Curry spices

Photo:hildgrim on Flickr

3 Different Kinds of Curry in Japan and Places to Get Them in Tokyo

“Curry” is a dish that means something different depending on the country in which you reside, but to most, it consists of some kind of thick, spicy sauce served with naan bread or rice. This versatile dish has gained popularity all over the world, and Japan is no different. Like many foreign dishes, the Japanese have adapted their own style to make curry a little different. However, this doesn’t mean that traditional curry is hard to come by. Here are three types of curry restaurants you can find in Tokyo.

1. Indian Curry

Close-up of Indian curry
Photo: Charles Haynes on Flickr

The classic, of course, is Indian curry. There are many Indian restaurants scattered around Tokyo and beyond where you can get dishes in various classic flavours such as chicken, mutton, and vegetable, as well as the popular butter chicken. Varieties of naan bread include garlic, keema, and even cheese. A great restaurant to get authentic Indian curry in Tokyo is Asian Spice King in Daikanyama, which is about a fifteen minute walk from Shibuya Station or a five minute walk from Daikanyama Station.

Asian Spice King has a really lovely interior, giving a classy and cosy atmosphere. It’s better to go in the evening and splash out on their awesome special course meal consisting of a salad, meat and fish tandoori, curry, naan or rice, and a dessert. This filling and truly yummy meal is 3000 yen and you also get a drink included with the price. It is definitely one of the best places in the Shibuya area for Indian curry.

Asian Spice King Website

Location shown on map below.

2. Nepalese Curry

Montage of 4 different curries
Photo courtesy of Shanti Café & Bar

There isn’t much difference between Indian and Nepalese curry except for the fact that it tends to be healthier and use more vegetables. A really nice place to get Nepalese curry is Shanti Café & Bar in Meguro, which is a five-minute walk from Gakugei-Daigaku Station.

This restaurant opened in April 2017 and serves authentic Nepalese dishes. These consist of familiar curries like chicken and vegetable, but also some original dishes that the friendly, English-speaking staff member comes up with himself. For example, in August, he created a corn potage using onion, soy milk, and cumin. There are also rumours of special fusion dishes being created later this year, so be sure to check out Shanti if you’re heading to Meguro.

Location shown on map below.

3. Japanese Curry

Menchi Katsu Curry
Photo: Michael Saechang on Flickr

Finally, Japanese curry, called “curry rice” in Japan, is sweeter and usually less spicy than Indian and Nepalese dishes. It’s a very popular dish among children and is generally served with beef. Deep-fried chicken or pork cutlet, called “katsu”, is also a popular topping.

A delicious chain restaurant you might have seen in Japan is CocoIchi Curry House or Coco Ichibanya. This restaurant has menus in various languages and offers a rather adventurous feature to its customers; you can choose the flavour, spice level, rice serving size, and any toppings, meaning you can have a completely customised curry to suit your taste. This restaurant is an absolute must-go for curry lovers.

Coco Ichibanya Website
Shibuya location shown on map below.

Curry University

Bizarrely, the Japanese love curry so much that there is a place called Curry Daigaku, or Curry University, where you can study and learn all about making curry, the disciplines involved, and even get a curry diploma! The undergraduate course includes coming up with your own brand of curry and gaining knowledge of the curry business.

Curry Daigaku Website (Japanese)

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