The incongruity of the ugliness of Japanese comfort food next to, well just about everything else they eat, is curious. It looks like slop but smells divine.
I am at Fan Curry Hacci (a restaurant from Fan Shoronpo Japones just up the street) for one reason only, to try the curry with rice. It comes, brown on white, not even a parsley leaf to break the dullness, no carrot shaped like a flower. Brown and sticky curry gravy made up of a generous amount of caramelised onions.
The process of going from white, watery onion, from the acrid fumes that will stick to your clothes and hair like persistent burs, to something savoury and heady is best left to someone else.
This someone is the chef, perspiring, blue bandana and blue apron with a small Japanese flag on it, moving pans along a large range.
“He is the chef.” our server tells us. He has restaurant Fan Shoronpo Japones 20 years and now he opens this.”
(I love Fan Shoronpo, they make their own noodles which you can see displayed in the cabinet and they make gyoza to order.)
I am with Alina (Green Mama), she is a flexitarian but since Fan Curry Hacci Japanese have no fish dishes, she contents herself with a vegetable curry ramen. I am trying it before she has even had a go. It is, as expected, excellent.
I’ve been shoveling the curry into my mouth, moving from chopsticks to a spoon to get the last dredges of the gravy. I push my plate away and stare absentmindedly at our server rolling out gyoza wrappers and filling them to order, just like at Shoronpo.
There can’t be more than 10 seats in the place. An A4 paper is fluttering is taped to the outside wall, flapping in the breeze “TAKEAWAY” The restaurant is due to open officially in one day, this is the soft opening with a lot of things on the menu not yet available. In spite of that, there is a steady inflow of patrons.
The place it going to be a hit. It mid June and 32 degrees and we are sweating happily over our Japanese curries, I can only imagine what it will be like in the cooler months.
Fan Curry Hacci Japanese
Carrer Séneca 4
Read about Fan Shoronpo right up the street.