There’s a very good curry shop in Matsuyama JR Station with the whimsical name “Delhi”—whimsical because this is a quintessential Japanese “curry-rice” shop that serves only beef curry, which I believe is not a Hindu favourite. Here, two elderly ladies work behind a Formica counter feeding a wide range of imaginative curry items to a constant stream of hungry customers.
The basic curry served in Delhi is a slightly piquant brown sauce containing beef and diced vegetables. For increments of 200 yen you can have the sauce at double, quadruple or whatever the hotness. If you order beef curry, you just get the sauce served with rice. However, if you order the fried chicken curry, you get the rice, beef curry and some juicy chunks of chicken. Many different things are offered with the beef curry, and they all go together remarkably well.
Last time I went I ordered the Yakubuta Tamago curry, a recent addition to the menu. This is a new take on the still novel “B class gourmet” dish of neighbouring Imabari. In Imabari, this is tender flavoured pork with a couple of soft fried eggs, served on a bowl of rice with a fragrant sauce. At Delhi, this same combination was served on a plate with a sea of the standard beef curry around it. I have to say, my heart leapt in my bosom when I first saw it, and it didn’t disappoint. It was really satisfying. There was a generous amount of pork, and the flavours and textures went together very well. The counter is equipped with sweet, tasty pickles at convenient intervals and you can help yourself. I applied the cocktail onions and pickled radish slices liberally, which added yet another dimension.
If you don’t want curry, there are other options available. You can have Hayashi Rice (hashed beef and rice) or Katsudon (pork schnitzel on rice with sauce). There’s also a fridge filled with little bowls of green salad with boiled egg for 100 yen apiece.
The atmosphere of Delhi is defined by the quiet hospitability of the two serving ladies, but there is a little Japanese pop background music. Mercifully there is no smoking permitted. Delhi offers very good value. The food is quick, tasty and filling if you need a bite before jumping on a train, or if you’ve just jumped off and need some refreshment before embarking on a whirlwind of sightseeing in Matsuyama.
Name in Japanese:
- カレーショップデリー karei shoppu derii Delhi Curry Shop