Kai Curry Bar

Although Burmah Road (Jalan Burma) is a major transportation artery in George Town, the outbranching Jalan Phuah Hin Leong is often overlooked by motorists.
Nevertheless, this quiet lane is home to Kai Curry Bar (Curry Bar カイ). Operated by Mag, her parents, and her child artist, this small eatery specializes in Japanese-inspired curry dishes.
This modest restaurant has an inexplicable charm to it. Perhaps it is the serene, laid-back ambience which I look forward to in this urban lifestyle.
In each of my previous visits, I must have the Potato Salad without fail. Served cold, the mashed potato is served with Japanese seaweed (鹿尾菜), black sesame seeds and cucumber. The cooling sensation of this starchy appetizer is indeed heavenly.
In departure from à la carte orders, I opted for something in the lunch specials menu. Priced from RM9.90, the lunch special includes roasted barley tea (麦茶) and dessert of the day.
My choice today is Chicken Katsu Curry (チキンカツカレー). Since I have been trying the pork (ポーク) curry during my past visits, I think it is only fair to try the vegetarian (ベジタリアン) version today.
The vegetarian stock is made from various purée such as tomatoes, carrots and eggplant. The stock is then added to a special recipe of curry roux, which is a closely guarded secret. The curry is served with carrots, green peas and potatoes.

Compared to the pork version, this vegetarian curry has milder flavor and places more emphasis on vegetable sweetness. This curry is more suited for diners who are sensitive to spiciness, although Japanese curry is hardly spicy by Malaysian standards. Personally, I think the pork curry still holds an edge over the vegetarian one.

Pickled lotus root is provided as condiment. Unfortunately, it is saltier than ideal; I prefer those which I had tasted before.
Today's dessert is a piece of coffee cake. The cake is slightly on the firm side. I prefer the texture to be softer and more buttery.
I am privileged to be the first "test subject" of Mag's latest prototype dish, the Aloo Tikki Pork Burger! "Aloo tikki" (ఆలూటిక్కీ) means "potato croquette" in Telugu. Made from boiled potatoes and various Indian spices, aloo tikki is a popular street snack in India and wherever there is Indian diaspora.
For today's dish, two pieces of aloo tikki are used to sandwich a piece of pork patty. A slice of cheese, tomato and lettuce are included to resemble an actual hamburger. Although the pork patty is made as thick as feasibly possible, its presence is drowned by bold flavors of aloo tikki. I think the aloo tikki pieces should be made thinner. On the other side of the coin, the other challenge is how to prevent the croquette from crumbling too easily.
Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing aloo tikki being featured in the menu, either as a standalone snack or as part of an innovative dish like the Aloo Tikki Pork Burger.

Address: 15, Jalan Phuah Hin Leong, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 11:00am-3:00pm, 6:00pm-9:00pm, closed on Sundays and Mondays
Business hours: 04-226-0322

Taste
Presentation
Ambience
Hospitality
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