You would think showers would be limited to April. Alas, it appears that April and May showers, will (hopefully) bring June flowers. In need of comfort food during these rainy May days, my colleagues and I trekked up to Gough Street to sample a Sapporo-an specialty- spicy soup curry!
Sama has a welcoming feel with casual décor and light wooden panels surrounding you. The entrance hosts a very hungry looking bear and this theme is consistent with the menu.
Traditional Sapporo curry shops allow you to choose the soup base, ingredients, spice level and side. Sama is no different, but they have a very intimidating rating scale of 1-30 (1-5 being very mild or ‘Baby bear’, 6-15 being medium spicy or ‘Adult Bear’ and 16-30 being extremely hot or ‘Crazy Bear’).
Being quite cocky, we all thought we could go for a level 15 or Adult bear as it is affectionately named in Sama. The waitress looked over at us sceptically and asked ‘Have you been here before? If not, have level 10, cannot give back spice’. With that kernel of wisdom, we all chose the level 10 spiciness (still an adult bear).
For those who are brave or crazy enough to try the crazy bear curry i.e. level 30 and finish it off can have their picture up in the hall of fame and a 20 HKD voucher.
The main difference between Sama’s curry broth and standard curries is that Sama uses ramen style broth as the base and then adds the flavours you have chosen- either tomato, coconut or prawn. They then add the curry spices, making the curry more complex and full bodied in flavour.
The standard side is a bowl of Japanese rice, but you can substitute this for udon or ramen noodles for an additional cost of 12 HKD.
The Ocean Trophy (seafood) and Vegetarian Bear we ordered both had the coconut base which actually includes some tomato as well for a more balanced flavour. The consistency was a little thick owing to the coconut. My colleague noted that they were not overly generous with the seafood but the curry soup itself really hit the spot and the level 10 spice was perfect.
My order was the marathon chicken (leg) with a tomato soup base. The consistency wasn’t as thick as the coconut and I could feel the spice more as I didn’t have the sweetness from the coconut. I was impressed that they include the Japanese ‘onsen’ egg which is supposedly cooked in the hot springs and promotes long life.
Verdict: If you have a massive appetite and a hankering for spicy food, Sama will definitely suit your needs. With curries ranging from 78 HKD to 128 HKD, this ends up being a reasonable meal for Central. I however prefer the less soupy Japanese katsu curry over the supu kare (soup curry). Our very own foodbaby, Vinyee has recommended Campers in Tin Hau. I have visited the one is Osaka and it was AMAZING! No tailoring of dishes with the spiciness but so satisfying.
51A Gough Street
Ph: 852 2191 8850