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Nanak Delivers the Spicy Flavors of India

By: “Grand chef” Keizo Nakasone

Date Posted: 1999-11-19

Masala Curry, Sada Nan, Tandori Chicken, Biryani, Seakah kabbab… If these words make your mouth water, then there is a good place to satisfy your appetite.

From the land of curries, the authentic tastes of India - the traditional Indian specialties - have been brought to the island.

The Indian curry restaurant, Nanak opened 2 years ago in Matsuo, Naha City. It was the first Nanak restaurant in Okinawa, following the franchise’s success in 18 other locations on mainland Japan, including Osaka, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

Just like at the other Nanak restaurants throughout Japan, the chefs from India replicate the tastes of their home country in the Naha restaurant. They offer over 20 different curry varieties, including seafood, chicken, and vegetable curries, a variety of Nan (or Indian bread) on order, and Indian rice. All the dishes on the menu go well with curry dishes. The menu is written both in English and Japanese. The grill entrees such as Tandori Chicken and Garlic Chicken, which are cooked in special boiler, are also popular dishes at the restaurant.

We tried the combination plate called the New-Delhi Special. The plate comes with a small portion of two kinds of curry (chicken and shrimp), a piece of Tandori Chicken, Seekah kabab, Sada Nan, Chicken Biryani, Papad and crispy bread made from beans, salad, dessert, and Lassie, or Indian soft drink. Although most of the dishes were spicy, we enjoyed the different degrees of hotness of each dish. The whole selection tasted great. Curry hotness is leveled from mild to super hot (many Indians prefer Medium hot, according to Chef Gaire.) For those who want to try a bit of everything, the 6 different combination plates for 1 to 4 persons (1500 yen ) are at their choice. Indian beer, Lassi, Chai (Indian milk tea), Masala Cahi (spicy Indian tea) are also available.

The chef, Jhampa Lal Gaire and Mati Lal Gaire, who came to Japan 14 years ago after a 10-year cooking experience in India, reproduces the tastes of their homeland for those who come to experience an exotic dining experience and for those who miss the tastes of their country.

"We have been told that our food tastes just like the original from India. Customers can always expect to get the same curry that people eat in India right here." Chef, Jhampa LalGaire says.

Dining at this Indian curry eatery is like taking a small trip to India without the airfare. A chatty atmosphere in Hindi among the chefs, from the dining room to the kitchen, is the norm. Exotic Indian pops flow in the dimly lit dining room. Decorations straight from India, such as the Indian god alter called "Ganes" (it has a human body and an elephant head), and the unique wood sculptures on the walls, give customers a near fascinating dining experience.

The restaurant opens seven days a week, from 11:00-15:00 and 17:30-|22:00, Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, 11:00-22:00.

Carry out is available. Both yen and dollar are accepted for payment.

Directions: Take Route 58 heading for Naha from Kadena, to the Asato Intersection (there’s a San A Grocery store on the left). Then, enter Kokusai Street (Route 39) and go straight along the street. The Esprit Court Building is on the leftC which is 8-minute walk form Mitsukoshi Department Store.

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