Shimokitazawa is a popular neighborhood among youngsters in Tokyo. Famous for its vintage and retro secondhand clothing stores, cafes, restaurants, Shimokitazawa has a casual, chic, hipster vibe. One other thing that makes Shimokitazawa popular are the many curry restaurants here. In this feature, we introduce the three most popular curry rice restaurants in Shimokitazawa.
Rojiura Curry SAMURAI.
Known for its vegetable curry soup, this restaurant is popular among men and women. The bowl is jampacked with vegetables so much so that you can barely see the soup. The restaurant uses fresh vegetables straight from farms in Hokkaido.
The shop has warm, wooden interiors and has a homely, cozy feel. If you visit during lunch, you may have to queue for a bit.
There are four steps to ordering a curry here.
Step 1: Select the dish. The most popular curry is one with 20 varieties of vegetables for a day and chicken, priced at 1,500 yen (1,650 yen tax included).
You can choose between crispy (pari pari, パリパリ) or tender chicken (yawaraka, 柔らか).
Step 2: Select the type of soup curry.
Regular and Mild Soup are free; Coconut Soup and Mild Coconut Soup comes for an additional 100 yen.
Step 3: Choose the level of spiciness that ranges from 0-10.
Step 4: Select the amount of rice. The price is adjusted depending on the amount of rice. You can also get 50 yen off if you choose to have no rice.
You can also choose from a range of toppings.
We chose the 20 veggie and chicken option. As you can see, it is massive bowl topped to the brim with vegetables and a large piece of chicken.
Doesn’t it look beautiful with all the colorful veggies and the intense curry? You get protein from the chicken and beans while other nutrients from the lightly roasted veggies. The fragrant and slightly sweet vegetables go perfectly with the flavorsome curry soup.
The chicken is particularly delicious. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, and extremely soft and tender on the inside. The simple umami flavor of chicken is enhanced by the rich soup.
Great value for money, beware that the quantity even without the carbs is quite a lot.
Kyuyam-tei Shimokita-sou (旧ヤム邸 シモキタ荘)
This restaurant ranks first on Tabelog, Japan’s most popular restaurant guide website. The curry at this restaurant is rich and full of spices, and enjoys popularity among men and women.
If you visit around noon, you may have to wait in line for about 30-40 minutes. It is recommended to come when the restaurant opens, sign up and then go for a walk around Shimokitazawa. You also have the option of takeaways here.
The menu changes every month. In August, the choice was between three kheema curry.
You can choose from 3 types of rice: Japanese rice, jasmine rice, turmeric rice.
A cozy store, you can smell the aroma of spices wafting from the kitchen.
A slightly thick curry, the meat is flavorsome with a strong hint of well-cooked tomato and onion.
In addition to meat, seafood and vegetables packed in a curry, you can also enjoy the taste of the spices specially blended in this curry shop.
You also get broth along with the meal to adjust the intensity of the curry. Probably one of the reasons it is the No. 1 place for curry rice in Tokyo.
Kyuyam-tei Shimokita-sou (旧ヤム邸 シモキタ荘)
Weekdays: Lunch, 11:30-15:00; Dinner, 18:00-22:00.
Weekends, Public Holidays: Lunch, 11:30-15:30; Dinner, 17:30-22:00.
Closed on Tuesdays (as of Aug 2021)
Curry Spice Gelateria KALPASI
This spice-based curry rice restaurant is quite hidden in an alley. Look for the sign!
You can have up to 3 types of curry at once. The menu changes daily. On our visit, we could have the following three curries.
A. Sambar, B. South India Chicken Curry, C. Pork Vindaloo.
You can choose to have 2 or 3 types of curry. There are some unique choices of gelato too.
The gelato here are also made using spices. We highly recommend ordering a gelato to enjoy after your meal. In fact, many customers come just to enjoy the unusual gelato flavors.
We chose to order 2 types of curry, Sambar and Pork Vindaloo. The rice is a mix of jasmine and brown rice.
The dish comes with various pickles, side dishes like sauteed cabbage. Isn’t it a pretty plate of food? Sort of like an Indian-style thali.
Pork Vindaloo is rich, fragrant and tastes just like one you would find at an Indian restaurant.
The Sambar curry is made using lentils and plenty of vegetables and is slightly tangy. The pickles enhance the flavor of the curries.
If you’re craving for authentic Indian curry, we highly recommend this restaurant. In addition, the gelato is made with spices and many people that love spices are attracted to this eatery.
You can choose 2 flavors from a total of 8. As you can see, all the choices are quite unique.
Our curiosity was piqued by the Sichuan Pepper, Chocolate and Blue Cheese, Roasted Cumin Seed flavors. The chocolate was delicious and you can experience a slight tingling of Sichuan peppers as an aftertaste. The blue cheese flavor comes with bits of roasted cumin that works surprisingly well. This is a must try for spice lovers.
These are just the top favorites in Shimokitazawa. The number of curry restaurants here keeps increasing by the day. Each one has some unique aspect and if you’re a curry lover, do visit this amazing part of Tokyo for some delicious, spicy curries.
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