The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Curry-Ya's baked curry is a most beautiful egg-topped, cheese-crusted thing

Unnecessary introductory note: Oh hi. It's been a while. :( As usual, I don't have a good reason for why it's been a while. My not-so-good reason is that about a month ago I decided to watch an episode of Parenthood on Netflix. In the ensuring 28 days, I consumed all five seasons of the show. Now I've left with that empty feeling that only comes when your continuous outpouring of emotional energy into a fictional family's problems and victories comes to an abrupt end.

Q: How do you make Japanese curry taste even better?

A: [Invoking the manic spirit of Craig] YOU CAN'T, IT'S PERFECT, HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST OTHERWISE.

B: Add more curry.

C: Stick it in a casserole, top it with a raw egg and grated cheese, and bake it until the egg is set and the cheese is gooey and crisp.

It's a trick question, because all of these answers are correct. ...But especially C. Just look at this thing:

Baked Japanese classic curry
Crusty bubbly cheese tendrils are the best tendrils.

This is the baked curry from Curry-Ya in the East Village. Before I tried the baked curry, I thought of Curry-Ya as the place to go to if I wanted to ladle Japanese curry out of my own personal cast-iron pot onto my rice/meat however I please. This desire rarely presents itself. As much as I love being the master of a mini ladle—don't we all?—I'm quite content with eating curry that is already portioned out as a brown pool touching a mound of rice.

Berkshire pork katsu curry
Berkshire pork katsu curry featuring a trio of awkward string beans.

It wasn't until this past February when my friend Christine shared her baked curry with me that I found the real draw of Curry-Ya. For an extra $3.50, Curry-Ya will top your curry and rice with shredded cheddar cheese and a raw egg and bake it all into a mini-casserole of gooey-and-crisp, cheesy, eggy goodness. It goes a little something like this:

Cheese and egg, nicely piled on top.
Baked curry being born!
Let the transformation begin.
Baked curry being born!
Baked Japanese classic curry
Ding, all done.
Baked Japanese classic curry
Get in my mouth. There ya go.
Baked Japanese classic curry
Cheese crust and the curry-soaked rice beneath.

The menu says the baked option excludes chicken and pork katsu, but I'm 99% sure they'll do 'em. However, since baked katsu would lose its crisp crust after being soaked in curry and topped with cheese, I think you're best off going with a non-katsu curry, like the Japanese classic (beef, potato, carrot, and pumpkin) I ordered.

The baked curry is pretty hefty. I ate half (leaving room for dessert—thinking ahead, you see, like the responsible adult I am) and saved the leftovers for the next day's lunch.

Anyone else a fan of baked curry? If you've never had it before, try it and let me know what you think. ...Or invite me so I have an excuse to eat more.

214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003 (between 2nd and 1st Aves., map)


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