Court Lodge - Sri Lankan ****
Address - 2-10-9, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open - Daily from 11pm to 23pm
Telephone - 03-3376-7733
Menu - In English and Japanese
Court Lodge is an old acquaintance of mine: I had been wanting to eat there for at least six years, mostly out of curiosity, but also because I had heard good things about it, and at last I went with some friends. Not only: I went directly from famine to feast, and all of a sudden I found myself eating there three times in a month.
Sri Lankan restaurants are rare in Tokyo. I know of just four: Ebisu's excellent Palete, Shin Nakano's mediocre Sujatha, and CL's two branches, in Shinjuku and Shin- Nakano respectively.
Sri Lanka (a.k.a. Serendip and Ceylon), like Japan, is and island and therefore likes to do things its own way. Do not think that its food is just an Indian food variant: the first time I ate at defunct Sri Lankan restaurant Athara Petara, my Indian friend Sohan, who owns Cajun restaurant Bourbon Street, felt just as completely lost as I.
While Court Lodge's menu is much more limited than Athara Petara's, it has more than enough to make your dinner pleasant. My partner wanted to try some coconut milk-based dishes, and we chose a Dahl curry which, while excellent, was very different in taste from what I knew, a mixed vegetable curry, samosa, rice and tuna dumplings. To close the meal, a dish based on Goya, the famous bitter gourd Okinawans use in their Goya Champuru. Don't forget to order their bread (Gotamba), excellent, soft and buttery, of a kind I had never had before.
After several meals there, I can guarentee you that everything is excellent, service impeccable but friendly, charges moderate. Recommended.
By the way, in the same building there is also a restaurant called Espana which should also be interesting.
To get there, get out of Shinjuku station's South Exit, cross the street and turn right. You will see Court Lodge's sign after about 400 meters. And Yes, the Shibuya-ku is correct.
Raj Mahal - Indian *****
in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza and Roppongi
: Peace Bldg 5 FL, 3-34-11, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
: Jow Bldg 5 FL 30-5 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku
: Centergai Hakuba Bldg 4 FL, 26-11 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku,
: Urban Bldg 4 FL, 7-13-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku
: Taiyo Bldg 4 FL, 8-8-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku
Menu - in English and Japanese.
Opening Hours - every day from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm.
Credit Cards - OK.
Telephone numbers -
: 03-5568-8080 (8081)
: 03-5379-2525 (2580)
: 03-3770-7677 (7680)
: Centergai 03-3780- 6531 (6508)
: 03-5411-2525 (2526)
Raj Mahal is a restaurant I don't know very well: I have some very good Indian restaurants much closer to home. Still, over the years, I have visited their Shibuya and Shinjuku branches several times and have always found the food good, even though I wouldn't be able to give you details about it. I feel therefore confident that you will like it, especially the curries, which seem to me better than the meat dishes. Finding it in Shibuya is not very hard. From Hachiko go straight towards Harajuku, take the first to the left, go ahead until the road forks and you see a police box right at the intersection. Raj Mahal is at the fourth or fifth floor of the building to the immediate left of the police box.The Shinjuku branch is meters from My City, on the East side of the station. They have a 1000 yen all-you-can-eat deal every day for lunch.
Rereading now this review in the light of the meal I had at Raj Mahal yesterday I find I have been much too stingy with my praise: Raj Mahal is an excellent restaurant that offers gorgeous curries you won't find so easily elsewhere together with other rarities like an excellent Bhatura (a wonderful type of fried bread). Explore the menu and you won't be disappointed. And don't forget to get a Ras Malay for dessert.
Karachi - Indian and Pakistani ****
Address - Nishimura Bdg B1-2, 7-10-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Opening Hours - 11am to 11pm every day
Telephone - 03-3364-3458
Menu - in English and Japanese
Credit Cards - Yes
Their lunch is very good, much better than what you usually get in both variety and quality. Why, they even have French Fries. Not very Indian, perhaps, but good nonetheless. I haven't been there in the evening but I trust it will be OK. Too bad it is in such an inconvenient location: from Shinjuku's West exit go to T-Zone, and take the little street on its corner. Karachi is on your right.
web - www.karachi-cafe.com