Kuro Kare: SMU eatery run by ex fine-dining chefs with 36-hour Japanese curry from $5.90

If you ask me, schools are some of the best places to find the most delicious underrated eateries and restaurants. These F&B eateries are hidden within local universities and polytechnics, with wallet-friendly prices and dishes made to be filling yet affordable for everyday students. Kuro Kare is one such eatery, tucked away in Singapore Management University (SMU).

Kuro Kare - storefront

Kuro Kare, located within the School of Information Systems, is a store specialising in Japanese curry. The eatery was opened by a team of ex-fine dining chefs who have worked in high-end restaurants, and their aim is to bring affordable yet high quality dishes to the public.

Kuro Kare - interior

Kuro Kare’s interior is decked out in snappy modern posters, giving the space a vibrant and fun atmosphere. Though the eatery is located within SMU, members of the public are welcome to dine too. Just be sure to avoid peak hours, as you may find yourself competing with hordes of hungry students.

What I tried at Kuro Kare

Kuro Kare - kuro fried chicken

Kuro Kare is most known for its Japanese curry rice dishes — after all, its name means “black curry” in Japanese. The curry takes a whopping 36 hours to make, and the chefs have a goal of creating the best Japanese curry in Singapore.

The most popular dish is K.F.C.: Kuro Fried Chicken (S$9.90+ for SMU students, S$11.90+ for public), a plate of curry rice topped with pieces of crispy fried chicken cutlet.

Kuro Kare - melty beef

Kuro Kare’s 36 hour curry was extremely commendable. Compared to the curries from most other restaurants, which adopt more vibrant orange shades, Kuro Kare’s curry had a deep brown hue. It was super rich and full-bodied, with a multi-dimensional aroma and an addictive savouriness. It wasn’t too salty on its own either, and pairing it with the rice did not diminish the intensity of its robustness.

Kuro Kare - kuro fried chicken

Each slice of chicken was hefty and thick, with a gorgeous golden brown breading and glistening white flesh. As I bit into the chicken, I was delighted by the variety of textures provided by the super crispy skin and the tender, slightly chewy meat.

Kuro Kare - kuro fried chicken

Dipping the chicken into the curry further elevated its flavours, as the rich, savoury curry enhanced the more neutral taste of the poultry meat.

Kuro Kare - melty beef

The next curry rice option we had was Melty Beef (S$14.90+ for SMU students, S$16.90+ for public), topped with 48 hour black Angus short ribs.

Kuro Kare - melty beef

True to its name, the Melty Beef was indeed, melty. The short ribs, which had been cooked for a total of 48 hours, was super tender and tore apart easily. It was not tough at all, and had a lovely melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Kuro Kare - melty beef

The black curry was the perfect pairing, as it supplemented the short ribs with plenty of rich, savoury flavour. If you’re a beef lover, definitely give this a go!

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Kuro Kare - umami tuna belly

Aside from their famous curry dishes, Kuro Kare also offers delicious side dishes, starting with the Umami Tuna Belly (S$13.90+ for SMU students, S$15.90+ for public), a 100% tuna belly tartare with a side of seaweed crisps.

Kuro Kare - umami tuna belly

Raw seafood lovers, this one is for you. The tuna belly was fresh and juicy, and the generous layer of tobiko on top further enhanced the strong umami notes of the dish.

While the seaweed crisps on the side were light and crispy, the Umami Tuna Belly was better enjoyed on its own, in my opinion.

Kuro Kare - seaweed chicken

Seaweed Chicken (S$7.90+ for SMU students, S$9.90+ for public) is one of my favourite finger foods, so I was delighted to see it on Kuro Kare’s menu. The eatery provides a zhng-ed up version of this popular snack, served with thousand island salad.

Kuro Kare - seaweed chicken

The thousand island salad was made using thinly sliced pieces of red cabbage, which were crunchy and refreshing. The seaweed chicken was nothing different from your typical seaweed chicken, save for the drizzle of mayo on top. If you’re craving seaweed chicken, Kuro Kare’s version is familiar and tasty, albeit a little pricey.

Kuro Kare - prawn toast

I was impressed with Kuro Kare’s Prawn Toast (S$7.90+ for SMU students, S$9.90+ for public), which were crispy pieces of bread encasing prawns, served with mayonnaise, tobiko and sweet sauce.

Kuro Kare - prawn toast

Biting into the crunchy toasts revealed juicy prawns within. I loved dipping the toast into the mayonnaise and tobiko, which made the treat even more delectable and creamy.

Kuro Kare - prawn toast

The sauce on the side was sweet and slightly sour, and it paired nicely with the toast too.

Kuro Kare - mochi waffles

To end our meal, we enjoyed Kuro Kare’s Mochi Waffles (S$3.80+), consisting of pieces of waffles filled with mochi and cheese, drizzled with mentaiko mayo and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Kuro Kare - mochi waffles

I was blown away by this unorthodox creation — the mochi within was bouncy and chewy with a satisfying texture, perfectly complementing the similar softness of the waffles. The gooey cheese was rich and savoury. The mentaiko mayo rounded up the whole waffle perfectly, adding a punch of creamy umami-ness.

This was hands down one of the best savoury waffle creations I’ve ever tried!

Final thoughts

Kuro Kare - curry rice

My dining experience at Kuro Kare was nothing short of amazing. Every dish thoroughly impressed me with their quality and execution, and you’d never expect such incredible food to come from a humble eatery within a school.

SMU students are sure lucky to be able to enjoy this treat at a discounted price whenever they’re on campus. I know for sure that I’ll definitely be returning for my Japanese curry fix very soon!

Expected damage: S$5.90 – S$21.90 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Kuro Kare

80 Stamford Road, SMU School of Information Systems, #B1-65 , Singapore 178902

Price
Our Rating 5/5

Kuro Kare

80 Stamford Road, SMU School of Information Systems, #B1-65 , Singapore 178902

Operating Hours: 11am - 8pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun

Operating Hours: 11am - 8pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun
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