CoCo Ichibanya and Family Mart give us a curry meal we an hold in the palm of our hand.

CoCo Ichibanya is Japan’s favorite curry rice restaurant, but it’s really the first half of “curry rice” that’s earned it the love of fans nationwide, plus at its overseas branches. Sure, the rice is fine, but CoCo Ichi’s delicious curry roux is what really makes your taste buds sing.

So it stands to reason that CoCo Ichi curry should also taste great in different applications too, and attempting to prove that theory is Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart.

The newest temptation in Family Mart’s steamed bun case is the Super Spicy Cheese Curry Bun, made in cooperation with CoCo Ichi. As is the unofficial rule with curry buns, the bun itself is an orangish yellow, but look closely and you’ll spot flecks of red in the dough too. Those are CoCo Ichi’s Tobikara Spice, a spicy powdered pepper condiment the restaurant places in canisters on its tables for diners who want their curry to have a extra kick.

And it definitely does the trick here, too. Upon taking a bite of the CoCo Ichi bun our taste tester Yayoi Saginomiya, who enjoys spice levels above and beyond what Japanese curry usually offers, said “This is what it must feel like to breathe fire.”

The Super Spicy Cheese Curry Bun isn’t trying to beat you into submission with sheer spice, though. The baseline flavor is still unmistakably CoCo Ichi’s signature curry, with a strong savory sensation and even a bit of sweetness, enhanced with a dash of black pepper and, of course, cheese, or, more accurately, cheeses, since this is a three-variety mix with mozzarella making it presence the most felt of the trio. The cheese is nice and melty, but not so stretchy as to make eating the bun a mess.

All in all, the 130-yen (US$1.20) Super Spicy Cheese Curry Bun is a great choice if you’re looking for something more flavorful or filing than a standard pork bun, plus, unlike with a plate of curry rice, you can easily eat it with one hand on the go.

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