Friday, June 8, 2012

Curry Shop Sakaiya カレーショップ酒井屋 022-227-7976

Address:  仙台市青葉区一番町2-4-17 ブルーリボンビル2F.   Located on Ichibancho between Aoba-dori and Minami-machi dori, about 50 meters from McDonald’s and on the opposite side.
Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.
Open:  Every day from 10:30 am to 9:30 pm.
If you’ve walked down this part of Ichibancho I’m sure you’ve seen this restaurant’s big, yellow, canopy sign staring down at you.  This mom & pop operation has been around for over 50 years, although I’m not sure whether the current mom & pop are the original mom & pop.  But they could be, as they have the demeanor of people who have been doing this same job, every single day, for their whole entire lives.  They weren’t mean to me, but nor were they what you would call friendly, either.  I think I’ve grown accustomed to the overly polite staff of Japanese restaurants who enthusiastically welcome you with a boisterous いらっしゃいませ!  That ain’t happening here, bud.   

But on to the food!  This curry house offers a number of curries including dry curries and some with brown rice, which seems to be one of their specialties.  Their set menus include a mini curry with a serving of soba.  
I went with the 中辛 chicken curry for 650 yen, which came with rice, a small cabbage salad and miso soup.  
The curry was just right, not too spicy where your mouth is burning but just spicy enough to get the sweat beads forming.  I was impressed by the amount of chicken that was in the curry, and by the wonderful taste!  I helped myself to some sweetened pearl onions and 福神漬け that were placed on the counters, and those flavors went nicely with the spices of the curry.

Chicken Curry

The miso soup was just okay, nothing special about it but at least they didn’t screw it up.

Fair to Middling Miso

Sakaiya also boasts of blending a variety of fresh juices including apple, carrot, and cabbage.  I felt a bit adventurous and tried the fresh apple juice (sad, really, when drinking apple juice becomes an adventure).  The apple juice was sweet, but not too sweet, and a bit foamy on top, which reminded me of an Orange Julius (anyone remember these in So. Cal?).

Fresh & Frothy Apple Juice

I enjoyed sitting by the window looking out on the pedestrian traffic walking along Ichibancho.  Actually, there aren’t a lot of seating options.  You either sit at the counter facing the window, or you sit at the counter not facing the window.  There are no tables.  Because of this feature, or lack there of, it appears that their demographic are students and salarymen, not couples looking for a romantic dinner (or someone who wants to sit at a table).  
I had always wanted to eat at Curry Shop Sakaiya, and I’m glad I did.  I walked out of their completely satisfied:  a good hearty meal for a reasonable price!  What more could anyone ask for?  Okay, maybe a table with some friendly conversation, but oh well.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of dough but want a decent meal, I recommend this curry shop.  It’s worth a try!

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