Andhra Dhaba Katana

2nd Floor, Satou House Building, 3-7-8 Uchikanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 101 0047, Japan

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Andhra Dhaba Kanda in Chiyoda is the newest branch of a small group of restaurants that opened in 2009 in Tokyo. Located in a busy side street, this restaurant opened in 2016. It is one floor up from the street, and with a sign at ground level it is not too hard to find. Tables are arrayed in an L shape around the partly enclosed kitchen area. Tables are bare and the atmosphere and decor are quite casual, with cutlery for each table in a little container for customers to help themselves. The chef here is from Andhra Pradesh in the south east of India, but the menu is quite broad in scope, offering dish from the south but also from other regions, so you can find dishes from regions like Kerala as well as from northern India. 

We started with popadoms shaped into little pouches and stuffed with chopped onions, tomatoes and spices. This was decent enough but the popadoms could have been crisper (11/20). A masala dosa was better, the pancake nicely made, stuffed with potato and spices and coming with the usual accompaniments of sambal and coconut chutney (12/20). Uttapam is a Keralan dish, almost like an Indian version of pizza. The version here had rather soggy texture though, and could have done with more spice on the toppings to my taste (10/20). Lamb chops were much better, having quite good flavour from their marinade, then being cooked in the tandoor, and the meat emerging tender with a pleasant touch of spice (13/20).

For the main course, methi chicken was served on the bone, and had a reasonable amount of fenugreek in the sauce, the meat cooked all right (12/20). Palak paneer was also reasonable, the cottage cheese have decent texture, though the dish was puzzlingly light on the spinach that is supposed to be the characteristic of the dish (11/20). This was still better than a pallid looking aloo gobi, which had limited flavour (10/20). Naan bread had reasonable texture (12/20) but a chapati was greasy and rather soggy (10/20).

Service was disappointing, our Nepalese waiter seemingly unfamiliar with the names of many of the dishes, and asking for the numbers of the dishes, as you might at a Chinese takeaway. Despite this lack of ambiguity he still managed to get the order wrong, the very first dish that arriving bearing no relation to anything that we had discussed. The bill came to ¥14,090 between three people, with beer and soft drinks, which works out at £32 per person. This restaurant was, at the time of booking, one of the highest rated Indian restaurants in central Tokyo in local guide Tabelog, but it was much too erratic to really recommend. Given that you can find genuinely classy restaurants in Tokyo serving French, Italian, Spanish and Chinese food, it is puzzling as to why it seems such hard work to find a decent Indian restaurant, especially given the cosmopolitan nature of the city. Perhaps this is an opportunity for an enterprising Indian restaurateur.

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