Could We Please Not Call This Pink Dish Unicorn Curry?

Courtesy of Naeba Prince Hotel
It's part of cherry blossom season in Japan.

Not that long ago, a food could garner the attention of the online culinary community simply by being a bizarre color. I believe the year was, like, 2016. (Before that, I’ve heard of an even crazier era where people were primarily concerned with how a food tasted!) So it’s refreshing to see that at a time where everything has to be sprinkled with unicorn dust to be noteworthy, a restaurant in Japan is willing to kick it old school and humbly introduce a stunningly pink cherry blossom curry—without any unnecessary magical adjectives.

Restaurant Azalea at the Niigata-Naeba Prince Hotel in the Niigata Prefecture will be offering a pink sakura (aka cherry blossom) curry from April 29 to May 7 as a celebration of both Japan’s Golden Week holidays and what is essentially the end of the country’s cherry blossom season. According to Rocket News 24, the dish has been on the menu periodically throughout April, but next week is going to be its final hurrah.

Much like how, in spite of its name, a Unicorn Frappuccino has very little unicorn in it, this sakura curry doesn’t actually contain much cherry blossom—or at least, the flowers aren’t the source of its pink hue. Instead, the dish’s distinct pink color comes from beets, then sakura extract is added for a “lightly fragrant sweetness,” as Rocket News describes it. Even non-unicorn dishes require a bit of magical touch it turns out.

Also, thankfully, Azalea didn’t try to pull another favorite restaurant publicity move and call this pink curry a “world’s first.” As you can probably expect, by now, the world has seen plenty of pink curries or even pink and blue curries. Instead, let us simply accept and appreciate Azalea’s dish for what it is: an intriguing concept in its own moment

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