wagamama_curryLast month, I took a vacation to Dublin, Ireland, and as a side mission attempted to see if there was any good Japanese curry on dear old Erin's isle. Results: negative.

There was certainly no lack of restaurants trying to create Japanese curry, that's for sure. There are many Japanese places in the city center, but they largely focus on ramen. A few of them, though, serve chicken katsu curry -- just chicken, never pork.

Wagamama, which also has some locations on the U.S. east coast, features the bizarre monstrosity above: A thin lukewarm chicken katsu, a football-shaped mound of rice, and cold, unappetizing yellow curry that tasted much more Indian than Japanese. All this for just €12.95, about US$18.

wagamama_lineWagamama was actually quite popular with Dubliners on their lunch breaks. I got in right around noon, and immediately after I sat down a massive lunch rush piled in, lining up all the way up the stairs and straight out the door. And lest you think me a fool for ordering the curry at a noodle shop, may I point out that Wagamama was selling tons of curry. People apparently loved it. Oh, Ireland... if only you knew.

Yamamori Noodles, located just across the Liffey river north of Temple Bar, wasn't that much better. At least their chicken katsu curry (€12) was a nice brown color and tasted Japanese. The katsu itself, like Wagamama's, was not very warm and pounded thin. But the big disappointment was that there was, like, a tablespoonful of curry sauce on the plate. As if it were ketchup on a burger.

Luckily, Yamamori sells extra curry sauce for only €.50 (about 70 cents), and I was handed a comparatively huge bowl of curry. So there's a fix for that issue.

Still, though, having tried Dublin's two most prominent Japanese restaurants, my advice would be to avoid trying to find J-curry here in the first place.