Curry is one of the least appreciated pillars of Japanese comfort food, especially here in North America where deep fried pork cutlets, ramen and gyoza rule supreme. In the depths of a West Coast winter, however, few foods are this satisfying and restorative. Japanese curry can come in many guises and as both a side and main event, and we love the stuff every which way. This short guide is meant to point you in some delicious directions. If we missed the spot that you love deeply, please turn us on to it either in the comments below or on Twitter via @scoutmagazine.
Dosanko | This is one of our regular neighbourhood haunts. Aim for the curry with chopped pork, melted cheese and a side of pickles ($18). You can add extra veggies ($2) or an egg ($2) but if you really want to go big add a piece of juicy tonkatsu ($8). DETAILS
Ugly Dumpling | Even though their delicious curry is not a permanent fixture on the menu, it makes an appearance as the special ‘staff meal’ dish often enough to be included here. Our advice is that you keep an eye on this Commercial Drive restaurant’s IG feed so that you can pounce the moment it becomes available. DETAILS
Mogu Fried Chieken | Try the curry with Mogu’s original house spice blend over rice with a small side salad. Topping options include panko crusted chicken breast cutlet ($18.50); garlic soy marinated boneless grilled chicken thigh ($17); or braised beef short rib ($19). Pro tip: short rib is best. DETAILS
Fujiya | Order this cheap and cheerful over-the-counter bowl of comfort from the self-serve take-out sushi cooler. The delicious, richly flavoured stuff (pictured at top) comes loaded with onion, potato and carrot in 2 sizes (small $4.75 and large $7.95). DETAILS
Mr, Japanese Curry | This is a tight little operation that is always a swift and aromatic pleasure. They do beef, chicken, fish, prawn and vegetable curries, all served with rice and a sprinkle of fried onions ($8-$15). DETAILS
Takenaka | Check this food truck’s IG account to be assured of its current location, but it’s very often parked at its home base: East Van’s Coho Commissary. Try the Wagyu Hamburg curry, which comes with onion, pickles, a perfectly seasoned half-boiled egg and some radish sprouts for a garnish ($21). DETAILS