One of the colorful prints (Photo: Peter Sidell)

Magic India, Shimoda

Tasty, inexpensive Indian curry

One of the colorful prints (Photo: Peter Sidell)
Peter Sidell   - 3 min read

Looking for lunch on a rainy off-season day in Shimoda, I didn't want to go too far from the station, but just round the corner I saw a big eye-catching yellow sign saying 'Magic India'. Not only is it convenient - less than a minute from the station - but it also did me a tasty, filling but inexpensive lunch set.

It's pretty cosy inside, with a counter to one side and a few tables by the window. There are hanging drapes, colorful prints and pictures around the walls, lively Bollywood clips on the TV, and some little statues and ornaments dotted around; I was sat next to a metal Ganesha who watched me with a serene eye as I read through the menu, which has everything in both Japanese and English.

For my lunch I went for the ¥1150 'Thally Set', allowing me to choose three different curries to go with a naan bread, rice, a small salad and a drink, in my case a mango lassi. I was very happy with my curry choices: the butter chicken was very smooth, fragrant and tasty, the pork curry a bit spicier with a couple of good sized pieces of tender, fatty meat, and the saag mushroom nice and mild, providing a good balance. The food all came served on a metal tray, which was quite fun but stuck to the plastic cover on the table, making it difficult to move easily.

Other lunch sets on the menu are between ¥800 and ¥950; as well as the three I chose, curries include keema, mutton and mixed seafood. If you're eating a la carte there are a few side dishes such as chicken kebabs, samosas and pakoras, for between ¥350 and ¥600, and different kinds of naan bread for between ¥300 and ¥550, among them basil, garlic, and a bacon/cheese naan.

By way of drinks there are mango, strawberry and blueberry lassis for ¥350, while beer (including Kingfisher Indian beer), wine, sours and cocktails are around ¥500 or ¥600, and bottles of Indian wine are ¥2200 apiece. In the evenings they have a party deal available, with all you can eat and drink for two hours for ¥2900; while not all of the dishes on the menu are included, it's still very good value.

Good food, reasonable prices, handy location - it turned out to be a fine choice!

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.