You all know that I’ve been a sucker for Japanese-style curry for the longest time; it’s a dish that I prepare at home quite often. Strangely enough, though, it’s something I don’t usually order at Japanese restaurants. I am not sure why this is so, but whenever I do order Japanese curry outside the house, it’s always a toss-up between the curry rice at JiPan or the torikatsu kare-don over at Bento Box shown here.
The torikatsu kare-don is a literal translation of its Japanese name: a breaded and deep-fried chicken cutlet (a thigh fillet in this case) on top of a bowl of fluffy white rice; a sweetish brown curry sauce is poured on top with extra sauce on the side.
If you’re a fan of Thai-style sweet chili sauce or even the sweetish tang of Mang Tomas’s Sarsa ng Litson (commercially available bottled liver sauce for lechon), the sweet curry at Bento Box will suit your tastebuds just fine. While it does have the usual nuances intrinsic to Japanese curry – hints of cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg – it has a sweetish counterpoint that helps it go down with rice – and a lot of rice, if I may add! I have an inkling that the sweetness comes from a blend of apples, honey (or possibly brown sugar), and carrots.
The chicken cutlet comes beautifully crisp and is certainly not greasy. The crunch is a pleasant contrast to the softness of the rice and the gooey texture of the sauce. At Bento Box, this dish comes garnished with crisp takuan (sweet pickled daikon radish) which adds an element of tart-ish sharpness to one’s meal.