There are several Raj Mahals in Tokyo (the others are located in Shibuya and Roppongi). This was the first time I had been to one since having one of the best Indian curry experiences I've had in Japan, which was at the Raj in Shinjuku. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I thought as it was from the same group that there would be at least a reasonably priced lunch, a decent ambiance in a comfortable setting, fluid service, and a fair few people enjoying a great selection of curries. The experience here in Ginza couldn't have been more different: the large dining area was empty (we were the only ones there at 12:30), replete with long, plasticky seats, dated decor, and detachable wall slats - some of which had been left lying around the place. There was no buffet (Raj, Shinjuku was amazing for this), and the servers seemed more interested in having a good laugh in the kitchen (product of a quiet restaurant?), which all contributed to a slightly disappointing experience.
Food wise, there were some set options for lunch but I decided to go for the evening menu (super size me). I would usually go for something meaty before the main dish, but looking at the prices (Chicken Tikka was ¥1800), I opted for a round of papad as a starter (¥300). My partner in crime went for the lunch set, which came in at a measly ¥2000 (you can probably see a pattern emerging by now). There was a decent selection of curries, so I decided to go for something a bit different: Murg Makkan Palak (tandoori chicken cooked in spinach, fresh tomato gravy, and butter). There was the option to choose paratha from the bread section on the menu, which I did without hesitation - ¥700 well spent.
The papad were a great starter (they came garnished with aromatic roasted cashew nuts and some mint sauce). The main followed shortly after. Admittedly, this is the first time I have tried Murg Makkan Palak so I don't have much to compare it to, but I have had better curries. It wasn't a bad curry, but maybe a bit too creamy for my liking. However, no complaints as I did get what I asked for. I was a bit disappointed with the spice level - it clearly stated "H" for hot next to its menu listing, and I even called the server back to tell him I wanted it made extra hot, but it fell well short of the mark. It was a very simple curry, consisting of small chopped up bits of tandoori chicken and slithers of spinach. At a slightly staggering ¥1600, I would probably expect a bit more.
I wouldn't go back to the Ginza Raj for lunch. Sometimes restaurants are appealing because they are quiet, but this was a sign more than anything. I'm sure being not so far away from Shimbashi and surrounding business districts that they get busy at lunchtimes on weekdays, but there were a distinct lack of customers being tempted in at the weekend. I would probably try the Raj in Shibuya instead (have heard some good things). Ginza branch feels like it could do with bit of a refurb. If they get a few more people in at the price I paid for lunch (¥5000), they'll be well on their way to be able to afford decent one.