The capital of Japan is quite the wonder in itself. I think it represents the country very well because on one hand it is a pillar of technological might while on the other hand it is home to historic temples and ancient practices that the country still deeply respects in its culture. Its world of anime has smitten considerable parts of the human race around the world. Its neon towers and electric cities are what we visualize when we think of a futuristic world. And the city of Tokyo has also gained name for having quite the active night life!
How to reach: Over the course of 9 hours, you can fly directly to Tokyo. In case this works out expensive for you, you can opt for cheaper options but these usually come with a layover.
Best time to visit: March to April, September to November
While some travellers love the Japanese cuisine, their Asian tastes and usage of raw meat along with other ingredients does not always bode well for those of us accustomed to Indian food. Moreover, during a long stay you may just crave a little something that tastes like home. So, presenting to you the best Indian restaurants from Tokyo!
Although the name says Dhaba which adds to its charm in Tokyo, the truth is that all Indians know that this restaurant looks nothing like a dhaba. With its indigo walls and yellow hanging lamps, the interiors are chic and speak of a clean restaurant. But what draws you in is the aroma of spices in the air that will send your stomach grumbling for a good old Indian meal. Their speciality lies in South Indian food. From the masala dosa to the prawn and chicken curries, the papadum to even the poriyal and basmati rice, all are prepared with an authentic taste. To satiate your cravings for South Indian sambhar and spices the Dhaba India restaurant is the right place to be.
Downtown B’s Indian Kitchen
The B here stands for the name of the owner, Bonnie. After working in the industry both in India and Tokyo, he opened up his own restaurant to share his love for food with travellers, commuters and even regular inhabitants. The motto of the restaurant is to please their customers with their food and also their lively music accompanied with their friendly service. Whether you want the tandoori chicken or chicken tikka, the veg jalfrezi or the palak paneer, the menu has you taken care of. They have daily meal options as well for you to dig into. Head here for what they themselves refer to as “Friends. Food. Connection”.
If you are treading through the busy streets of Tokyo and find strong hunger pangs for Indian food but cannot make up your mind about just what you want to eat, then may I suggest a classic? A thali! With dishes after dishes come in tiny forms to tickle your taste buds in every single way. This restaurant has an option of thalis not just for adults but also for kids in case you are accompanied by minors. Vegetables, curries, dal, chicken, salad, juice, desert and the much-needed naan are all going to make their way to your appetite through this thali. This one puts a lot on the plate for our vegetarian friends who can find themselves in a fix when it comes to the local cuisine.
Vege Herb Saga
Well, we did mention that the vegetarian folks can find meal options rather limited in Tokyo, thus, suggestions for good vegetarian alternatives come more than once. Meet Vege Herb Saga, a favourite for Indians settled in Tokyo who follow the vegetarian lifestyle. The restaurant earns itself added brownie points because it makes authentic Jain food available as well. Further, in recent times the restaurant has catered and marked the items on the menu available for vegan eaters too. Located at a walking distance from Okachimachi Station makes this a well-connected option. The popularity of this restaurant stems from the fact that the owner Raja regularly imports spices from back home in India in order to maintain the freshness and taste of the food served at his establishment.
If after dipping into the tastes from South India you find the desire to immerse yourself into some North Indian delicacies then restaurant Priya shall warmly welcome you. This restaurant has cosy interiors which give it a homely feel, making you comfortable during your meals. From the good old kaali dal or maa ki dal to the likes of butter chicken and kadhai paneer, all dishes are prepared in a relish-worthy way here. On hot days just drink up a good old lassi or enjoy some freshly made raita to cool you up. The restaurant offers much more competitive prices than a number of its counterparts making the visit pocket-friendly too, relatively speaking.
Raj Mahal Ginza
Quite the fancy name and quite the fancy ambience to match! If mood lighting, tastefully done décor and a fine dining experience are on the menu for tonight, then let your dinner be served at this tastefully done restaurant. And yet, this does not make it awfully expensive, it still stands somewhere on the middle bracket. You can let your palate be treated to prawn curry, dhingri, palak and fresh rotis here. Added surprise, kingfisher! Who knows, while travelling away from home you might miss not just the meal options but the liquor types as well. ? The restaurant is popular with Indians because it has retained the spicy and tangy nature of our country’s food instead of making it blander for the foreign audiences.
If between all the lunches and dinners, one fine evening you simply crave yourself some snacks from back home then this restaurant really is quite the gem, or you know, moti. ? Ermm okay moving on from my joke. The fact is that the restaurant has a fair share of main course dishes and options available, both of the north Indian as well as the south Indian kind. However, they are quite popular for their array of pakodas and other fried goodies. So, go order yourself a kadak chai and some evening snacks to make the Indian you relish homely tastes in another part of the world.
When in Tokyo, I sure hope you enjoy its local cuisine, culture and night life, and for the few times that homesickness comes knocking go to an Indian restaurant, speak to them in the language from back home, inhale the aromas that you are familiar with and bite into the goodness of home-like food. Happy hogging!
Bonus: If you head to Dining Bar Little George, amongst their Italian crusts you will also find a fusion dish in the form of naan pizza!
Click here if you want to know about Japanese Cuisine in detail!