In Japan, you’re never very far from a plate of tasty curry. You can find the Japanese version of the dish in casual restaurants, convenience stores, and train station lunch counters across the country, and any sizeable city will have at least one good Indian restaurant.
After domestic and Indian, Japan’s favorite type of curry is the Thai style, usually in ultra spicy green or red varieties. Thailand’s got one more variant, though, called Massaman curry, which ranked by CNN as the world’s most delicious food a while back.
With an endorsement like that, we were eager to try it for ourselves. Unfortunately, a trip to Thailand for dinner is a little beyond our budget, no matter how good the food may be. So instead, we hit up our local Denny’s branch, where you can get a plate of Massaman curry right now.
Since it was a U.S.-based media organization that crowned Massaman curry the tastiest food on the planet, we decided to enlist an American palette for our taste test. Thankfully, comedian and friend of the site Ike was happy to lend a tongue.
Ike had never tried Massaman before, but he likes curry in general. He’s particularly fond of curry chain CoCo Ichi, as is the requirement for being an expat in Japan.
Denny’s has added Massaman to their menus for a limited time as part of its Ethnic Fair, which kicked off on May 27. Aside from the curry that brought us in the door, you can also order dishes such as Vietnamese pho rice noodles and ga pao gai, Thai-style stir-fried chicken with holy basil.
A few minutes after Ike put in his order for an 894-yen (US $8.85) plate of Massaman, the aroma of the dish proceeded its arrival at the table. “It smells great!” he remarked. The curry looked just as good, too, with a mound of chicken and vegetables topped with crushed peanuts.
Compared to Thai green and red curries, Massaman isn’t nearly as fiery. As a matter of fact, even if you’re not a fan of the distinct spiciness of a lot of Thai food, there’s still a chance you’d enjoy the milder Massaman, although it still has a definite kick to it.
So, did Ike enjoy his first experience with Massaman curry?
▼ Let’s put it this way: He didn’t clean his plate because his parents forced him to.
“The sweetness of the peanuts and coconut milk work really well, and there’s just the right amount of spice,” he explained between bites. “I can see why this is CNN’s pick!”
Consider us impressed at Denny’s for branching out, and also doing a fine job at it. It’s good to know that there’s something on the menu for those times when you’re craving something a little different.
Now, if we could only satisfy our curiosity as to whether or not Denny’s in Thailand can make tasty Japanese-style curry.