Our love for curry has reached its apex with my sister in town. After taking them to one of our favorite curry spots earlier this week, we decided to spend some time crawling the city for the best curry. We picked five locations around town — some we’ve tried and some we haven’t — to crown the best.
My love for all Indian food began in college, when I spent four years working as a housekeeper for a wonderful Indian family. They were kind enough to provide a meal most days I worked for them (up to five days a week), so I tried everything. I didn’t like spicy foods in those days, but what college kid is going to turn down free food? I’ve been hooked ever since.
If you love curry, this longer-than-usual post will be well worth it. We ordered all the curries with mild heat because Jackie and Travis aren’t too keen on spice (for me, the hotter the better). We also tried to get similar dishes everywhere.
Here’s how it all went down:
Stop No. 1: Hokuo Bakery, Shintomichō Station, Shintomi
What We Ate: Curry donuts (chicken and beef)
What We Thought: Curry in a donut?! I know. I KNOW. Sounds crazy, but it’s amazing. I found these a couple of weeks ago and didn’t think anyone else would be up for trying them. They have a rich, savory flavor with just the right amount of spices. They actually taste awesome at room temperature. They became our favorite breakfast this week and were a must to start the day.
Stop No. 2: GaNeza, Higashi-Azabu
What We Ate: Chicken curry and vegetable curry with naan
What We Thought: Located just a few steps from our temporary apartment, this curry spot became a weekly ritual for us. The curry is true to spice level and rich in smoky flavor — they also top it with a drizzle of cooling cream. Jackie thought this was the best curry we got, but noted the naan was a bit doughy and sweeter, sort of like a pancake. I never really noticed this before, but I agree.
Stop No. 3: Abiskar, Azabu
What We Ate: Chicken curry and pumpkin curry with chicken with naan
What We Thought: The chicken curry at this spot didn’t really have any heat to it at all, but it did have a very rich chicken flavor and was very fresh. The pumpkin curry was the real star, with a hearty and earthy flavor. This place also won for customer service. They took great care of us, even giving Nolan a little glass of orange juice and wrapping up the extra naan for a late night snack.
Stop No. 4: Sristi, Kachidoki
What We Ate: Chicken curry, vegetable curry and seafood curry, with naan, tandoori chicken and rice
What We Thought: We went for combos at this spot to maximize the menu items we could sample. The seafood curry was pretty rich, similar to a chowder. We were a bit divided on the seafood curry — I love fish curry, but this was too creamy for me. The chicken curry had decent heat, but the chicken was a little dry. Jackie and Travis enjoyed the heartiness of the chunky vegetable curry, but it was mostly all mushrooms. Bonus: They provide unlimited naan at this location with a lunch set, making it by far the best bargain.
Stop No. 5: Curry House Ayman, Shintomi
What We Ate: Vegetable curry and chicken curry with rice and naan
What We Thought: This final spot was a repeat at the request of Jackie and Travis. I took them the day after they arrived and they loved it, so we wanted to save a repeat visit for last to see how it compared with the others. I’m a bit biased because it’s become my favorite choice in terms of flavor, and I was reminded why. The curries had great heat, a bit strong for a level two out of 10, but you could see all the fresh herbs in the dishes. They win for convenience, thanks to a takeout window and quick service.
There are countless other curry lunches and dinners in my future here in Tokyo, but for now, my tummy needs a break. We ended up needing to spread the crawl over two days, which explains the delay in posting this recap. We needed a bit of a rest — all of us except Nolan, that is. Our little naan-munching champ 🙂