The seating area (Photo: Catherine Hagar)

Magic Spice, Shimokitazawa [Relocated]

Enjoy the Trip

The seating area (Photo: Catherine Hagar)
Catherine Hagar   - 3 min read

Magic Spice relocated to 2-30-14 Daizawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo in January 2024.

Magic Spice offers a psychedelic food experience just ten minutes from Shimokitazawa Station. The soup curry restaurant is an eclectic mix of Indian, Nepalese, Hokkaido, and Indonesian culture and flavor. The claim is that patrons will experience a drug-like trip from their spicy food.

Decorated in deep reds and golds, Magic Spice and its staff are styled to have strong Buddhist Indian influence, however, the food itself is similar to the famous soup curry shops found in Hokkaido. There is even a small gift shop where you can purchase small Buddha figurines and Indian spices.

Magic Spice offers a completely bilingual menu. To order, choose the base of your soup. You can choose from chicken, seafood, beef, pork, and various vegetarian options. Following that, choose the toppings. There are nearly thirty different toppings for you curry, like cheese, Nepalese dumplings, mushrooms, and much more. Each topping has a description of the health benefits written on the menu. The final step in creating your dinner is to choose the spiciness level.

There are seven levels of spiciness, all Buddhism references. From mild to hot are Awakening, Meditation, Ecstasy, Nirvana, Paradise, Raputa, and Aum air. I went with Nirvana, and I was grateful for the pitcher of water and box of tissues left at the table.

For my lunch, I chose a chicken curry soup, topped with poten (crunchy tempura friend sweet potato), momo (Nepal dumplings), and maitake mushrooms. The chick was tender and falling off the bone, whereas the poten was extremely crunchy, somehow not soggy from the soup. All sorts of vegetables filled the soup, like daikon radish, green peas, pumpkin, cabbage, and so on. Each bite brought on new flavors, depending on which portion of the soup I chose to eat at that time.

Each table has a set of spices to alter the soup to your taste. There is red chili powder, galam masara (yellow curry powder), and citrus water to soothe the broth. In case your soup curry is a bit too spicy for your taste, I would highly recommend adding some of the citrus water to your soup.

Deviating from traditional Hokkaido soup curry, Magic Spice is a great way to try unique spices that are hard to find in traditional Japanese food. The atmosphere left me feeling as though I’d stepped into Indonesia or India for a few hours.

Magic Spice is a great way to try traditional Japanese food with flavorful influences.

Catherine Hagar

Catherine Hagar @catherine.hagar