>> Goemon Curry | Eat the World NYC

04 December 2019

Goemon Curry


With so much love for and so many return visits to Cocoron Soba next door over the years, it was actually quite amazing that it took so long to finally try Goemon Curry, an offshoot from the same group. What looks like a large restaurant from the street is actually just a tiny sliver of a place that has barely any depth. Customers sit at a few shared tables often requiring a wait, but single diners can usually find a spot at one of the counter seats at the window.

Eating alone especially makes the restaurant feel a little like Tokyo, with polite jostling constant, good spirits and smells. Just don't look in the direction of any trash piled up on the street, or maybe just close your eyes completely.

Despite having the same ownership, Goemon ended up impressing even more than expected and it is a shame to have wasted over four years not coming here for their various curries. Now it will just be an internal fight each time to choose the orange or the black entrance, soba or curry.

Whether sharing this meal with friends or not, start out with the renkon chips ($5, above), which will not fill you up before the curry. These very thinly sliced pieces of lotus root are ultra-crispy and have a deeply satisfying crunch. The saltiness is pleasantly low, leaving room for an uptick in flavors later in the meal.

Goemon believes in umami, the deep flavors created with dashi, so it might be natural to start with their standard bearer premium classic curry ($14.50 for small order, above), which can be served with potatoes and carrots for $1 more. The slices of chicken katsu at the back are a very worthy $4 upgrade. The standard Japanese white rice goes better than the multigrain rice they offer, especially with the classic which is made from a roux of chicken and beef.

Their menu goes on to start insulting Indian curries for some reason, insinuating that they are too oily and without depth. This seems to be unnecessary, as thankfully the world has a place for both. Certainly there is a lot of room to compare and contrast the different styles, but degrading another culture's food is not the way.

In the progression of curry evolution, the next step will be mama's taste IE KEI curry ($14 for large order, above). This roux still uses chicken but pork replaces the flavors of beef and the liquid is more creamy. Slices of meat populate the plate, while the menu says "Very decent taste you want to eat occasionally." This is an undersell, as the style is fantastic and warrants more than occasional enjoyment.

For the maximization of flavor and the final step in your curry evolution, turn to the yakuzen soup curry section of the menu. Yakuzen is usually a type of cooking associated with a very healthy lifestyle and often with only vegetables, but the latter part of that formula is not the case here. The broth contains chicken, bonito fish-based stock, turmeric, and a claim of 16 spices that are inspired by Sri Lankan curries. Apparently they waffle on their praise for South Asian cuisines.

The yakuzen soup curry with pork ($19 for small order) was the kind of dish that makes you look around and furl your eyebrows in disbelief at your friends after tasting. It really picks up and enhances the cuts of pork belly, if that is even possible. It will be hard not to revert to this dish on future visits, even when craving the curry and rice standards.

Finish off with a thick slice of black sesame cheesecake ($7.50, below), which on this occasion was practically inhaled by a group of three. While both delicious components, the cheesecake and crust weirdly do not go well together, the dish is better deconstructed and enjoyed in separate bites.

NOLITA Manhattan
Goemon Curry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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