Family Mart? 7-Eleven? Or a dark horse contender? Join us on this steaming hot konbini odyssey.

After giving us his verdict on the best convenience store Pizza Man, which is what pizza-flavoured manju (steamed buns) are called in Japan, our reporter P.K. Sanjun found himself hungry for more man.

So he decided to re-evaluate the top convenience store Curry Man currently on the market — an important task seeing as 90 percent of steamed buns consumed by Japanese people are purchased from the humble konbini.

P.K. was keen to find out what fillings lay in store for his curry-loving taste buds, so he headed out to three of the country’s top convenience store chains to try out their signature Curry Man offerings.

His first stop was 7-Eleven, where he picked up a Chicken Curry & Cheese steamed bun for 151 yen (US$1.32).

This Curry Man has been created under the supervision of the head chef from legendary curry shop Shinjuku Nakamuraya. As you might expect from such expert supervision, the amount of cheese here was perfect and the curry had a spicy yet mellow finish.

However, P.K. felt that the curry bun as a whole had a slightly lustreless flavour. The sweetness of the dough and the mellowness of the cheese didn’t carry the curry to its maximum potential, making it difficult for any element to stand out as a highlight. In the past, P.K. had thought this was a delicious bun, but sadly, after this tasting, he just wasn’t impressed by it anymore.

▼ Next up, P.K. made his way to Family Mart, to try their Cheese Curry Bun for 130 yen.

While 7-Eleven’s Curry Man has been created with the help of Shinjuku Nakamuraya, Family Mart has enlisted the supervision of the CoCo Ichibanya curry restaurant chain. Surprisingly, though, despite the professional input, neither of these buns impressed P.K. with their flavour.

Though the Family Mart bun had more cheese than 7-Eleven’s, it still missed a beat in terms of overall flavour, as the curry here was slightly sharp and spicy, but not particularly well-rounded.

▼ Cheese was the strongest ingredient here, which makes it a good option for cheese lovers.

▼ Finally, P.K. swung by Mini Stop to try their Steamed Butter Chicken Curry Bun for 129 yen.

With its tasty butter chicken curry filling, this one was the clear winner for P.K. The best thing about it was the direction of the taste was clear — the butter chicken was the star, and it was well supported by the chewy texture of the bun, which didn’t deflate like the others when he bit into it.

▼ The chunks of chicken were satisfyingly large and juicy as well, making for a well-rounded Curry Man that was the most impressive out of all three.

P.K. was actually surprised that Mini Stop, a chain that often sits in the shadow of its more popular brethren, took top prize in the Curry Man showdown. When it comes to their steamed pork buns, though…well that taste test reveals a very different result.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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