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Keep Calm and Kokorro Curry On

By: Kuku Samson

While curry may have stemmed from Indian cuisine, the popular dish has found its way to the hearts of Japanese people. (Thanks to the British.) In order to suit their palate, the Japanese have given the curry a new spin. Their version of the curry is normally sweeter and milder as oppose to being zesty. It brings a medley of meat and vegetables in a thick brown sauce. The rich sauce of the Japanese curry makes it a magnet for rice.


The good news is that Filipinos need not fly to Japan to savor authentic Japanese curry. We have Benjie Garcia, the owner of the Japanese restaurant chain Rai Rai Ken to thank for this. He has invited to the country a close family friend, Japanese chef Tencho-San. Together, they set themselves on a mission to satisfy the discriminating tastebuds of foodies with their new business venture- Kokorro Curry.


What makes Kokorro Curry in Makati City standout from the numerous Japanese restaurants in town? This Japanese chef, who lords over its kitchen, makes his secret curry recipe from air-flown ingredients from his homeland- including those from his farm in Nagano. The whole process of cooking his curry entails more than two hours of constant mixing of ingredients. For this chef, there is no shortcut to achieve the perfect taste of Japanese curry. As one customer puts it in his IG account-#currymadewithlove.


If one is tempted to think that food here is expensive, then you are in for a surprise. Priced at P219, the Fried Shrimp Curry is already the most expensive dish on the menu. The other food items are Beef Curry, Fried Squid Curry, Katsu Curry, Fried Chicken Curry, Egg Curry, and Sausage Curry. Customers have the happy option to customize their order from the different kinds of meat and seafood the restaurant offers. They could even have every viand in one plate if they so wish!

After all the savory treats, it is time for something sweet. Treat yourself to the Mini Croffle desserts. (The pastry, first made famous in South Korea, is a croissant dough that is pressed in a waffle maker to achieve a crispy exterior with a waffle-like texture. It brings to mind the Cronut, doesn’t it?) Have your fill of Matcha Choco Bits, Peppermint ChocNut, Pink Sprinkle, and more. Could you believe it is only sold at P35 per piece? What makes this deal even more unbelievable is that the croissant dough is imported from France!


On the other hand, the interior of the place puts a premium on simplicity and harmony. The clean lines, neutral, and natural materials contribute much to the warmth and coziness of the 50 sq m dining spot. The Izakaya-like vibe it emits makes it the ideal venue for intimate gatherings.


Without doubt, the newly opened Kokorro Curry impresses its customers with its in-house Japanese chef making authentic Japanese curry from scratch – all without breaking the bank. Now that is a recipe for success!

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