The Japanese curry from Volcano, a counter-service spot in the Richmond, embodies everything we look for in a quick, easy meal: generous portions and great value. And, of course, the food has to be great, too, and that’s exactly what Volcano delivers. Each plate comes with a ton of rice and is doused with enough curry (which has big chunks of potatoes and carrots) to fill an Olympic pool. And underneath the curry is the protein of your choice, from chicken to pork katsu to all-vegetarian with eggplant and zucchini (the EZ). The best part is everything is under $13 yet big enough to leave you with leftovers—or, most likely, cradling yourself after you devour everything up.
Other things that make Volcano shine—lots of customizable options, like the four different heat levels to choose from. Medium isn’t actually that spicy, but the heat does build a little in the back of the throat. Go for hot if you want more of a tingle. Toppings cost an additional $1-$3.50, and you should consider them, especially the really great tofu nuggets and potato croquettes. However you decide to mix and match, know that you will come back to Volcano when the craving for something extra hearty and comforting strikes, especially on those cooler Richmond evenings.
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photo credit: Sarah Felker
Chicken Katsu Curry
The curry itself is not too thick and not too soupy. And the potatoes and carrots are chunkier than the ones at other Japanese curry spots in the city. For toppings, choose your pleasure. But make sure at least one of them is the hard boiled egg, and either the potato croquette or the tofu nuggets, which have tiny bits of edamame in them.
photo credit: Sarah Felker
Chicken Katsu Sandwich
Yes, the curry plates are the highlight but don’t sleep on the sandwiches, especially the one with chicken katsu. The important thing to note here is that these sandwiches are massive. Two evenly breaded and fried chicken cutlets are stacked on top of each other, and then topped with a ton of coleslaw and a slightly sweet sauce. You will need two hands to eat this. Things will get messy. But when a sandwich is this fantastic, there are no complaints.
Mini Spam Katsu Sandwich
We’ll get straight to it: you can easily finish off this adorable sandwich that tastes like a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish in four bites. The comparison is in no way a diss. Quite the opposite. Creamy mayo, breaded and fried Spam, and a sweet roll converge to create a palm-sized flavor bomb that’s highly addicting. And for only $2.75, you need to try it at least once. Also, be warned—you’ll be back for more.