Monday, November 14, 2016

Royal Spice Uraga

Location: Royal Spice

Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 1650 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Keema curry with naan, Pork curry with naan, rice (free)
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

Royal Spice is an Indian restaurant located in a very odd place...way down the road, past Uraga proper, in a spot I kind of can't believe would ever have thought it wanted an Indian restaurant.  It's a branch of a chain that had a tiny location near Yokosuka Chuo at one time, but does have a couple more spots up in Yokohama area too (Shin Sugita station).  It is owned by an Indian, but run mostly by Nepalese from what I can tell.  I had heard about the branch in Uraga a couple of years back at the Yokosuka Curry Festival (yes, this is a thing) as they had representation there.  Of course, it is my mission to eat at all Indian restaurants I can find, so my wife and I planned many times to either bike out there or meet someone who lives in the area for lunch sometime.  However it never seemed to happen, until last Sunday.  It was a beautiful day and we had some time, so we decided to ride our bicycles down to Uraga via Kannonzaki, making the loop around one of the pincers that form the entrance to Tokyo Bay.  And we stopped for a late lunch at Royal Spice.

Can't really tell which is which...

While I am rating this place "Ok", there were some things we liked about it.  First of all the chef/waiter/everything person was very personable and we had good conversation with him (Vishnu was his name I believe).  He is Nepali himself, and only in country about a year, though since he's stuck out in the sticks with this restaurant all by himself, I imagine his Japanese has improved much more than mine.  Second, the naan, which I was forced to eat because there was no rice, was well made despite its sweetness.  Vishnu too lamented the inevitable sweetness of the bread and curries of all Japanese Indian restaurants, but as I've heard every where else this is done to suit Japanese taste (which despite the propaganda, displays the Japanese sweet tooth prominently).  The bread itself was thick and chewey, without the extremely processed feel of most naan in Japan.  My pork curry was decently spicy terribly sweet.  My wife's keema was on the soupy side (as was mine) and definitely a bit sweeter.

Can't really tell which is which...

Overall we were pleasantly surprised, especially given the lackluster Indian meal we had eaten the previous night.  However, this served to recalibrate my rating for that restaurant down to a "Not Great" so that I could give this place a solid "Ok."

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