August 1, 2021


Do it with Food.

A Popular Japanese Curry Chain’s Very first U.S. Area Will Debut in San Francisco

4 min read

As everyone who has watched even a stray episode of Terrace Dwelling knows, people today in Japan eat a whole lot of curry — to the position that the dish has a robust scenario as the country’s most broadly eaten each day comfort and ease food items.

a piece of cake on a plate

© Hinoya Curry Usa

In the U.S., however, Japanese curry hasn’t taken off to that extent, Northern California natives Barry Louie and Thomas Uehara noticed immediately after spending the earlier 25 years dwelling and operating in Japan. This month, the two will consider to improve that: They’re opening the initially U.S. outlet of Hinoya Curry, one of Tokyo’s most well-liked curry chains, in San Francisco.

Situated at 3347 Fillmore Road in the Marina district, at the former website of a Mac’d rapidly-casual macaroni and cheese cafe, Hinoya Curry will open for business enterprise as early as this Saturday, February 13. To Uehara and Louie’s understanding, it will be the to start with set up Japanese curry brand name from Japan to open up a restaurant in the Bay Location.

a person standing in front of a building: Thomas Uehara and Barry Louie in front of the first U.S. location of Hinoya Curry

© Hinoya Curry Usa
Thomas Uehara and Barry Louie in entrance of the 1st U.S. area of Hinoya Curry

Uehara tells Eater SF that during new visits to San Francisco, he was struck by how quickly Japanese foods culture experienced expanded — how ramen outlets, for instance, experienced taken the Bay Spot by storm. Restaurants specializing Japanese curry, on the other hand, even now appeared to be a relative rarity, even with the achievement of a handful of unbiased places — Muracci’s in the Tenderloin, for instance. But in Japan, Louie and Uehara say, curry is just as popular and ubiquitous as ramen. The two foodstuff each occupy the exact same tasty, cheap consolation-foods market.

So, Louie and Uehara asked on their own, why could not they make Japanese curry the up coming significant thing in the U.S.? And since Hinoya serves a quite common model of the relatively sweeter, milder design and style of curry that’s preferred in Japan, they considered it would be the perfect ambassador for the delicacies.

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“We want to make Japanese curry additional mainstream — like ramen or sushi or wonton noodles,” Louie states.

In Japan, Uehara points out, much and absent the greatest curry chain is Coco Ichibanya, which has more than 1,400 areas around the world, like a handful in Southern California. It is, in phrases of the scale of the firm, like “the McDonald’s of curry,” Uehara claims. In accordance to Uehara and Louie, Hinoya is the 2nd most important brand name, but with just above 60 areas, most of them in the Tokyo place, it isn’t pretty as much of a mega-chain. The restaurant is properly regarded adequate, for occasion, that it is a person of two curry restaurants that the popular Japanese cooking site Just A person Cookbook suggests it to men and women browsing Tokyo.

It also has the luster of a championship pedigree: Kanda is Tokyo’s most famous curry district — “a war zone for curry chains,” with hundreds of shops concentrated in the area, Uehara clarifies. Each calendar year, the district holds a “Curry Grand Prix,” and in 2013, when it was continue to a relative newcomer with only a couple of retailers in Tokyo, Hinoya gained the major prize.

“The style of my grandmother’s curry was familiar considering the fact that my childhood, but when I ate curry dishes at various sites, I understood my grandmother’s curry was the most effective,” founder Masaru Hiura advised the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper at the time, conveying the inspiration for his recipe.

It is that curry recipe — a intently guarded method — that will be the SF outpost of Hinoya Curry’s key place of difference, Uehara claims, noting that the shop will have the roux blocks it’ll use shipped directly from Japan. The foundation of the curry will be a beef broth, and the full point will cook dinner in the pot for any place from 48 to 100 hours depending on the dimensions of the batch.

“The first perception that you have [when eating Hinoya’s curry] is that it is in fact sweet,” Uehara says. “The spice kicks in on next or third bite.” But he says the curry encompasses all of the distinct flavors: sweet, bitter, spicy, salty, umami.

A lot of of Hinoya’s Japanese places serve the curry in a broad range of formats — mapo-model curry, baked cheese curry, or curry topped with a uncooked egg, in addition to the conventional curry rice. The San Francisco shop, on the other hand, will stick with a incredibly concise menu, specifically when it initially opens: curry rice, pork katsu curry, chicken katsu curry, and hen karaage over curry — just all those four dishes to go with a assortment of Japanese beer and sake. Rates will be similar to what diners would shell out at a ramen store in San Francisco, Uehara says — $12 to $!6 for most menu items, topping out at around $20.

For now, Hinoya Curry will open up for takeout and out of doors eating only, but Louie notes that the restaurant is really pretty roomy in contrast to your regular curry store, where by diners are usually “banging elbows” with the person seated upcoming to them at the counter. Once indoor eating is allowed, the cafe will be capable to seat about 49 folks inside — and it’ll start a additional in depth menu that will consist of vegetarian possibilities.

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