Irresistible Indian Cuisine in Japan

If you could only have one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

I’ve been asked this a bunch of times, and my answer often depends on where I am at the time. If I’m traveling in South Asia, I tend to seek out Japanese foods. When I’m in Japan, I crave Indian spices. And, when at home in Vancouver my diet tends to gravitate towards the Mediterranean side of things. I’m not sure why…maybe I just enjoy the challenge of hunting for obscure ingredients!

So, how about you? What would you go with?

The other day, I went to another Indian restaurant. Every time I go for Indian food in Japan, I tell myself that I won’t go again. Don’t get me wrong, the food is usually quite good, but I always think that I should make the most of my time here and experience Japanese cuisine to the fullest. And yet…I always find myself wandering into every Indian and Napalese restaurant that I see. There’s something that’s just so irresistible about the aroma of roasting spices, especially after relying for so long on soy sauce and miso as my main seasonings.

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veggie curry
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daal
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huge, fluffy naan
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mango juice

I tried out the vegetable curry, daal, naan, and mango juice. The daal was unlike any I’ve had before. I’m used it being a soupy dish made with brown lentils, but this daal was very thick and made with big split yellow peas. The mango juice was so syrupy, almost more like mango nectar than juice. All in all, it was an incredibly filling and generous meal.

Like most Indian restaurants in Japan, they offered unlimited free refills of fresh naan, but the servings were so massive that I was more than satisfied with just one!

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Noodles and Gyoza in Japan

When in Japan, there are a few dishes that I absolutely can’t return home without trying at least once. As much as I’ve been enjoying cooking at home with all the amazing market fresh produce, I try and treat myself to a restaurant meal every once in a while. The other day, I went for lunch at at a place that’s pretty much the Japanese equivalent of a diner. It’s the type of place where business men stop by for a quick bowl of noodles during their lunch break, and it serves up all the standard fare.

Between two of us, we ordered a bowl of ramen and a gyoza lunch set which came with six gyoza, soup, and a big bowl of rice (free refills!). Each was only somewhere around six dollars.

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Considering how reasonable the prices were, the quality of the food took me by surprise. The gyoza were actually handmade and filled with fresh green onions, and the noodles also look like they were made in-house.

Ticking things off the list one dish at a time. Next up, Japanese curry!