Have authentic North Indian dishes near Hardy Barracks

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Have authentic North Indian dishes near Hardy Barracks

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

My co-workers and I entered Moti, a restaurant close to busy Roppongi Crossing, on a whim. It was the Spring Equinox holiday in Japan and many eateries in the area were closed, but Moti was open for lunch. We entered due to hunger but what we found were delicious North Indian cuisine lunch sets at reasonable prices.

As soon as we got off the elevator, Moti’s intricate décor including many traditional Indian furniture pieces made us feel like kings of a maharaja castle in Delhi.

Since it was a holiday, the restaurant was offering their weekend menu. Nevertheless, we still got a good deal and ate like the kings we felt we were. For me, our server’s recommendation – a chicken hyderabaca set for 1,250 yen (about $11). This thin, soup-like curry with chicken and vegetables, also happens to be the spiciest among the lunch set menu. A choice of naan or saffron and a drink are included with the sets. I chose saffron rice and lassi and asked that the kitchen make my curry even spicier.

My lunch companions went for the chicken barta, a thick, sticky type of curry, and mutton curry (lamb curry) sets which were also 1,250 yen.

Skilled Indian chefs at Moti, which has two other locations in Tokyo, bring the taste of northern India to every dish, using over 40 spices directly imported from the region, our server said. We could taste the richness of the ingredients in our curries but with a milder finish than Indian curry we’ve had at other restaurants. At Moti, the curry is gluten-free, so the flavor is gentle and complimented nicely by the saffron rice.

Another plus – at Moti, extra naan and rice are free!

On regular weekdays, the restaurant offers a variety of lunch sets, including mutton, chicken, prawn and veggie curries, for the office worker crowd at 1,000 yen. These also come with naan or rice and a soft drink.

Beyond the delicious and cheap lunch sets, the a la carte menu features other curry dishes, tandoori meats and several types of naan and rice dishes. All great options to splurge on a maharaja-like dinner in a gorgeous restaurant for a special occasion. It is a popular restaurant and boasts many prominent actors, athletes and celebrities as regulars.

When you find yourself in a pinch on a Japanese national holiday, don’t forget that Moti has you covered at multiple locations around Tokyo. Enjoy a nice northern Indian lunch (or dinner) that will make you feel like a king without breaking the bank.

Moti Roppongi

Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. (lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Location: 6-2-35 [3F] Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (five-minute walk from Hardy Barracks) 
URL: www.motijapan.com/roppongi.html
Tel: 03-3479-1939 

Moti Shinbashi
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Location: 1-15-5 [5F] Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 
URL: www.motijapan.com/shinbashi.html
Tel: 03-6457-9102

Moti Futakotamagawa
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Location: Dog Wood Plaza 706, 2-23-1 Tamagawa, Setagawa-ku, Tokyo
URL: www.motijapan.com/futakotamagawa.html
Tel: 03-6431-0782

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