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Indian cuisine TAJ Okinawa opens

Date Posted: 2010-05-14

An all-Indian staff led by Chef Tarun Ratra promises to move Indian cuisine to new levels on Okinawa with the grand opening of TAJ Okinawa on Monday.

TAJ, which means ‘existing greatly or far above even a king’, is bringing its 15 different kinds of Indian fare including Tandoori dishes to Okinawa. The new restaurant is located on Gate 2 Street near Kadena Air Base, immediately behind the China Pete building. TAJ Okinawa is the owner’s third Indian restaurant in Japan, with the other two on the mainland.

Chef Tarun Ratra first came to Japan in 1998, bringing his expertise in creating delicious Indian curries. He spent 10 years at his restaurant Amar in Kanagawa Prefecture before deciding he wanted a new look at life from Okinawa. His entire staff is from India, creating a unique atmosphere in the 60-seat restaurant. One personal touch created by TAJ is to prepare and cook it’s Nan, the popular Indian bread, inside a clay oven in front of the customers. In fact, that’s Chef Ratra’s goal, to provide good Indian dishes while serving his customers “from the heart.”

TAJ Okinawa’s grand opening specials are in effect through May 17th, with 20% off all dinner prices, while accepting course menus from groups of five or more. The cost can be up to ¥2,000, with foods—but not drinks—to go.

The restaurant’s luncheon recommendation is for the Curry Set A, a lunch very popular in Kanagawa Prefecture. It features curry, Nan, Salad and a soft drink. Choose from five different curries, including chicken, Keema, vegetable, seafood and the day’s special. Drink choices are available, and the luncheon A Set starts at ¥800 and up. Luncheon is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dinners at TAJ Okinawa are served from 5 p.m. to midnight. The dinner set menus start at ¥1,500 and up, with choices from 15 different types of curry. All spices and dough are homemade, with three degrees of spiciness. The customer makes the choice. The chef’s recommendation for dinner is the Ladies Set, which includes curry, Nan, one piece Tandoori chicken, one piece Tandoori prun, salad, fruit yoghurt and rice.

TAJ Okinawa is a non-smoking restaurant. Reservations for dinners and parties are available. Operating hours are 11 a.m. ~ 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. ~ Midnight, seven days a week. It’s located next to Altec outside KAB Gate 2. The restaurant accepts major credit cards, yen and dollars. Free parking is available. Two pluses for foreigners: All staff speak English, and English menus are available.

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