Curry Rice @ Daimyo Nakamuraya, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka


One of the spicier contenders out in this region, there is a reason why Daimyo Nakamuraya has a strong reputation among the locals. Even some of my local friends think the curry is one of the best. Well, there has to be a reason why lines are usually formed during weekends. However, I was fortunate enough to be free on a Wednesday and was in the area at that time. I was also pretty lucky that the lunch rush had not formed and there was no one yet lining up. So might as well take this chance!

The whiteboard

Also called Spice and Smoke, as that is the motto of the shop, Nakamuraya serves spicy plates of Japanese curry. They only have two things in their menu, the standard yet legendary chicken curry, and their whiteboard special that changes from time to time. I usually would go for the usual stuff a shop is famous for during my first visit. But after some persuasion, I took the whiteboard special for this day. And it was pork keema. However, being a mere plate of curry it was not.

So fragrant!

The plate was loaded with various colours and smells. It was chaos on a plate, well organised chaos. The strong smells of various spices and herbs were hard hitting punches to the senses. Lets get straight to the point. This was really good. The keema felt more like a stir fry rather than a curry. It was very moist but not saucy at all. 

Time to turn up the heat. 

It was akin to a dry coney sauce, the only exception being that it had a hand grenade's worth of cumin, turmeric, ginger and fennel. There were bits of potatoes too that gave it a textural difference. The spice was well balanced too, with the heat not being too overpowering. Although it should be noted that I ordered this on a spice scale of 3, where the options are from 1 to 5.

The future of spicy cuisine, chicken skin!

The turmeric rice was fragrant and had a lot of body too. It was the perfect carb vessel for the keema. The sides were also a fair mix of fresh greens and a piece of fried chicken skin. Yes, instead of pappadam, this shop has went the extra step in replacing this classic crunchy condiment with something just totally different. Well, at least the veggies that came before can help wash all the fat down. The hidden killer was actually the smoked egg. 

No better endorsement

Initially, I thought it would just be some soft boiled egg. but this was a stunning piece of magic. The egg tasted like smoked bacon! And it had the lingering ash-like aroma once you had it. Tasted as though it had been barbecued. So I guess this is where they got the smoke in their motto. 

Simple but fancy open kitchen

Overall, this was one killer meal and something closer to the Indian profile than the saucy Japanese curry that most people are more familiar in taking. It was gravely satisfying and a hit to all the senses. A thoroughly enjoyable meal. I hope that I can try out their classic chicken curry soon. But in the meantime, feel free to drop by this wonderful establishment. Their address is as follows:

〒812-0039 Fukuoka, Hakata Ward, Reisenmachi, 1−8 1F

Front of the house