The first positive sign was that the restaurant ranked the highest on one of the popular gourmet sites in the category of Indian curry, so I presumed it must be pretty decent. But that wasn’t all: it actually ranked as the 3rd best restaurant in the prefecture. So with that info in hand, I made my way down to the fairly remote are of Kemigawa, Chiba.
When I arrived around 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, there was a line of around 10-15 people and a list that would have me waiting for an hour and a half. I decided to put my name down and wait (the staff informed me they would call as soon as a table became available). I lingered for about 40 minutes, visiting a local temple, but the wait just got too much – it was nearing 3pm and the rumbles were becoming unbearable, so I decided to get the phone out and try somewhere else. After a short train ride, a 10 minute wait for a bus, a 10 minute bus ride, and 5 minute walk, I arrived at a small, no-frills Indian restaurant, where the food filled the gap, but was nothing more than average. Oh, and Sitar called just as the food hit the table. Perfect timing.
I decided to head back to the same temple to wait. This time, I waited at the small cafe there – a great little place where you can order a beer and sit and listen to the gentle sounds of trickling water, and echoing chants and delicate wind chimes. A perfect place to relax.
The papad came. Great! A lot smaller that the type you get in the UK but very similar in taste. If only they had something to complement them with (a variety of dips and chutneys would be great). The samosas came – not quite as good as the ones served by Ghungroo at the Sakura Festival, but right up there. Then I noticed a small jar on the table. Mango chutney, no less! I’d already eaten half the papads but there it was, staring me in the face the whole time. So I went to work on that, adding it to the papad and assaulting the samosas with it.
We also found out that the chunk-filled chutney we found on the table is homemade, and is prepared with dates, mango, and tamarind. You can buy a jar and take it with you – it really is a chunky delight – along with a selection of sweets and herbs and spices. So if you are ever in Chiba and seeking out Indian cuisine, check out this popular place. Ring ahead, though, as you might have a bit of a wait on your hands. Don't forget the temple if you get stuck. It's almost worth planning the two things together if you're going to make the journey.