CHEAP & GOOD

Jumbo-sized Japanese curry rice

The Big Size Japanese Ultimate is meant for two to three people.
The Big Size Japanese Ultimate is meant for two to three people. ST PHOTO: REBECCA LYNNE TAN

Last week, a colleague suggested a Japanese curry rice shop that she was dying to try. God knows I'm always up for discovering new food joints.

Meeting place: Food Republic, Wisma Atria, 8pm. Gee, I cannot remember the last time I had a meal there. I go without expectations.

When I text her that I am walking towards the food court, she replies that she will place an order first. How sweet of her.

"Sure, thanks," I text back, although a little perplexed: Why not wait for me and our colleague to arrive? It is a food court, after all.

  • GOEN JAPANESE UDON NOODLES

  • Stall 11, Level 4, Food Republic, Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road

    Open: 11am to 10pm, daily

    Rating: 4/5 stars

When I get there, I realise why. The dish takes a while to assemble. She points to a photo of her order: Big Size Japanese Ultimate Original Curry Rice ($19.80) from Goen, a stall that specialises in udon and Japanese curry.

The photo doesn't do this platter justice. What comes out is a huge, king-sized monster of a serving. I am told it apparently weighs 3kg. Passers-by stare at our gargantuan portion of curry rice in disbelief.

For $19.80, this is what it comes with: one ajitsuke tamago (marinated egg with a gooey yolk), one large slab chicken katsu (breaded chicken), one large slab of tonkatsu (breaded pork), one potato croquette, two ebi fry (breaded prawns) and several pieces of tori karaage (fried chicken). All this on a bed of short-grain rice and a generous amount of Japanese curry, potatoes and onion.

There are smaller options too. A 25cm-long and 10cm to 15cm-wide slab of chicken katsu costs $3.50. Have it on rice with curry for $6.80.

The Japanese-style sweet curry is impressive - smooth and potent with a nice depth of flavour. It has a hint of spice for heat, but add chilli powder if you want more of a hit. The katsu batter is crisp, crunchy and tasty, while the meat, be it chicken or pork, is tender.

The Ultimate platter is meant for two to three people.

My two hungry colleagues and I lap up the katsu curry, but soon find that we are stuffed. We slump in our seats. Sadly, we are unable to finish the platter.

It could easily feed four women or one very hungry national serviceman and his female companion. Two average-sized men will probably find themselves rolling out of the food court after finishing this. Hungry youth will find it fairly pocket-friendly too, especially in the heart of Orchard Road.


• Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccata

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'Jumbo-sized Japanese curry rice'. Print Edition | Subscribe