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Madras Curry Restaurant
Welcome to my first restaurant review!
Good evening from Osaka, Japan! And welcome to my first of many restaurant reviews.
This is going to be the first of many, and in each review I will talk about the restaurant, its location, the food they serve and what I thought of the food and the service. So enjoy!
What is it?
As the title says, it's a curry restaurant! Of course there are many, many different types of curry restaurants out there, but this is supposedly one of the best curry restaurants in Osaka, at least according to several of the locals.
I don't know how true that actually is, but it certainly was very good! So let's dive right into what you can expect.
One would not expect the so-called "best" curry restaurant to look like a hole-in-the-wall, but that is certainly what it is. It's not fancy or polished, but it is clean and the people are friendly.
Upon approaching it, you'll notice the common-looking yellow overhang with orange curtains over the entrance. You might also smell the curry, although the sweet/spicy odor is actually pretty light, and not over-powering like some other curry restaurants I've been to.
The inside is clean, with the usual stools next to a bar where the curry rice is served. This particular night, there was a man and woman behind the bar, and both greeted me warmly with the usual いらしゃいます！
It was quite warm inside, and while there were only a few customers this particular night, quite cozy with a friendly air.
Service was excellent, which is something you come to expect in Japan after being here for a short while. The lady quickly took my order. Surprisingly, she spoke very good English, which is not something you come across here very much in Osaka, especially in places that are off the beaten path.
In fact, we ended up talking for quite a while. I practiced my Japanese with her and she helped me with some words and kanji. Turns out that she lived in Canada for about a year to attend school. That's why she got so good at speaking English.
Either way, for those of you who don't know much Japanese, this is one of those places that actually has an English speaking server. Now, don't expect this to be the norm; as I said, I was quite surprised at this revelation. Still, for those of you who don't have a Japanese friend, this will be helpful. Come here in the evenings though; she only works in this restaurant during night-shift.
Types and Prices
The above is a price list (as of November, 2014) of the restaurant. This is for the basic curry dish. There are a few other additions, such as curry with cheese, but these are simple add-ons that you can order.
When you walk in, pay attention to the size of the plates. They are large.
A small serving of curry is a full meal for one person. I am actually very glad I bought the small size. Anything larger, and I would have been eating way too much. I can't even imagine how big the HUGE size (or 大食）could be. It must be a figurative mountain of rice, meat, and curry sauce.
As for your choice of meat, you can get either pork （豚肉）or chicken （鳥肉).
They also have basic beverages. I opted for a beer, which is your general Asahi canned beer. Your usual assortment of pickled products are there as well. Simply ask for the 漬物 （つけもの）although they should already be in front of you as you are being served.
Here's the best part: how does it taste?
Good. I was actually surprised by how sweet it was. Other curry I had tasted was not as sweet as this. No, it was not overpowering; in fact, I would say it was just below an overpowering sweetness.
This is quickly mitigated by the punch of spice at the end of it. It's a sort of back-of-the-throat spiciness that counters the sweetness very nicely. As you continue to eat, the spiciness lingers and continues to be a very good counter to the spikes of sweetness tantalizing your tastebuds.
The beer, which is just a general light beer, actually complimented the taste. I do think that the restaurant could get better beer, but then they would have to charge more for beer.
This is the easiest way to get there.
First, if you have a phone with GPS, just plug in the above address and find your way there.
If you are taking the train, take the Midosuji line subway to Nanba.
From Nanba station, look for exit 17. You're going to be walking in what basically amounts to an underground city. This is called the Nanba Walk.
Follow this Walk towards exit 17, and keep an eye out for stairs that will take you up to BIC Camera. There is and exit that says "Bic Camera"; follow the stairs up, and look for a red glowing sign that says ビクカメラ on it. It is going to be hard to see, however. Another option is to keep the road on your left and keep walking until you see Bic Camera on your right.
Continue to walk with the road on your left to the next major intersection. Cross the road, then turn right on the sidewalk and keep walking. Eventually you're going to want to turn left at another intersection and go down a street and keep an eye out of the restaurant's yellow over-hang. It can be very easy to miss, so keep an eye out!
Good night, dear Curry.
4 out of 5.
I find that the combination of the atmosphere, low prices, service, and delicious food makes this a very highly recommended curry restaurant for those on a budget.
However, I am knocking off a star because of the beer. Yes, I know it's a minor thing, but to me, it matters because I am a fan of good beer. I was spoiled in Germany, but hey...
I must also note that this restaurant is going to be placed in the "low-price, homey" category. I cannot rate this as a "best restaurant to go to in Osaka" or something similar like that. It simply is not on that scale.
Recommended? Hell yes.
© 2014 Nathaniel