{Japan: Eat} A ‘Topping’ Good Time At Go! Go! Curry! In Sendai

go go curry l 2

Go! Go! Curry!’s most famous dish: the Major Curry. Toppings Galore!

In a Nutshell:

  • Where: Go! Go! Curry!, a 5-minute walk from Sendai Station
  • When: October 10, 2013
  • *Notes: Website (Japanese), named after Hideki Matsui’s number, stores throughout Japan with 4 branches in New York City

Full Report:

On our second day in Sendai, M and I were walking down a shopping arcade near the station when we stumbled upon a sign that stopped me dead in my tracks.  Bright yellow with an angry looking gorilla on it, I would be able to recognize that logo anywhere: Go! Go! Curry!

Go! Go! Curry! is an immensely popular curry restaurant chain in Japan that features large servings at very reasonable prices.  The store’s name is derived from Hideki Matsui’s number (55) when he was playing with the Yomiuri Giants baseball team (in Japanese, 5 = Go, so 55 = Go Go).   The chain has gotten so popular that it has expanded beyond Japan and opened up stores in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brazil, and the United States (4 stores in NYC —- unfortunately very far from where I live in Southern California!).

Even though we’d just had curry the night before at a tongue restaurant, we weren’t about to turn down the chance to eat at our favorite curry chain.  So we trooped down the steps to the basement level where Go! Go! Curry! was located.  Right outside the door, sitting on a bench, was a stuffed version of the chain’s mascot, Gorry, waiting to greet customers.

go go curry sign

go go curry stairs

go go curry entrance

go go curry gorilla

Similar to many other inexpensive chain restaurants in Japan, Go! Go! Curry! has a ticket vending machine through which customers order and pay for their food.  On the wall next to the machine were a number of posters advertising some of their more popular dishes.  But I already knew which one I wanted —- the famous Major Curry!  I had seen other people eating it before but I’d never attempted to try it myself.  This dish comes loaded with every topping the store has to offer: chicken katsu, pork katsu, boiled eggs, sausages, and fried shrimp.  Better yet, the store was having a special that day and the price had been slashed from 1500 Yen to 1000 Yen.  What a deal!

M wasn’t feeling quite as hungry as I was so he opted for a simple pork katsu curry.  After obtaining our tickets from the machine, a worker came by, took them from us and rushed off to the kitchen.  Because it was towards the end of the lunch hour there were only a few other people in the store, all salarymen.

go go curry vending machine 2

go go curry signs

go go curry vending machine

go go curry tickets

go go curry inside

go go curry kitchen

Within minutes our plates were brought out to us.  When I saw mine I wondered if perhaps my eyes had been bigger than my stomach.  It was huger than I remembered and when I picked it up it seemed to weigh a ton!  M shook his head and said I would never be able to finish that thing.  Determined to prove him wrong, I piled a bunch of bright red fukujinzuke on my dish and went to work.  From the pictures, you can’t tell that there was rice on the dish but, trust me, it was there and plenty of it!  For the first few minutes, I was in deep-fried carnivore curry heaven, everything tasted so good!  But, all too soon, I started to get full and I was dismayed to see that I hadn’t made much of a dent in my plate.

Out of pity, M took the majority of my katsu, leaving me with a much more manageable amount of food.  I polished off the remaining toppings and finished my lunch with only a bit of rice and cabbage left on my plate.  Of course, I was stuffed to the gills and if I remember correctly all I was able to eat for dinner later that night was a small order of shoyu-butter fries at a beer hall.  But it was worth the stomachache I was leaving the restaurant with, it was truly the best curry I ever had in my life!

go go curry counter stuff

fukujinzuke

go go curry m

go go curry l

Object in picture is much larger than it appears.