Given my recent craving for spicy food, SAMA Curry & Cafe offered the perfect fix for my taste buds. Boasting a soup curry concept, this Hokkaido cafe can be found at the third level of the spanking new OUE Downtown Gallery in Singapore.
At SAMA Curry & Cafe, you’ll get to create personal soup curry bowls with a choice of your preferred spiciness level and soup base. It’s very different from the usual thick Japanese curry gravy that comes with a tinge of sweetness — this savoury curry is flavoured with heaps of Japanese spices.
SAMA Curry & Cafe has a very straightforward menu with quirky descriptions for each dish. Simply choose your curry choice, spiciness level and soup base and enjoy it with a plate of Japanese rice.
I would definitely recommend trying the Cheesy Bear ($16.90) that goes well with the tomato soup base. I had mine with a spice level of 13, which was no sweat at all for a spice lover like me.
Spice experts should go for level 18 – 20 which is enjoyable, while still retaining the savoury taste of the soup curry.
The tangy-ness from the tomato sauce complemented the Japanese curry spices very well, making it the perfect gravy for a steaming plate of Japanese white rice.
This particular dish comes with fried chicken tenders akin to katsudon meat, with a fried crispy exterior and tender interior. The combination of tomato with cheese was pretty easy on my palate and not too greasy for a lunch meal.
The Marathon Chicken ($14.90) that we had at a level three spiciness with the Japanese soup base made for a decent bowl of “curry”. Contrary to the usual thick coconut milk-laden curry, this chicken broth enhanced with special Japanese spices was more soup than gravy.
The chicken thigh was the highlight of the dish as it was braised till tender, melting in my mouth with each bite. The dish came with an onsen egg, alongside SAMA’s selected assortment of vegetables.
I particularly loved how it was a healthier alternative as compared to the other curry dishes here.
The Moo Moo Hamburg ($16.90) and Ocean Trophy ($18.90) offer alternative choices if you would prefer having your soup curry with seafood or beef. There are also other small side dishes to pair with your soup curry.
With 30 levels of spiciness, the most exciting part of our SAMA Curry and Cafe visit was deciding on the spice level to challenge ourselves with.
I would suggest being a little more adventurous if you aren’t a frequent curry eater or don’t usually splurge on Japanese food. Level 30 is said to be tongue-numbing and lips swelling, but level 18 is definitely manageable and still enjoyable while retaining the savoury taste of the soup curry.
For a bit of a food challenge, head over to SAMA Curry and Cafe to try it out today!
Expected damage: $15 – $20 per person