I love me a good curry. Whether it’s Indian, Thai, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Japanese, or even one that originated in the UK, I can’t get enough of the hot stuff. So when I heard about hip new opening Tiger Curry, without even knowing much about it, it quickly climbed to the top of my list of must-try restaurants.
Located on Pennington Street in Causeway Bay, Tiger Curry is a collaboration between Sushi Kuu’s chef and owner Satoru Mukogawa and Buzz Concepts. Chef Satoru wasn’t impressed by the Japanese curries available in Hong Kong and, reminiscing about the curries he grew up eating in Osaka, decided to replicate this for the curry lovers of Hong Kong.
Whilst Sushi Kuu is high end, expensive and glamorous, Tiger Curry is the complete opposite; it’s a very casual hangout with a simple and very reasonably priced menu. The restaurant is hard to miss, with its grey camouflaged wall that extends three storeys high, painted by Hong Kong-based street artist 4Get. The interior is equally cool, whilst the back terrace, with an urban garden feel to it, is the main attraction.
Our meal began with some crispy cheese mochi. Filled with gooey, creamy Camembert, these were absolutely heavenly, without being too rich. Any Western restaurant might have served them with some kind of cranberry dip, but in my opinion they didn’t need it. The crispy fried chicken meanwhile was indeed as crispy as promised, served in a sweet, sticky sauce.
Thinking we should probably have some sort of greens to balance out all the deep-fried treats, we tried the Japanese salad, a lovely mix of spinach, carrot, onion, seaweed and cucumber, generously drizzled in a deliciously moreish sesame dressing.
Many Japanese curries in Hong Kong contain a very simple blend of about 5 or so spices and a lot of MSG. Chef Satoru’s version contains a unique blend of 28 spices and not a trace of MSG. The sauce, which is used in all but one of the curries on the menu, takes three days to perfect, giving it more depth than your average curry sauce, with layers of sweet, spicy and deliciousness. I tried the deep-fried jumbo prawn curry, which was quite simply comfort food at its very best. Whilst I’m not normally a fan of Japanese pickles, Tiger Curry’s house-pickled radishes, served with no artificial colourings, were a lovely complement to the sweet, spicy curry.
The deep-fried pork chop curry was also excellent. I often find the pork used in this dish to be fatty, gristly and unpleasant. At Tiger Curry, however, where they use kurobuta pork, this was far from the case. Although personally I like rice with my curry, if you want to change things up a bit, you can substitute the rice for pasta, as well as add strange toppings like cheese and egg; I’ll stick with the classic, thanks!
For dessert, we tried a scoop of each flavour of ice cream – taro, black sesame and sea salt. The flavours were a little mild and watered down, but I particularly enjoyed the sea salt, which had that lovely sweet-savoury contrast that I can’t get enough of at the moment.
As I mentioned, prices are very fair at Tiger Curry, with starters around $40 and curries all under $100. Service is friendly, but it can be a little hit and miss as to whether they’ll understand your order. Although its location is a little far from my regular haunts, I have a feeling Tiger Curry is the sort of place I will crave from time to time when I’m looking for a plate of wholesome comfort food…although I’ll probably need to make sure I do a good workout beforehand!
G/F, 14 Pennington Street
Tel: +852 2511 1051