Episode 33: Tomoko Omori + Japanese Curry

Photo credit: Go Go Curry America Group LLC

Ever wonder how curry became one of Japan’s most popular dishes? Tomoko Omori, President and CEO of Go Go Curry USA, joined us in the studio to discuss what makes Japanese curry different, why it’s so well-loved, and why the Go Go Curry franchise has been so internationally successful.

As usual, we ask each other about the best things we ate this week. Lynda enjoyed a celebratory dinner at Zenkichi with its seasonal omakase menu and beautiful oyster tempura, while Iris enjoyed some cheesy tofu skewers at a cheap and dirty local spot she loves. We can't even link to it because it has zero web presence!

We then introduce the star of this show: Japanese curry. Iris gives listeners a brief history of the dish, explaining how South Asian curry found its way to Japan via the British during the Meiji period. Lynda then introduces our special guest, Tomoko Omori, as well as the international restaurant chain, Go Go Curry.

Tomoko tells us how she ended up at Go Go Curry as her fourth career after acting, working at a magazine, being a sports broadcaster, and a 3-month stint as a full-time housewife. She talks about her personal experience with curry growing up in Japan, just how frequently it's eaten there, and how curry was adapted for Japanese tastes after it was introduced by the British.

15:10 "We always have a great memory of it. That's why when we start talking about curry, the memories come back to us." - Tomoko on the nostalgic comfort of curry to Japanese people.

Next, Tomoko tells us a little more about Go Go Curry. You'll find out why 5 is the magic number and how Japanese curry is better after some maturation (like pizza the next morning!) She also talks a bit about what's next for the company and her favorite things about the Go Go Curry family.

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