See this dish folks? This is curry rice- or karai raisu as said in Japanese. Usually it comes with the curry sauce/gravy already on the plate (in this case it is in the gravy bowl.) The breaded pork shown is tonkatsu. It is all VERY delicious. This is what I ate for dinner at the Royal Coffee Shop in the Narita airport on my way back from Singapore back in August. Delicious food and great service (which is the norm in Japan- and there's no tipping!)
Today Jaime and I went to my favorite store in the world (yes WORLD)- Yuzawaya! If you aren't sure what Yuzawaya is- see this post from last year... Shopping five floors of awesomeness makes one hungry- so we found a noodle shop on the corner and upstairs. We both picked a couple of pieces of tempura (I got shrimp, acorn squash, and sweet potato)- and we both ordered curry rice. It was similar to the above picture- except ours came with big chunks of potatoes and carrots. The food was mighty tasty and we were enjoying ourself immensely- our stomachs were no longer growling and our treasures from Yuzawaya were neatly stashed beside our chairs.
Out of no where this older Japanese woman stops at our table and hands each of us a spoon.
A spoon? I didn't need a spoon, neither did Jaime- we were rockin' the chopsticks man!
She insisted on the spoons. While I know very little Japanese, I understand the words 'Japanese' or nihon-jin (as in a Japanese person) and 'curry rice'- karai raisu. She was telling us that JAPANESE people DO NOT eat curry rice with chopsticks, they use SPOONS for goodness sake! She repeated herself a few times- yes I know this for a fact. She was obviously on her way out the door, so as she was backing away and heading to the exit- she continued to admonish us for eating our curry rice the WRONG WAY. All the while her friend was covering her mouth as she stared at us and giggled.
I have never seen Jaime's face get that red. My face was pretty hot as well. EVERYONE in the restuarant had stopped eating/talking/picking their nose/whathaveyou- and were staring at us. EVERYONE. I had my back to them, so I didn't see them staring, but I could FEEL it man!
So of course neither of us could pick up the damn spoons to finish our food. Luckily we had some tempura left- chopsticks are ok there! Damn if I was going to pick that spoon up right away so everyone could watch! Eventually, after I felt everyone had lost interest- I picked up the darn spoon and finished off my curry rice. That stuff is tha bomb- and the spoon was easier to use. All the same- the chopsticks were doing their job too!
So people- learn from our mistakes! Use that spoon for your curry rice!
Consider yourself warned...