Slowly but surely keeping my promise to talk about my favourite soup curry restaurants (as opposed to the ones that I remember to take my camera to, which invariably end up somewhat lacklustre it seems), today I present Gombei Spice:
I used to go to Gombei Spice in Asabu all the time - like at least once every two weeks - partly because it was about twenty seconds from my front door. Oh, but that wasn't the only reason! Their awesome, life-giving vegetable soup curry was probably the main reason.
Now, Gombei Spice is not for everyone, and I can't just wholeheartedly recommend it, but it's definitely worth visiting for a number of reasons. Firstly - organic vegetables. Gombei Spice use just the best vegetables of any soup curry place I know, and I find the selection they give you in the vegetable curry very satisfying. Secondly it has a very unique curry base. It's a lot less... aromatic than most places, and a lot more blunt and harsh. That's why a lot of people I know aren't too keen on the place - it's a much darker, more intense soup in general, and that totally isn't for everyone. They have four different kinds of soup base to choose from, but they're all pretty formidable. Which brings us to the spice level - it's great providing you've got the constitution for it. Last night I choose a level two out of ten and my nose would not stop running. When I first went there, picking my level with reference to the only soup curry I'd had before, I had a level four and was left shaken and beaten. Like Lavi Lavi - I can only imagine what the upper echelons of the scale are like.
The other big issue regarding Gombei Spice is that I've been there so many times and yet almost every time I get the exact same thing, because their vegetable soup curry is by far the best thing on the menu:
In fact, I'd go so far as to say I would recommend the place a lot less without this one dish. It's amazing, and I know a couple of other people who agree that the vegetable soup curry at Gombei Spice is what makes the whole place great. That's avocado tempura topping too (you have to order it separately, but it's completely and utterly worth it). So what I'm saying is - go to Gombei Spice and order the vegetable soup curry and you won't regret it. I don't know how healthy it really is, but it sure feels healthy to eat a bowl of spicy soup full of organic vegetables.
Gombei Spice is another place that has an original branch in the suburbs and then a city centre branch too - and again I have no idea where the inner-city restaurant is. I'm happy to assume that it's just as good as the Asabu one though, and strongly recommend it. The Asabu branch has been slapped on the map.