Does Nirvanam serve the very best Indian food in Tokyo? Well it's definitely up there, especially if you like those aromatic South Indian flavours as much as I do. The full story was in my Japan Times column yesterday, along with some excellent photos by the JT cameraman (thanks, Miura-san!). Here are a few of my rather grainier images from a light dinner there last week.
Starting with the Set Dosa, a tray with two thick fluffy rice-flour "hotcakes" with great dips to go with them.
Think of the parippu vada as crisper, slightly larger versions of falafels, except they're made with yellow split peas rather than chickpeas. And they come with a delicate minty-yogurt sauce (rather than tahini). A bit dry on their own, but just right with a Kingfisher beer or two.
The Roast Fish is one of our favourites. As described, the chunks of whitemeat fish are coated in a spicy marinade, then cooked and served with a sauce well spiced with plenty of small, fiery red chilies and other aromatics, along with fresh green kari leaf and a good sprinkling of cashew nuts.
The main event for us that evening was an excellent mutton curry in the Andhra Pradesh style...
…which went perfectly with the string hoppers.
The desserts are (apart from the "mango delight") just as authentic — this one below is the payasam. Mind you, the chai is so teeth-achingly sugared up you really don't need anything else sweet.
The Nirvanam home page is here... Curiously though, although it has maps to both its branches, I couldn't see a phone number anywhere. It is: (03) 3433-1217.
It's definitely a good idea to phone ahead. And even if they say they're fully booked, they usually have some tables open at the beginning of the evening (say, until 8 pm).