Reproducing the healthy flavours of Southern India
with spices imported direct from the source
Catch a glimpse of the profound world of spices
About a ten minute walk down the main road from Naka-Meguro Station, you will find a restaurant sign that truly catches the eye. This is Sri Balaji.
A single step inside the door plunges you into a colourful pink paradise even more eye-catching than the sign outside.
Perhaps this pink flair is one way the chef reproduces Indian culture in Japan.
When people think of Indian cuisine, they often think of the curry, naan, and tandoori chicken of Northern India.
But Southern Indian cuisine tends to be more vegetarian in nature with a focus on beans, vegetables and rice. It is less greasy and lightly spiced, making it easier to digest. This explains why the restaurant's lunch is so popular among female diners.
One of Sri Balaji's staple dishes is their dosa. In Southern India, dosa is much more popular than naan. Here, the crepe-like batter is shaped into a perfect cone from which arises the subtle aroma of beans.
It takes a long time to make. Rice and beans are steeped in water for two days, then using a mixer imported from India, the mixture is made into a paste. That is left for another six hours to ferment before it is cooked.
It comes with three types of chutney (coconut, tomato, and mint) and a serving of sambhar (vegetable curry) providing a symphony of flavours to try.
For your main dish, try one of the smooth, Southern Indian style curries. Try the tart but sweet avial curry, made by stewing vegetables in yoghurt, giving it the texture of coconut and a spicy aroma. This is food as it would be served at home in Southern India - lightly spiced, perfectly flavoured, and made with loving care.
After dinner, have some mango kulcha and chai tea. Pouring the tea from an arm stretched high helps cool it down and gives it a smoother taste.
Come to Sri Balaji and discover the world of genuine Southern Indian cuisine.