This time I went along with Chris P., another fan of the uber-spice, my wife and two year old son (never too young to start). Neither Chris or I needed persuading when ordering our mains – me, the Chicken Masala. Chris, the Saag Paneer – both as hot as possible. We started with some papad, some Chicken Tandoori, and two bottles of Golden Eagle. The papad were a little undercooked and a bit hard in places but tasty all the same. The Tandoori was very good – cooked just right. There were only two pieces so I was left wanting more (good sign). Then came the samples for our mains, both hinting that there was some proper kick coming our way.
The mains came with chapati (the thickest I've had in Japan – closer to parata!), and some Japanese rice (meh). We didn't hang around. After 10 minutes had passed with pretty much no talking, we gave each other a tilted look with a nod of satisfaction. Unfortunately, just as I was getting to a level where my mouth was starting to panic, my little one needed attention. I think this had some impact as the curry didn't turn out as hot as last time, though it was a hard to judge as it was eaten with a small break in between. I still don't think it would have quite matched up as it lacked that extra bit of mindless spiciness.
All of the food was well prepared and bursting with flavour. All in all we had four curries between us – a bean curry and a basic chicken curry being part of the lunch set. A real highlight was the bhatura that was available to order with the lunch set (you can switch from naan). It was fluffy, oily, and steaming hot – a great accompaniment to the meal. That, along with a salad, a single tandooried king prawn, and desert and chai, made the lunch set a very attractive choice.
I would go to Nature again just because the first experience I had there stuck in my mind for a long time (spice trauma?). The curries are probably the hottest I've had in Japan. That's a massive draw for me. I think it would be a good rite of passage for anyone who's looking to level up spice wise. Maybe it would be a good place to start my son off. By the time that happens, it'll probably be him telling me the quiet, burning sanctity of a ridiculously hot curry experience cannot and will not be disturbed. You won't be hearing any protest from me.
As a South Indian style curry, Nature Tandoor's Saag Paneer isn't the puréed, creamy dish that you'll find in the Nepalese and other North country curries. This saag is thick with chopped spinach; hale and hearty and healthy-tasting in just the right way. Nature's famous spice-factor (I ordered "very hot") mixes in well. Tempered slightly by the leafy spinach and generous, tasty portions of paneer, it hit the perfect balance of spice and flavor and matched beautifully with the whole-grain taste of the chapati. A truly gorgeous dish.