A unique katsu curry that’s only available at one place in all of Japan right now.  

Japan has a number of well-known restaurant chains that serve up quick-and-easy budget meals, with some specialising in beef bowls, others Japanese curry, and others tonkatsu (fried breaded pork cutlets).

When it comes to that last dish on that list, Matsunoya is the chain that comes to mind, but now it’s not necessarily the pork that everyone’s talking about, as one branch is serving up a special curry that’s got tongues wagging.

Matsunoya shared the news in a tweet on Twitter that read: “Experimental introduction of black curry. Even in the midst of intense spiciness, you can feel the ‘umami’ that pairs well with pork loin cutlet…Please wait a while for it to be introduced in all stores!”

While Matsunoya specialises in tonkatsu, it also offers a number of katsu curry dishes on its regular menu, but none look quite like this. Making it even more mysterious is the fact that it’s only available at one store in all of Japan, and after doing a bit of detective work we were able to make out the words “Matsunoya Mitaka Branch” on the meal ticket in the photo, so that’s where we headed to try it out.

▼ The branch is located just outside the north exit of JR Mitaka Station in Tokyo.

Though the curry is hard to come by, it’s prominently displayed on the ticket vending machine, listed as “Loin Cutlet Black Curry” and priced at 790 yen (US$5.20).

▼ The dish is a “店舗限定おすすめ” (“Store-exclusive Recommendation”).

▼ The black curry can  be ordered with tonkatsu, karaage, croquettes, or fried prawns.

We ordered the black katsu curry, with a side of cabbage for an additional 80 yen, and when it arrived, we couldn’t believe how black it was.

▼ It was so black we couldn’t even tell what was in it.

The surface was so dark and glossy that the ceiling lights reflected off it, making it even more difficult to see what was inside. It was like a mysterious curry swamp, and we were keen to dive into it.

▼ This photo of the black curry will be even harder to see if you’re viewing it on a dark screen.

Dipping our spoon into the mix didn’t help to solve the mystery of the black curry, but as we gingerly tasted it, we found it was surprisingly spicy.

For some reason, the black hues of the meal didn’t alert our brains to it being spicy, so the intense heat of it came as a shock. It was a nice surprise, though, as it was a delicious partner for the fried pork cutlet, which was crispy and meaty, and as we ate our way through the meal, we thought a curry this intense was a perfect match for fried foods.

The only drawback to the meal was its appearance, as it didn’t look particularly appetising, but hey, for adventurous eaters like us, this was part of the appeal.

Once you get over the look of it and actually taste it, this is a curry you’ll want to eat again and again. It’s a great dish that’ll definitely pass the experimental stage so keep an eye for it when it comes to other branches of Matsunoya soon!

Restaurant information

Matsunoya Mitaka Branch / 松のや 三鷹店
Address: Tokyko-to, Musashino-shi, Nakamachi 1-14-5
Open 24 hours

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