In our last night in Hong Kong we were strolling around the Mid Level Escalator area. We must have walked around an hour and a half looking for a place to eat. You see, it’s not that there’s nowhere to eat in the Mid Level Escalator area; It is, in fact, full of restaurants and bars! It’s just that we were in the mood for a cozy and quiet place but every spot that seemed decent was just too crowded and noisy.
Eventually, at 21:00 we finally decided to pay a visit to Sama. It’s a tiny, crammed little place, out of way with a few small tables and minimalistic design. It fit us perfectly. Sama is a curry restaurant originally from the Hokkaido region Japan. Its eight branches specialize in Sapporo-style soup curry.
How is their Sapporo curry different from normal curry? They state on their site that “Sama Soup Curry uses ramen style broth as a base then mixes in tomato, coconut, or shrimp to turn it into a full bodied soup before adding curry spices. The difference is in the texture and depth of flavor when compared to normal curry. ”
One thing you won’t be able to ignore is Sama’s gigantic bear, welcoming the diners and adorning the place, manu and website. They even sell shirts with the bear, which, being so cute, we couldn’t resist and bought for ourselves.
Their menu introduces a few types of soup curry, and what is unique about it is that you can select the spiciness level which runs on a scale from 0 to 30, 30 being the spiciest. They also divide it to a few levels. 0-5 being Baby Bear, 6-15 Adult Bear and 16-30 Crazy Bear. Since we’re not very keen on spicy food we went for the Baby Bear level. The next step after selecting the spice level is choosing the soup type out of three options: Tomato, Coconut and Prawn. The third and final step is choosing a curry from 8 options.
We both got the Ocean Trophy “When the bear goes fishing the ocean cries” (108HKD / $14 / 54₪) which included prawn, octopus, squid, scallops. While I opted for the very descriptive Coconut soup (exotic coconut broth simmered into a mellow and milky soup base), Opher went for the more poetic Tomato soup (knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit, wisdom is to turn it into curry soup).
Each soup came with a big plate of rice, a large variety of veggies and some seafood. The veggies included okra, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, green pepper, eggplant, lotus root, asparagus, potato, baby corn and half japanese soft boiled egg. Both soups were very good and a pleasure to sip on. They were fresh with a complex, rich flavor. Even though we ordered the lowest possible level of spiciness, they still had some kick to them. Our only complaint is with the shrimps, which had a funky taste to them.
The service, by a single energetic waitress was pleasant and efficient. She kept our water glasses full (important when eating spicy food!) and was very patient with us despite an obvious language barrier. Sama also held a nice promotion where if you share a picture of their dish on Instagram with their hash tag, you get 20HKD on the same meal. Nice.
Sama Curry Online: