New Restaurant Alert: Eri Curry at SM Mega Atrium, Mandaluyong City
Filipino-friendly curry at this new original concept.
3/F SM Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Tel. No. 0917-821-2305
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) A TV on the wall has a video on loop: a pretty girl happily enjoying her plate of curry, katsu, and rice. She stirs the thick, creamy curry into her rice, creating a delicious saucy, stringy spoonful. You'll be starring at it as you order, before your meal, while you’re eating. You might fail to notice that your salivary glands are working in overdrive.
She's the chef, by the way, the girl on TV. Chef Erica Bagang, a Filipino who grew up in Japan, who’s able to successfully find the compromise between those palates. The result is a Filipino-friendly curry that has two secrets: there's a layer of mozzarella underneath to provide a richer texture without overpowering the flavors, and the mix itself has fruits for a different shade of sweetness. She shakes her head when you ask her to identify anything more specific than that. The 25-year-old chef protects her recipe so fiercely that she makes her curry fresh everyday-at home.
Eri Curry takes its cue from international chain, Coco Curry, which has branches all over the world. Owner Lindy Lopez says, "Why bring it here when we can make our own?" Almost everything on the menu, from the chicken to the fish to the eggplant, is doused in Chef Erica's cheesy curry. Customers have the freedom to choose their base Curry Plate, spice level (Just Right, Spicy, Fiery), rice (200 grams, 300 grams, 400 grams), and add-on, which is pretty much a bonus side dish to the meal.
Beef Strips with Karaage
The Thinly Sliced Beef (P290) is a good jumping off point to enjoying your time at Eri Curry. The strips are tender and they effectively absorb the deeply spiced flavors of the curry. The warning isn’t in what you order. It’s that whatever you order, the sauce will make you want to shovel that rice down. As in Japan, the meals are designed to end a long day of work. Heavy portions, then, are only appropriate.
Sausage Curry with Asparagus and Tomato
Sometimes a break in texture is all it takes to excite a meal-like an extra loop in a roller coaster. Cloaked under curry or not, the Chicken Karaage (P110) impressively remains crisp. It calls to mind a meaty chicharon. Eri Curry shows how remarkably sausage (P265) can work with a curried spice. Flavorful Hungarian tidbits make up a meal perfect when paired with the Asparagus and Tomato (P80).
Only dessert (and drinks) are exempted from the paint of curry. The Kakigori (P190), which is the Japanese answer to the halo-halo, comes in a variety of flavors, but go for the one that combines all of them. The Rainbow is a delightful spectactle with stripes of blue, red, and green shaved ice, and fresh vanilla ice cream underneath.
Lindy advises customers not to get too comfortable with the menu. They're currently planning to further trim down the price, and Chef Erica intends to perfect her kiddie meals and curry-decked sushi before their grand opening on September 8.