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Jul 5, 2014 10:46 AM

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

        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.