Ah, Soup Curry!

Living in Japan, we have come to love the variety of food. Japanese curry is very popular, and one of our favorites. This week, we made our first trip to Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido. And we’ve discovered — soup curry!

Soup curry originated in Hokkaido, and it’s a favorite here. Many restaurants compete to serve the best version. Basically, soup curry is a much thinner broth than other Japanese curry. It comes with vegetables, rice, and various other options like chicken or pork.


Ordering soup curry is a multi-step process. First, choose the soup. Then the specific dish — tonight, I had a seven-mushrooms soup curry, and my wife had a vegetable variety. Then choose the spice level — mild to mouth-meltingly hot. In the restaurant we visited tonight, there were six levels of spice. I had level 3, and it was as spicy as I would want to tackle. You also select the amount of rice you want, and other optional toppings.

The place we went tonight was called Garaku – it happened to be close to our hotel, and easy to walk to on a cold and rainy night. There was a line at the door, and we waited about 10 minutes for a table. It was worth it!

The place is a very trendy cafe, with old signs and art on the walls, and ’70s and ’80s American rock ‘n roll music. The servers were fast and cordial, and the menu bilingual, so easy to navigate. Our food came quickly, and it was really good. All in all, a great evening out. Oh, and the price? The total for two dinners was just over 2,100 JPY — a little under $20.

If you have an opportunity to visit Hokkaido, we strongly recommend a stop at a soup curry restaurant. You won’t be disappointed!

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My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company. UPDATE 2023... After 4-1/2 years in Tokyo, we returned to Atlanta. Now we are heading to London for a three year job assignment!

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