Bubs is immensely proud of the fact that he can eat curry though he neglects to tell people that it's specifically Japanese curry that he can only eat (sweeter and milder than our local variants) and he'd been begging to try Kai Curry Bar for quite some time.
We dropped by for dinner last weekend but as it only opens at 6pm, we still had an hour to kill so Bubs was more than delighted to spend it at Creameal, just next door. It was thankfully quiet so we lounged there for a while.
I love the freshly made waffles and unique ice cream flavours there. This was bandung (rose flavoured), marshmallow and salted gula Melaka.
Kai Curry Bar is a cosy restaurant that specialises in, yes, Japanese curry. They make their own spice blends and gravies without any artificial flavourings or MSG. Vegetarian options with veg-based curry bases are also available. The curry bar is named after the owner's son and Kai's drawings are used literally everywhere to add whimsy - from the walls, to the overhead panels and on the menu.
You're given the option of selecting either a pork or vegetarian based curry and we went with pork for all our dishes. Each dish comes with a complimentary scoop of chilled mashed potato salad plus a jar of , which we thought was a pleasant and welcoming touch. I personally loved the small jar of fukujinzuke, Japanese pickles, and took generous helpings of them.
Hubs choose the seared chicken curry, Bubs went with a small portion of the katsu curry. Hubs commented that the seared chicken was nicely done but conceded that the katsu was much better, it was coated with the right amount of breadcrumbs and fried to crispy perfection.
Kai's curry was wonderfully fragrant, a lot less sweet than the commercial ones at chain restaurants with a stronger spice taste. It wasn't tongue scorching but Bubs - who can't even stand black pepper - was gulping water every few mouths.
I picked the udon curry because I'm a huge fan of thick, chewy noodles and felt that the gravy was an amazing accompaniment to them. There were chunks of meat and vegetables in the soup and it was a hearty meal. It definitely had a nice, homecooked taste to it.
Kai Curry Bar
Opening hours: 11:00am – 3:00pm; 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Closed on Mondays and Sundays
Phone: 04-226 0322
Address: 15, Jalan Phuah Hin Leong, 10050 Penang.