A few minutes walk from Okachimachi station (next to Ueno on the Yamanote line) Andhra sits nestled away on a side street, almost literally a hole in the wall. Slightly lower than street level, the roughly 30 seat capacity restaurant is very simple in its design. There are no bells and whistles in the clean, beige interior - but it seems they’ve saved all the flavour for the food.
I first went on a Monday, and though I’m ever so slightly embarrassed at my own gluttony, I was there again the next Thursday. On the latter trip we ordered in the traditional JIMC manner: papad, Kingfisher, Chicken Tikka. The papad came out quickly - warm and freshly cooked, with a very nice but not overpowering spicy flavour. Then came out perhaps the best chicken Tikka we’ve encountered in Tokyo - 4 big meaty pieces cooked to perfection with a mint sauce to put others to shame. A lemon wedge and a few raw red onion slices accompanied, and though a chutney or onion salad would have been welcome we were more than satisfied by the dish. As wonderful as the Tikka was, the highlight (as it should be) came from the mains.
Together with perfectly made Basmati rice (yes!) and crepe-thin Chapati (also among the best I’ve had) Andhra Kitchen is the perfect restaurant for experiencing curry the JIMC way. And while I expect to be making my way through their menu over the next several months and years, on my next trip I’ll be making it a point to order one of their “meals.”
Of course we still expect to find great powerhouse restaurants and hidden gems in Tokyo, so it may well be that Andhra Kitchen isn’t the best in town. In the meantime, for my money, you’ll have a very hard time finding anywhere better. Actually I’m feeling a bit peckish… might make a trip down tonight!