Aromatic curry blast of fresh spices
Text & Photo / Haruka Muta
JUNAYNA sounds unfamiliar yet has somewhat a good rhythm to our Japanese ears.
It means 'little garden' in Arabic. With such name, the cafe is full of plants like a comfortable garden itself.
It is a cafe, but you can hardly spend your time there by just having tea or coffee because the place if full of curry spices aroma that will indulge you into having a plate.
Their popular menu is spicy chicken curry, which will be freshly cooked after getting the order. 20 different spices will burst out great smell every time it gets stirred with the olive oil. This magical sensation is carried out very carefully not to burn the spices too much and spoil the aroma.
Owner, Mr. Suemasu
'I add the curry after tempering the spices first. In India, spices are generally added to the curry'
Although it is being prepared after ordering, it came out much faster than I had expected. Not being able to resist my temptation, I threw in few scoops into my mouth, which to my surprise, felt more sweet than spicy.
'Biting seeds of cummin and mustard would give another spread of different aroma. The sweetness is probably the onions that is sauteed well. I want to break the image of spice curry being thought as just spicy and hot'
The great mixture of fresh spices and well stewed curry is luring my hands and mouth to go on and on.
Rice is from Shiga. The Kinuhikari is a loose type of rice, and are cooked with oil so it won't suck in the curry and become all sticky. Black rice is cooked together to add some crunchiness.
I ordered organic baby leaf salad. The fresh & rich taste of the leaf and slightly sweet dressing had gently cooled down the spicy mouth.
'I got this baby leaf recommended by a vegetable seller. The dressing is my mother's special recipe that she created to make me eat salad when I was a child. It's made with carrots and sesame. Even though I do not like salads, I thought it was tastely so I am using it here, too'
After the meal, I had homemade lemonade, made with organic lemon. A bitter sweet drink.
Besides the spicy hot curry, they also have mild ones that can be ate by children as well. Try out the fresh spices in their welcoming little garden.
JUNAYNA Kita-ku Honten
ADDRESS: 1 Floor, Kajita Building, 26-17-1 Murasakino Daitokuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto
CLOSED: Monday (if Monday falls on public holiday the next day will be closed instead)