Jimbocho, the town of books and cafes, is also a popular curry spot. Japanese curry was originally inspired by Indian curry. Over time, the curry flavors adapted to a Japanese palate, becoming more sweet than spicy. Nowadays, curry can be found in chain stores and boxes in supermarkets. The curry restaurants in Jimbocho retain the original flavor and glamour of this once exotic food.
Bondy is one of Jimbocho’s original curry rice shops. The restaurant has a dark, kissaten vibe, and serves their curry in silver sauce boats. The most popular dish is beef curry on top of Japanese white rice, with a surprise hint of melted cheese. Bondy leans more towards Western style curry than Japanese or Indian flavor. The curry is flavored with a variety of fruits and spices, giving it a deep and complex flavor. Bondy tends to get crowded during lunchtime. Luckily, there are two locations, in Jimbocho and in nearby Kanda. Bondy’s curries are priced between 1,100 yen to 1,630 yen but the quality makes up for the slightly higher price.
Ethiopia Curry Shop
Despite the name, Ethiopia is named after the coffee they serve and not their curry. Their handmade curry roux is thin, unlike thick Japanese curries, and is flavored with twelve spices and sweetened with fresh vegetables. The curry is actually quite similar to Hokkaido’s soup curry. There are only a few choices of curry but the customer can customize by spice level. Spiciness ranges from one to seventy, with seventy being the highest level and a rarity, and even level one could be a bit spicy for mild palates. The bean curry is recommended for a soupy, spicy meal to warm up in the winter time.
Kitchen Nankai serves classic black curry served on a bed of rice and tonkatsu, or breaded pork. Nankai is a casual, plate style restaurant, where customers order their meal and pay up front while standing in line. Their katsu, or fried food, is freshly deep fried and served crisp, without excess oil. Tonkatsu is the most popular option and shrimp katsu is a different twist on the curry rice. The restaurant is small, with mostly counter seating, and can fill with businessmen during peak lunch hours. The kitchen is efficient and quick with getting customers in and out. The plates are cheap, starting at 550 yen, and make for a speedy lunch in a fast-paced environment.
Manten Rice Curry
Manten Rice Curry is a small, unassuming establishment serving some of the best curry in town. The restaurant looks more like a kitchen, with its bright lights and limited seating. Tonkatsu and weiner curry are the specialities at Manten. The curries are warm, filling and feel like a loved, home cooked meal. The curry is Japanese style, with hints of sweetness and spice, and mixed with minced pork. Customers can choose their topping from various katsu options. Manten is located down and alley, which makes it difficult to find. All of the curries are priced under 1,000 yen.
Oodori, or Audrey, is named after the legendary American star whose pictures are featured in the restaurant. Audrey might be an odd choice of mascot for a soup curry restaurant, but customers will be too distracted by the delicious lunch to notice. Oodori serves soup curry, topped with fresh vegetables and flavored with a variety of spices from Japan, India and Southeast Asia. Soup curry is highly customizable. Customers can choose their toppings, from the traditional chicken drumstick to the Oodori specialty, hamburger patty. There are two broths to choose from, pork bone black or chicken red, and the spice level can be adjusted. Oodori is the ideal place to warm up after a cold day.
- スープカレー屋 オオドリー(鴻)神田駿河台店