Curry in The Place Under The Stairs

Whilst dossing about in Shinyurigaoka (a lovely little place in the suburbs of Tokyo), we had a late lunch in a curious tiny little curry shop beneath a flight of stairs outside the train station, and opposite McDonalds. Despite it’s less than glamorous location, we have long wished to sample its increasingly famous curry but always seemed in a rush or too late to pop in. 

Japanese curry is one of my favourite comfort foods. I relish bowlfuls and bowlfuls of it in the winter. Different from Indian curry, it is thicker, sweeter, milder, made with less spices and more fruit. Apparently, curry came to Japan via the British (no surprises there) and has become so popular that it is certainly one of Japan’s national dishes.

The beef curry was delicious. Unexpectedly stew-like but still a very good curry. Deep, rich and flavoursome with a complex fruity flirtiness that really makes the dish come alive in the mouth. The owner makes the curry off-site to a secret recipe and then brings a pot-ful into the shop each day (sometimes a couple of times a day). 

There is only space for 4 people inside and there are a couple of tables just outside.  Curry & Herb Cherry Blossom may look like a tatty little place but is one of those places that rewards the curious.  The owner is quite a character and the place itself has a charm of its own. 

It is said that he/she who makes a wish and crouches through the little side door will have the wish granted. You will notice that a covering of mini instax photos across the walls of Curry & Herb Cherry Blossom, these are the smiling faces of those that have their wish fulfilled.

As for me….I am still waiting!