This time out, Rajasthali on Kashiwa’s East side - sixish minutes from the station and very near City Hall. Bigger than most Indian places I’ve been to in Kashiwa or otherwise, the place felt especially empty upon my late lunchtime visit. Although I was the only customer on this storm-drenched afternoon, I figured Rajasthali must make ends meet at weekday lunchtime to sustain its size; a suspicion confirmed later by the friendly owner with whom I had a lovely post-meal chat.
All of this was disappointing of course, but I should make it clear that the Vindaloo itself was quite nice. It didn’t help that the last curry I had eaten was Ahilya’s exquisite Tikka Masala, but the generous cuts of mutton sat happily in the flavourful gravy, and I managed to enjoy it to the last bite (even though the half-baked paratha didn’t go the distance.)
After discussing some of our mutual favourite spots in Tokyo (Ahilya, Moti and Dhaba Kitchen were all mentioned) we politely broached my pet-peeve/favourite topic: the dumbing-down that occurs at lunch service in Japan’s Indian restaurants. We agreed with a wink (a bit smugly, perhaps, on my part) that the mild (watered down) lunch curries and huge naan slabs were not indicative of the best a chef can do, and to my delight the owner assured me that next time I came in he’d make me something really hot and really flavourful. Yes, I would prefer it if they’d just make me something spicy and delicious without prompting, but I don’t completely fault chefs for holding back the spice, as Japanese customers are famous for bitching when the curry is “too hot.”