any hamburg at all as it was quite a hefty piece of meat.

That said, it’s also a sit-down restaurant so you have to pay tip, the dish itself costs more than what you’d get at Go Go Curry, and at the end of the day I think I prefer Go Go Curry overall just because it hits harder and I absolutely love the roux there.  Overall though, the biggest hurdles for curry at Donburiya are the donburi, and I’d advise everyone to try out those before they tackle the curry dishes, or for that matter the ochazuke (rice mixed with green tea or some kind of broth), which also by the way is delicious.

Basically what I’m saying is that you pretty much can’t lose at Donburiya, and if you’re looking a curry that’s more refined than what you’d get at Go Go Curry, I’d recommend this place in a heartbeat.