“Spice Cafe” is rated #1 amongst curry restaurants in Japan on a popular Japanese review site. I’ve previously posted Minoringo, which was rated #1 in the Harajuku area on the same review site but this one is ranked #1 in Japan?? As you can imagine, that instantly gave me some high expectations…
I have been on a curry phase lately and decided to make a reservation at this curry house which is very close to Tokyo Skytree (I highly recommend making reservations). We arrived at noon and the place was already full. We ordered two “Pair curry lunch set’s” (1350yen/each) and 1 curry lunch set (950yen) for the 3 of us. All of the sets include a small salad, curry, and a small dessert with coffee/tea. The “Pair Curry” comes with a slightly smaller portion of 2 different types of curry instead of one larger size (although the size difference is kind of hard to tell from my photos and even in person it’s really not that much bigger…)
I got the chicken curry (mild) and the assam curry (spicy) and I enjoyed both of them. The one with tomato and spinach is the coconut curry which is a little on the sweeter side. One of the others pictured was the shrimp curry which was one of the daily specials. This place also offers the “Oomori” option (a free larger portion of rice) if you prefer more rice. The pickles on the rice were yummy and over all we enjoyed the meal. Even the assam curry which is considered spicy wasn’t too spicy for me and had a nice flavoring to it. The service was good but felt a little rushed as there were so many people waiting outside.
As for being ranked #1 in Japan, I wasn’t really that blown away. I felt like Moona was just as good, but perhaps that’s just me? If you’re into soupy curries, you would definitely like this place.
Address // 1-6-10, Bunka, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3613-4020
Website // http://www.spicecafe.info/
Shimokitazawa (aka “Shimokita”) is considered one of the more suburban areas of Tokyo, especially when compared to Shibuya or Harajuku. It is a popular area among young adults and students to both hang out or to live in.
We decided to dine at “Moona,” an Indian inspired curry house located on the 5th floor of a random building that you would never notice unless you were looking for this place. We walked up the narrow stairs not really knowing what to expect and finally arrived at the tiny restaurant. Although we thought it was going to be hole in the wall kind of place, it was still decorated nicely. The place was already filled with customers when we arrived so we were seated at the counter. We both ordered the 1050yen set which includes 3 types of curry. The set comes with chicken curry, chick pea curry, and your choice of a daily curry selection (from which you can choose between 2 options — we chose the Spanish mackerel curry). The set also includes homemade yogurt and a good portion of rice with pickles on the side which I loved. You can get “Oomori” (a large portion of rice) free of charge.
I enjoyed ALL of the curry options and the yogurt was a nice touch. None of the curry’s were too spicy for me and even though the set came with a good amount of rice I found myself wishing I had a little bit more because the curry was so tasty. This place is quite small so I would recommend coming here with a party of 2 or 4 at most.
Address // 5F, 2-12-13, Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3411-0607
Website // http://www.moona.jp/
This place is rated No.1 in the “curry” category in the Harajuku area and it was also featured on TV so we decided to come try it. It’s a hole in the wall kind of restaurant and the owner must be a fan of the comic “One Piece” since they have figurines from it scattered throughout the entire restaurant. As for the food, Minoringo has four types of curry: Chicken (Mild), Pork (Semi-Spicy), Keema (Spicy), and Beef (Very Spicy) and they are available in three different sizes (S-800yen, M-900yen, and L-1000yen). You can also order the Minoringo special that includes both the Keema and the Chicken curry on the same plate for 400yen more.
I ordered the medium-sized Keema Curry that comes with an egg on the top and I added melted cheese for an extra 150yen. The curry was well-seasoned and the melted cheese was really good but overall it was a bit spicy for me. I’m not too hard core with spicy food so that must be why. If you’re into spicy food, you will probably love this as many other people do. The other dish pictured above is the medium-sized Minoringo Special. The mixture of the spicy keema curry with the mild chicken curry in the Special dish seemed to be the perfect combo because the spices were very well balanced and it lets you appreciate the food more. The chicken curry is made with tomato and yogurt as well so it has more of a mild sweet flavor to it. I found myself wishing I had ordered the special after trying a bite of it… sigh
Just a note, the Beef and Pork are very popular and the owner said it usually sells out by 3 or 4pm so come here for lunch if you’d like to try one of those two.
Address // 1-22-7, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-6447-2414
Website // http://www.minoringo.jp/