Nair's Restaurant is an Indian restaurant of very long-standing in Ginza. It's famous in Tokyo for being the first to offer authentic curry. We went to try out their super famous Murgi Lunch. Here's all you need to know about it and the restaurant.
Indian curry houses are now ubiquitous in Tokyo, but that obviously wasn't always the case. One of the very first authentic curry houses in Tokyo is Nair's Restaurant in Higashi Ginza. Nair's was established in 1949, right after WW2, and ever since then has been a locals' favourite. The secret to their success is not just due to being the first to have entered the Indian restaurant market, but also because their food is just amazing and pretty affordable. Indeed, their curry is arguably one of the best in the city judging by the rave online reviews and the honours it has received - including Japan's Curry Grand Prix 2014.
Nair's restaurant is located less than a minute walk away from the A2 exit of Higashi Ginza metro station. It's also a short distance walk from Ginza metro station. The storefront is hard to miss!
The interior is simple and cozy. It has a total of 70 seats on two floors but since the place is so popular, you might have to wait in line to get in if you go there during peak hours.
Murgi Lunch (¥1,500)
If you go, the surest bet is to order Nair's signature dish: the Murgi Lunch. It's a bit different from other curries you can find in Tokyo because, for one thing, the correct way of eating it is by mixing everything on your plate together.
First, you shred the chicken with your knife and fork. This is a pretty simple task since the meat was stewed for hours and is extremely tender.
Then you simply discard the chicken bone and mix up everything. The Murgi Lunch plate has some cabbage, mashed potatoes and turmeric rice along with the chicken.
Once thoroughly mixed, this is what your plate looks like. Nair's Murgi Lunch is not novel just in the sense that you complete the preparation of your dish yourself, the taste is also one of a kind - There are absolutely no chemical flavour enhancers in it, just a combination of around 10 spices imported directly from India.
The natural sweetness of the ingredients is balanced out perfectly by the spices. It has just the right amount of spicy tingliness that spreads in your mouth as you eat.
As for the chicken meat, it's packed with umami flavour that is further enhanced by the spices. It's incredibly tasty and a bit too addictive!
The Murgi Curry plate is also available as part of a dinner course of ¥2,800. If you go at night, it's also a good place to spend some relaxing time with a group of friends. A good way to enjoy the place is by ordering a variety of dishes and sharing them. Nair's recommend Indian beer and wine to pair with your food.