Ever since the vanishing of Hanami a few years back, I'm usually at a loss to find decent Japanese curry in NYC. While I haven't really sought it out, there seem to be a few places trying to make a better product than just the standard packaged roux mixes. From several Japanese friends, I've been clued in to Men Kui Tei on 56th St for their curry. Not many of them talk about the ramen there, but they do have positive things to say about the curry. And rightly so. While they do suffer from some inconsistency, the curry I had there last night (after about 5 tries) was the best version I've had there. I can't figure out if they're experimenting with their recipe, but it seems different each time I get it, which seems like a good sign, as someone back there seems to be making an effort to make a better curry. This curry had little chunks of pork belly, tender from long simmering. Perhaps I've never noticed it before because my previous orders came from late in a batch, when the meat has all but dissolved. Can't be certain. Either way, it's probably the most reliable thing on their menu. The gyoza was also consistently good, but last night's version was made so poorly.
More on the curry front, the old Sushi Yasu used to make a good curry, but I'm not sure if Shimizu continues it. It might be a lunch item like their omu-raisu (rice omelette). I've also heard some rumblings that Tokubei 86 on the UES might have a good curry. Tsukushi is pretty well known for their curry, but last time I tried it, it was pretty ordinary. Izakaya Riki had an interesting curry when I tried it a while ago, although it was a little too powdery, but nicely spiced. Will have to try it again.