It’s always nice when you hit the culinary jackpot in unexpected places. This was the case on Friday night when I was introduced to a relatively new restaurant just a short walk from Chiba station: Bengal Tiger. As is generally agreed, curry should be a shared experience, and heading down there with a few people really helped as there were so many great-sounding options on the menu, and travelling in numbers meant we could go for several of them. Luckily, one of the people in the party was very familiar with the menu, so we were able to just sit back and wait for the magic to start. First, we went for a couple of starters, which included Tandoori Chicken and Bengal Tiger Chicken Kebab. As the restaurant specializes in Indian, Singaporean, and south-east Asian cuisine, we also went for the highly-recommended and spicy Green Papaya Salad. Our experienced party member recommended a few items off the list, and I went for Chicken Sag, with the other guests going for Bengal Tiger Butter Chicken and Yogurt Chicken. On top of this, I ordered Egg & Onion Paratha, rice (they only serve basmati), and a few beers.
First out was the Papaya Salad (shrimp variety), which came with a decorative, edible flower. If you are into your spicy salads, this comes highly recommended. It was the dish that packed the most punch out of all of them on the night! The shrimp were fresh and the vegetables crisp and crunchy, and the zest from the juice lifted all the ingredients and performed a merry dance in the mouth.
Next came the Tandoori and Kebab. The fresh meat of the Tandoori was bathed in just the right amount of marinade, and the ornamental design of both dishes tempted you to not destroy the aesthetic, but that didn't last long. The chunks of Tandoori were up there with the best I’ve had since starting this blog, and I slightly neglected the kebab in favour of doubling down on the delicately cooked, peppery meat.
After this came the mains. Well, I can say this, I have neither had better looking or tasting curry in Chiba. The Sag was immense, the thick sauce deep and complex, which was complemented superbly with both beetroot-dyed onion and crispy shards of fried onion. Mixed together with the fantastically light paratha, the egg and onion offering their own little surprises, this was a dish to die for. If I could pick any fault with it, it was a little milder than I wanted, as I’d requested it to be extra-hot, but I was reassured after that I could go a lot hotter on my next visit, which will, I guarantee, be very soon.
All-in-all a very satisfying meal, and with the service being fantastic too, well worth the trip down if you are from Tokyo or beyond. The other dishes were all up there with the Sag, but I will leave it there for now so that anyone curry-hunting down this way can find out for themselves. There is something growling in the bushes in Sen City, but this one requires you to do the biting.