C&C Curry – Yurakucho branch in Tokyo, Japan

Captured by the smell of katsu curry

It’s our first day in Japan, having travelled overnight last night from the UK. Wandering the streets, we are tired and awestruck. Intrigued by everything. We’ve got a fairly easy day planned that involves leaving our main luggage at our hotel in Shinagawa, dropping off our snowboarding bag (that we’ll only need later in the holiday) in Ginzo, and visiting Tokyo Sky Tree in Sumida to get our bearings of this impressive city.

One particular smell grabs our whole beings as we walk along a street in Chiyoda – the smell of curry coming from C&C Curry Shop. We’re in raptures and head straight back here, once we’ve dropped off the snowboarding bag.

It’s apparent from the start that some of the eating places here are tiny. And it’s not uncommon for them to only serve one type of dish. Many variations of it, but one dish nonetheless.

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C&C curry shop

Check out the menu for C&C Curry Shop (there are many similarly named curry outlets) – it includes sausage, cheese or even warm ball curry! all served with rice.

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Queue and order at the canteen

 

Entering the small restaurant, space was noticeably tight, with people (mostly on their own) squeezed in close together on stools along counters running right round the walls, appearing to be grabbing a quick but hearty lunch.

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Choose your combo from 14 options + choose ‘hotness’ of the curry sauce

Joining the queue at the canteen, we got trays, pointed to our chosen options, were immediately served and looked after by the abundant staff. Someone to give you the food, someone to point you where to sit, someone to bring tap water (and keep topping up your glass).

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Cosy cafe – all packed in together

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Breaded pork cutlet with rice and pork curry – yum!

It was formulaic, well organised. And very tasty. We both chose a breaded pork cutlet with rice, and a medium hot pork curry sauce which had plenty enough of a kick for me and I love hot, spicy food (choose between mild, medium hot or hot). At 650 yen (about £5.00) this was great value, and filling.

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Just your average curry menu?curry options at this restaurant in Kyoto include: Cheese filled hamburger curry, soft boiled egg and chicken meatball curry, scrambled egg curry – food innovations you’d only find in Japan!

The verdict: Trying a Japanese katsu curry is a *must do* in Japan.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Katsu curry
– Address: Yurakucho branch branch at Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Yurakucho 2-9-14 – before JR Yurakucho Station, Tokyo, Japan
– Nearest station: JR Yurakucho Station
– Website + menus: C&C Curry website
– Photos on flickr: images of C&C Curry food
– Location: C&C Curry map

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Goulston Street food court

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Rain. Rain. Rain.

 

It may have rained all week but it’s Friday, it’s lunchtime and Goulston Street food court is just around the corner. So all is well. Among the international ‘street food’ stalls here in East London (near Petticoat Lane/Middlesex Street), there’s something for everyone. I’m gradually working my way around all the stalls (on different days, of course!) and haven’t been disappointed yet.

 

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Food stalls: Moroccan spiced fish, Lebanese falafel + Satay Bangkok

 

01. Lebanese falafel The first stall you come to, if approaching from Whitechapel High Street, is – I find – hard to resist. It’s worth stopping just to watch the happy chappies there assemble wraps at super-sonic speed. And they still find time to give you bits of deep fried falafel to munch, to keep you happy while you wait. It’s £3.00 for a medium size wrap which is stuffed full of falafel (of course), salad, pickles, humous, chilli sauce (if you want it) and even a few chips (a bit odd but again – only if you want it). This is a filling – and fairly well balanced – meal for me. It’s flavoursome, fresh, spicy and totally amazing.

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Falafel wrap – so dense it stands up on its own

 

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Sunny sometimes at Goulston Street Food Court – falafel making

 

02. Moroccan fish At the 3 habibis stall, a spicy fillet of fish is griddled fresh in front of you. Choose your selection of vegetables and either rice or a wrap to go with it. All for only £4.50. Just divine.

 

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Moroccan fish with rice + veg @ £4.50
 

03. Satay Bangkok The chicken in the chicken satay is so tender it’s as if it’s been slow cooked for hours (perhaps it has, in their industrial size woks?). Served with a smooth, peanutty sauce and a side salad at only £4.50 this is great value for such a tasty meal.

 

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Satay chicken – really tender, served with rice and side salad

 

04. Thai Tasty Takeaway
Choose from the suggested dishes pictured around the serving hatch (or you can go off-menu) and watch fresh ingredients being cooked to order right in front of you.

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Individually cooked Thai dishes served at Thai Tasty Takeaway

The spicy (eye-wateringly so) tofu Thai red curry is excellent value @ £4.50 and  contains sweet basil, red and green peppers, peas, bamboo shoots and mixed veggies (carrots, mange tout, cauliflower and/or broccoli) cooked in coconut milk. Excellent.

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Tofu Thai red curry @ £4.50

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Chicken green curry

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Yellow massaman curry

 

Other stalls include Japanese katsu, Beijing dim yum, Jordanian rice and meat dishes, and more. Very, very good – check it out.

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: international
~ Address: Goulston Street, London
~ Postcode: E1
~ Nearest stations: Aldgate East, Aldgate
~ Photos on flickr: images of Goulston Street food court
~ Location: Goulston Street food court

 

RELATED LINKS
Nearby street food markets:
~ Goulston Street food court
~ KERB at Spitalfields
~ World Food Market at Devonshire Square

 

Japanese Canteen on Harrow Place

So all’s been quiet on the LardButty front while recovering from the over-indulging period that was Christmas and new year.

And the first new restaurant outing for 2014 is a lunch time visit to cosy ramen bar, the Japanese Canteen, Harrow Place branch, Shoreditch.


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Chicken katsu curry – fried in breadcrumbs with rice @ £4.95


I had a chicken katsu curry – fried chicken in breadcrumbs in Japanese curry sauce with rice @ £4.95 (seriously good with generous amounts of sloppy curry sauce).


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Chicken ramen noodle soup


S had a wonton soup – little cloud dumplings and noodles in stock with spring onion and bok choy @ £5.95.

The Harrow Place branch is tiny and quickly fills up at lunchtime. If you want a seat you need to get there early (we arrived at 12.15 and took the last table today) although much of the queue is for take-aways.

And if it is full, there’s always a larger branch around the corner on Middlesex Street (formerly Petticoat Lane – the prudish Victorians changed the street’s name). And another on Creechurch Lane. In fact, they’re all over the city.


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Teriyaki salmon on mixed grain rice @ £6.95, Creechurch Lane branch


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Japanese, Asian fusion
~ Address:13 Harrow Place, London
~ Postcode: E1 7DB
~ e: info@thejapanesecanteen.co.uk
~ Nearest station: Aldgate
~ Website + menus: Japanese Canteen website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Japanese Canteen food
~ Location: Japanese Canteen map


RELATED LINKS
More Shoreditch dining:
~ Fora – Mediterranean restaurant, City branch
~ Kastner & Ovens – great salad selection
~ Mama Thai – Indian + Thai take-away curries + noodles
~ Momo’wich – Thai + Malaysian curries, rendang sandwiches + more


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