MELBOURNE | A new Japanese cafe opened across the road from Queen Vic Market over winter. It’s called KARÉ カレー, and I recently popped in to grab some shots for What’s On Melbourne.
Karé is owned by Japanese born and raised couple Akiko and David. Akiko grew up in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, which just happens to be where I like to stay when I’m in Tokyo. The area is in amongst it all, but just outside of the the main tourist drag, giving it a local’s feel. In many ways, it’s analogous to Karé’s West Melbourne location.
Akiko and David have modelled Karé off the yōshoku cafes that they love back home. Yōshoku cuisine refers to the Western-style comfort dishes that developed in Japan during the Meiji Restoration. Japan opened up to the world, and Japanese chefs incorporated Western ingredients and tweaked versions of Western dishes into their cooking. Think tonkatsu, curry, sandos, and croquettes. And to think, some people still hate on fusion food.
Karé literally means curry, and that’s a focus of the menu, which is available day and night. There’s an assortment of karé pan (curry-filled fried bread rolls); curry udon; curry beef, tori (chicken) katsu, and other delicious things on rice.
If you have a sweet tooth there’s mochi-filled hojicha cookies, anko butter croissants, yuzu canelé, and more. To drink, it’s quality coffee, Japanese inspired alt-lattes, and Japanese sodas. David’s love of craft beer also comes through, with a fridge that’s unexpectedly full of a wide assortment of local and Japanese craft beers.
173 Victoria Street
Mon – Sun: 8:00am to 4:00pm; 5:00pm to 10:00pm