Friday, October 23, 2009

King of Curry, Otemachi (カレーの王様)

What would you think if, say, McCormick had a fast food chicken place? (I grant you this won't resonate unless you're American. McCormick is probably America's biggest manufacturer of spices. At least it's the only one I can name, and that usually means something. Like my memory is going.) And they played only 70's rock?
That's pretty much what's going on at the King of Curry. It's owned by S&B, which I expect is Japan's largest spice company. Like their competitor House, they also make some curry, so it's not that far-fetched that they might serve it up to you also. This outlet is in the dreary basement of the Nihon Building (across from Sapia Tower, north of Tokyo Station), but does at least a little to liven up the atmosphere with some S&B-green walls and woodwork.

One weird thing about it - the service was damn fast. You buy tickets from the machine, give them to the counter guy, and I swear as soon as I picked a seat and parked it, he was calling me. Another weird thing - the katsu curry was quite good! See, I'm not all grumpy all the time. Despite being pre-cooked, the rosu was soft, juicy and flavorful, with a nice crumbly crust. The curry (you can choose sweet or dry) was also decent, as were the tubs of pickles on the table. I was going to have the veg curry (spinach and egg) for my health, but then decided that since I'm doing such a crap job on Tonkatsu Tuesdays I should step up.

Other than the food and atmosphere, what do you want to know? You want to know about the music, don't you? Straight up 70's American rock. I particularly loved the transition from Paul Simon's 'Late In the Evening', wherein he 'blew that room away!!!' to Kiss's 'Rock and Roll All Night'. Every picture tells a story (no, that wasn't played, and it's a damn good thing since that's a 70's British rock classic), and those songs remind me of being in Key West watching two uninspired guys thump it out in a cheezy bar and being in the orchestra pit at the 2000 University of Chicago GSB Follies, respectively. Thought you'd like to know.

U drive us wild, we'll drive you cray-zeeeee
I just noticed that the chipper guy who served me is actually the store manager. There's gotta be a story behind his taste in music.

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