One of Hokkaido’s other contributions to the modern Japanese culinary repertoire is the soup curry. An interesting blend of foods that delivers what I found to be a rather curious meal, a preconceived flavour appeared in my mind when I heard that a Japanese soup curry was a thing, a flavour resembling the only other Japanese curry flavour I know of, the sauce used with Katsu curry. Yet as I saw my shrimp, bacon and tomato soup curry in front of me I could see instantly the katsu curry flavour I was expecting was not going to be the flavour palate I was about to eat. Neither was the Katsu curry flavour visually present in my partners chicken and vegetable soup curry.
Visually there was a lot going on in either bowl, the chicken and vegetable soup curry with its crown of tempura vegetables perched on the poached chicken leg lurking just under the surface of the murky liquid. These crispy vegetables on the surface didn’t stay that way for long, the went the way of the hard boiled egg and lid their way into the vegetable heavy broth below, this soup came with a side of rice for some reason. Where the shrimp, bacon and tomato soup curry had a deeper red colour the rather curious scoop of mashed potato dominated the surface, almost hiding the prawns, collard greens and egg beneath. The additional pumpkin, tomato and potato that lurked in the bowls depths were entirely hidden.
Flavour wise both soups were different to each other, I feel the shrimp, bacon and tomato soup curry was the better of the two, reminiscent of a good strong prawn bisque bolstered with flavour from fresh tomato and spiced with a good slug of chilli. Whereas the chicken and vegetable soup curry was more reminiscent of a gumbo, with a piquant, almost sour nature and plenty of spice. It had a slight seafood taste that was enriched by the presence of chicken.
I found these soups to be rather curious, rather than delicious. That is not to say that they were not tasty, but perhaps that they suit the local palate better. I did wonder if these soups were good examples of the Hokkaido soup curry, but am not willing to commit another appetite to find out. I assume they are, the restaurant being close to our accommodation, far from the city centre.