The eastern Indian region of Bengal is primarily renowned as a centre of culture and the arts, but forgetting the food would be a grave mistake. Before you start planning a trip to the subcontinent, try the subtle, diverse flavours of Bengali cuisine at this gem of an eatery, somewhat unbelievably found on the ground floor of a decrepit shopping centre in the downtown neighbourhood of Machiya. At lunch, they serve affordable thala sets (from ¥1,000) that come with a choice of curry, two sides (one vegetarian, one meat/fish), papadum crackers, chutney, rice and a dessert – enough to satisfy even the biggest of eaters while not leaving you feeling weighed down afterward.
At dinnertime, the chefs pull out all the stops and serve up dish after dish of exquisitely flavoured, basmati rice-compatible creations, but the prices remain reasonable to the end. You'll be able to eat and drink to your heart's content for about ¥3,000, which is a steal for this quality level. Finally, a word of advice: this is nothing like your average ‘Indian curry’ joint – naan is completely off the table, and the flavours, while not very spicy to begin with, are absolutely not adjusted to local tastes.
B1F Lions Plaza Machiya, 3-2-1 Machiya, Arakawa-ku
|Opening hours:||5.30pm-10.30pm. Lunch 11.45am-2pm (Sat, Sun only) / closed Wed|
|Transport:||Machiya Station (Chiyoda, Keisei lines), exit 1; Machiya-Ekimae Station (Toden Arakawa line)|