This recent addition to the very cosmopolitan Grand Cube dining street in Otemachi offers a mound of real, down-home Malaysian-style Indian curries and rice to discerning local office workers. Just choose your rice and curry, and the friendly staff will load you up a heaping plate of spicy enjoyment!
The best value for money is the recommended two-curry lunch at 1,580 yen. Choose from fragrant Jasmine or spicy Biryani rice, then select two curries from the six available. The classic Malaysian chicken curry here is very good, as is the fiery beef and potato curry. There are usually a couple of vegetable-based choices (mild chickpea and okra) and a very tasty squid and clam curry.
The staff will add a raita (yogurt), Malaysian pickles, a curried egg and your choice of grilled chicken or Ayam Goreng (deep-fried chicken). Don't forget to ask for extra gravy if you like your lunch wet. The result is a feast of flavors, enlivened by the occasional whole cardamom pod or clove!
The water is self-service and comes in those stainless-steel mugs beloved all over Asia.
According to legend, Nasi Kandar was brought to Malaysia by Tamil Muslim traders serving lunch to hungry dockworkers in George Town, Penang. The cooks would bring large tubs of rice and curry to the port on a "kandar" (shoulder pole). Today, you can find Nasi Kandar stalls all over Malaysia, most with a bewildering choice of fried and grilled meats and fish to go with dozens of curries and vegetable dishes.
by Raj Jaffrey