Being a South-east Asian country, we naturally take great pride in our curries – we're protective even. We feel that our palates are skilled detectors of what constitutes a good spicy dish and we are naturally dismissive of food items that don't conform to our standards.
Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive too when I went to Shokudo Japanese Curry Rice restaurant. I didn't have high expectations, having sampled Japanese curry before without much of a memorable experience.
"Shokudo" means a small canteen, and that has been adopted as the theme of this dining place, with long tables and stools in a contemporary decor. I ordered Hirekatsu Curry (RM19) or pork chop curry with rice set and an additional side of Koebi Karaage or deep-fried prawns (RM7).
The curry set comes with refillable green tea, a bowl of soup and a salad. When it arrived, the thick gloopy curry covered half the plate. So first impression, not stellar.
Thankfully, the taste redeemed the dish.
The breaded pork chop, sliced, was nicely cooked, with enough crunch to add texture to the dish. Slices of pickled ginger on the side added acidity and a hint of sweetness.
The curry was mild, but aromatic. Japanese curry has a distinctive taste, no doubt localised since it was introduced to Japan by the British in the mid-19th century. There is a nice blend of spices but it is not overpowering. The curry sauce, as it is called in Japan, somehow works with this dish. Ignoring its consistency and colour, the flavours paired well with the crunchy chop and the rice. It was surprising to me that the meal was quite delicious.
The fried prawns – light and crispy – were a treat. I popped one shrimp after another, head and all, into my mouth and savoured the crunchy goodness of each morsel.
This area of Taman Paramount has recently seen quite a few independent cafés and eateries set up shop, making it an interesting food hub for those looking for good grub. Shokudo is relatively new to the area and judging by its food and decor, it is a fine addition to the neighbourhood.
Note: The image below shows the premises of a previous shop currently occupied by Shokudo Japanese Curry Rice.
9 Jalan 20/13
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7863 0922
Hours: Opens Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm
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