by Alex Schandlbauer
When it comes to spicy food, I’m one of those people with a good tolerance. At least I thought so because of an old high school friend group. However, that idea was blown out of the water at college. I don’t know if it’s my lack of melanin or just sheer willpower in the past, but my spicy food tolerance shrunk the first time I went to Abiko with some friends.
Tucked away in the heart of K-Town, Abiko Curry is a great spot that’s just as chill as it is tasty. Now that my spice ego was stomped on, I still love returning to the area for a nice plate of curry with rice that’s either flavorful, simply tasty, or even more delicious: too spicy that it will hurt on the way out.
You start by choosing a base with a choice of protein or vegetables: curry rice, curry noodle, or cream curry pasta. Curry rice is what you’d expect, just some of their signature curry with rice. Curry noodle is a bowl of thick curry-based broth with deliciously thick noodles. It takes longer to eat since it’s piping hot and huge, but it’s the perfect winter order. Finally, cream curry pasta is a spicy, creamy pasta dish. Equally as self-explanatory as it is decadent.
Next, there were the toppings. Crispy garlic and green onions are free (I get them every time), but there are also many, many others. Croquettes are delicious lightly fried potato dumplings, the premium sausage is pretty good, and the cheese, oh the cheese. Melted cheese is my new favorite topping lately. If you’ve never had Korean or Japanese curry before, it might seem weird to enjoy cheese with curry, but with the curry rice, it’s perfect. It melts in the curry, is the perfect neutralizer if you get it hot, and goes so well on the rice.
Last but not least, the spice level of the dish goes from 0 (“Baby level”) to 4 (“Spicy guru level”). I’ve gotten up to 3, and I paid dearly for it. It’s delicious as hell but painful. I normally get 1 spiced vegetable curry rice with melted cheese nowadays.
Time to get into the rating!
The location in K-Town is pretty far from either campus (a healthy walk from LC or a walk and a subway from RH), but it makes up for it if you go there for Abiko, because you’re in K-Town! There’s Asian supermarkets like H-Mart and bubble tea places galore. Make a whole day around it!
Nothing special! You order your food, they bring it out. They are pretty good about bringing you water if your face is melting off though.
Pretty standard for sit-down, expect to spend around 20 dollars (including tip) if you get a dish with some add-ons.
Everything is amazing. I’m stopping short of a five here only because this isn’t the kind of place you can take just anyone to. It’s totally understandable how it could be daunting for a first-timer. Abiko is a fantastic place for curry lovers who want to be brought to tears, but it’s even great for people who don’t love spicy food and want to try something interesting and new.
Thanks for reading, and eat well. 🙂