Some of the best dishes in the world are fairly recent innovations. The Vietnamese banh mi, for example, appeared only in the 1950s thanks to the introduction of the French baguette in Ho Chi Minh City and the innovative thinking of the Le family. Japanese curry is a bit older, tracing back to the late 19th century, when British sailors enchanted with well-spiced Indian sauces brought those traditions back to another part of Asia. Eventually, Korea also created its own adaptation of the thick, flavorful gravy.
Score another one for the global food community. Actually, score two. Karé Bar opened in Chantilly in November. It’s on Metrotech Drive, making it easy to head to Shilla Bakery or Chateau de Chantilly after lunch or dinner. Score three?
Of course, I wouldn’t be keeping score at all if the food weren’t excellent. It is, as is the caring service and bright atmosphere. Start with something uniquely Japanese like monkfish liver with ponzu or a grilled hamachi collar, or stick to an old reliable like the juicy chicken or seafood dumplings, united by a crispy lacework of fried skirt.
I tried both the Japanese and Korean curries. The latter is labeled as “spicy” on the menu, but didn’t seem to have any more heat than the Japanese curry. I recommend sticking to the Japanese sauce for its more robust flavor. Order it with the meaty, crispy donkatsu (pork cutlet curry) or the hamburger steak curry, essentially a well-seared dish of Salisbury steak.
Whichever curry you order, it will come with sticky rice topped with a crisp-edged over-easy egg and a slew of veggies, ready to be drenched in curry. A shredded cabbage salad is bathed in an exceptionally appealing creamy sesame dressing.
As winter sets in, there are few more fulfilling meals than a rib-sticking curry. This is the place that will keep you feeling like there’s no need to hibernate. 13912 Metrotech Dr., Chantilly
See this: White walls and curtains provide an airy blank canvas for generous portions of colorful repasts.
Eat this: Pan-fried dumplings, donkatsu curry, hamburger steak curry
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-9 p.m.
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