Peter Sidell

Saamaany Curry in Manazuru

Enjoy super tasty curry at this cute restaurant

Peter Sidell
Peter Sidell   - 2 min read

On a trip to the Manazuru Peninsula one time, I arrived around lunchtime, and set about looking for lunch. What I hoped for was something inexpensive, tasty and filling, as my plan was to spend the afternoon exploring by foot. Not a minute after I crossed the road I found Saamaany, a curry shop that looked like it would meet all my needs, and I was right!

It's just a small little place, with two rooms, and a take-out hatch that was getting a steady number of customers. (My visit was during the Covid pandemic, if you're reading this in the future, in your silver suit and your flying car; at the time of writing, only take-out is available to walk-up customers, though advance reservations for small groups are possible.)

The smaller room has tatami mats and a floor table, so we take our shoes off at the entrance, while the less small room has two tables. The decor is really warm and soothing, with earthtones throughout, all wooden and bamboo furnishings and fittings, and woven mats on the floor.

The friendly proprietress speaks capable English, and specializes in one dish: it's a mild Indian chicken and chickpea curry, made with freshly ground cumin, coriander and turmeric, but she's able to make it spicier or, if asked in advance, make a vegetarian option. A couple of times a week she may offer other dishes, either a pumpkin sabji or mackerel in mustard sauce, but the schedule is irregular.

It's available in small, medium and large, priced at JPY600, 700 and 800 respectively (plus tax); for a hungry Englishman she suggested the L, and that's what I had. It came accompanied by Japanese tea in a beautiful old earthenware pot, pickles on the side, and she treated me for free to a pumpkin samosa. Everything was great! The curry was warming and filling, with a good spicy taste despite being fairly mild, and the samosa was just the right mix of crunchiness and softness.

I'm so glad I found this place! Definitely recommended.

Getting there

It's just a minute from Manazuru station, about 100 minutes on the regular train from Tokyo station, between Odawara and Atami on the JR Tokaido line. With a JR Pass you can cut the journey time by taking a bullet train or express as far as Odawara.

She's open daily except Wednesday, from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and she also closes on the third Sunday of the month.

Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.