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High End Indian restaurant in Tokyo

What exists? I haven't found anything I like while searching the web or this forum. Banraien seems like a nice place, but it is more Chinese than Indian?

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  1. AFAIK, it's Chinese.

    In my opinion, if you're going to Japan, don't bother wasting your time with high-end Thai or Indian. You'll find better qualiy low/middle-end versions of those cuisines. Ditto for Korean. But unless you live somewhere that doesn't have decent versions of any of those cuisines in any price range, I'd skip those altogether (well, maybe not Korean, but Thai and Indian for sure).

    If you're goal to solely to visit high-end restaurants, then stick to Japanese and French. You can certainly use up all your meals (and money) eating very good quality high-end Japanese and French food. I'd give a miss to high-end Chinese, but that's just because I find Japanese Chinese food (especially at the higher end) to be a bit too delicate in flavours. It's still good, but just not what my taste buds prefer.

    2 Replies
    1. re: prasantrin

      We don't have good quality Indian nor Thai where I live. I hoped to find some in an Asian capital. It might not be possible.

      1. re: Roysen

        Although it is an Asian capital, I don't think Tokyo can offer you any good Indian option. A few years back, a colleague and I decided on a whim that we'd *only* dine in Indian restaurants for the whole two weeks that we were in Tokyo - it was a gourmet challenge we set for ourselves (since it was our 10th business trip to Tokyo within a 2-year period, and we were getting a bit "bored"). We did go all over the city and dined in a different Indian spot each evening, but could not find a single one which would past muster had we been in a non-Indian Asian city like Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.

        BTW, the most interesting Indian restaurant we came across was Nair's at the Ginza. It was opened in 1946 by Ayappan Nair, an Indian freedom fighter who collaborated with the Japanese imperial army against the British colonialists. So, he obviously could not return to Indian after the war, and opened perhaps the first Indian restaurant in post-war Tokyo (which, I surmise, was largely smouldering ruins at the time).

        The restaurant is run today by Ayappan's second son, Gopalan Nair. My fellow Singaporean colleague and I were offered some dishes off-menu (including a *very* good Chettinad chicken), since Gopalan-san knew that the menu items, adjusted to suit local tastes, would not be suitable for us.

    2. Raj Mahal might seem like an option.

      or Nirvana New York (no website)

      1. Nirvana New York in the Midtown shopping complex in Roppongi would be one that is on the "high end" for Indian, at least for me anyway. I don't know if it's the best in TK but it's very good and not cheap. Always a line for the lunch buffet.

        I don't think "good quality" Indian is that hard to find. I know we've hit that on this board before.... Rasoi, Nirvanam, Spice Magic. All the Indian contractors where I worked would have their going away parties at Ajanta in Kojimachi, which was good too. Check bento.com.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kamiosaki

          There is also Dhaba India in Kyobashi, which is pretty good... for Japan...

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            I would suppose that Dhaba India in Kyobashi is one of the best Indian places in Tokyo. It was full of Indian families when I ate there last.

          2. re: kamiosaki

            I have read through this forum, Bento and Sunnypages.

          3. Let me add that there are two types of Indian cuisine I am looking for. That is different types of tandoori dishes like chicken tikka or lamb tikka grilled in a real tandoori oven. I also like curry dishes like chicken tikka masala, rogan josh and lamb khorma. If the dishes don't have traditional ingredients and instead are prepared in contemporary version with more high end ingredients like Deer Tikka or Lobster Tikka Masala it is all fine. I always want the option of both mild and really spicy. I also always want different types of naan, different types of rice and different types of lassi with my meal.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Roysen

              Not high end, but very good chicken tikka at Ashoka in the Hilton in Shinjuku. I've never had a less than thoroughly enjoyable meal there


              1. re: Roysen

                Sounds like you're not very familiar with Indian cuisine (no offense), or alternatively only familiar with a very particular genre of Indian restaurants.

                Nirvanam or Dhaba can both deliver a delicious meal, but neither one is going to offer particularly high end ingredients. Tandoori dishes, in general, are weak in Tokyo, and the only place I've found where they are better than the curries is Sitaara, where they also feature the occasional unusual seasonal item like shirako curry or grilled katuso:


              2. For what it's worth, here are Tabelog's Indian rankings for Tokyo (in Japanese).


                Dhaba (#4), for my money, is hard to beat.

                1. The similar Thai thread has been very popular of late. I thought I would bring this back to life. I hope to revive it if I tell a little bit of what I am looking for.

                  It doesn't really have to be very high end, but the food has to be good and they need to serve Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka Masala, Lamb Corma and Rhogan Josh of good quality. As I wrote earlier and they decide to go fushion/contemporary and make special version of these dishes based on novel ingredients I am all in. Like Lobster Tikka Masala or Deer Tikka for instance.

                  On the side I really like a freshly tandoori baked Naan bread. My preferance for Naan here is something called Peshawari naan. It is a nan bread filled with nuts and honey. So its sweet. I also really like different kinds of rice and preferably saffron rice. Mango Lassi is a favourite and Indian Cobra beer.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Roysen

                    Dhaba has already been mentioned several times, and I will add my vote, but Dhaba's sister shop Khyber (03-5159-7610) is a tandoori specialist and they are very good IMHO. I have no idea whether they serve all the items on your specs list, but what I've had there was excellent, including the curries.

                    1. re: Robb S

                      Thanks I am checking out Dhaba and Khyber.

                      1. re: Robb S

                        I have checked out both Dhaba and Khyber on their websites now. Although they look interesting, they are not completely what I am looking for.

                        I have one question for you though. I have mentioned some dishes in a previous post in this thread I would normally eat at an Indian restaurant at home. On the menu on the websites of the Indian restaurants in Tokyo I have been visiting I am not able to find these dishes anywhere. Are the dishes I have mentioned known to you guys here as a normal part of the menu at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo. Are the dishes I have mentioned even Indian. I am talking about Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka Masala, Roghan Josh, Lamb Khorma, Peshawari Naan, Mango Lassi and saffron rice. I suspect many of the local "Indian" restauarnts where I come from where they serve these dishes the staff and ownership might actually be Pakistani. On the menu of the Indian restaurants in Tokyo many dishes are usually called just curry with the main ingredient also in the name. A menu item like that can't be found anywhere on a meny of an Indian restaurant where I come from.

                        1. re: Roysen

                          The dishes you describe are part of a small repertoire of Mughlai/Kashmir cuisine derivatives that is common in "Indian" restaurants around the world, the assumption being that what people really want is meat in cream gravy. (this with the exception of mutton tikka masala, which is a derivative of a UK dish)

                          Indian cuisine spans far wider, and includes many preparations that are neither obviously curries nor tandoori dishes and where they are curries, often not ones based on the same cream (supposedly yogurt) base as what you're used to.

                          So while you'll find the food at good Indian restaurants in Tokyo entirely recognizable as Indian food, depending on the region(s) they are trying to represent, the names and individual dishes are probably going to be quite different than the ones you're used to. Also, I think that due to various language issues, there's less of a tendency toward exotic sounding names - so what you might see described as Chili Murg at your local shop will simply be chili chicken, or perhaps chili chicken dry or chili chicken fry.

                          1. re: Roysen

                            To add to Gargle's post above, because you are looking for a somewhat narrow set of dishes from one particular tradition in Indian cuisine adapted to the Western palate, the chances of getting a "high end" version of these dishes is less in a place like Tokyo which has a wider range of Indian cuisine than many places in Northern Europe. My advice to you is the same as for Thai: if you are really interested "high end or high quality", Japanese cuisine presents a sufficient variety to satisfy even for a month whereas you are unlikely to find this to the same extent with respect to Thai and Indian food. In terms of breaking up the "washoku/kaiseki/sushi" fatigue, you can explore other types of Japanese food with different flavor profiles like Soba, Yakitori, Ramen etc.

                            1. re: tigerjohn

                              It is quite a while ago since I adjusted my goal of the Indian and Thai restaurant I am looking for to be high end. Now I was actually looking for a restaurant where they serve good version of the dishes I have mentioned.

                              Having said that when reading these last posts I now have actually come to the same conculsion as most of you have adviced me. I have dropped the Indian and Thai restaurants entierly from the plan now although there originally were only one lunch spot for each.

                              If I should find somewhere that fits my description I am open to include them but for now I think it will be hard to find what I am looking for.
                              Thanks for the input Gargle. That was very valuable.

                              I do plan to break up the pattern with several types of Japanese cusisine also. The reason why I originally wanted to include Thai and Indian is because I really like the local restaurants of these cuisines here and hoped that being in an Asian city the quality of the the same would probably be higher. So my thought was that my personal preferance would be in favour of Thai and Indian over some of the local Japanese cuisines.

                              1. re: Roysen

                                I think perhaps you might want to try a good Sichuanese place. It is also a spice-centric cuisine, and break from the Japanese range of flavor, and there are some very good versions of it.

                                1. re: Gargle

                                  Thanks. That is great advice. Any recomendations.

                          2. re: Robb S

                            And for anyone reading this topic looking for south Indian food, I can highly recommend Dharmasagara (03-3545-5588) in Higashi-Ginza. Excellent Masala Dosa (quite filling), great spicy southern-style stir-fried lamb and chicken dishes, and each dish had its own very distinctive flavors.

                        2. I just checked out Nirvana New York on tabelog. They actually have a lot of what I am looking for. Naan bread, Mango lassi, Chicken tikka tandoori etc. It looks good too.

                          I also think the food they serve here looks good. Saffron rice, Naan bread, Mango Lassi, Chicken Tikka and Rogan Josh. Additional they have some interesting dishes I would like to try. Lamb shank tikka, Oyster curry, Duck tikka and Bonito tikka. Does anyone know what the name of this one is in English letters?http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1306/A13060...

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: Roysen

                              This is now the shortlist I am working on to find the one I will try:

                              Nirvana New York