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Have More Curry: A spicy suggestion to eat more vegetables

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

Not getting enough healthy veggies in your diet? There’s a very simple answer: Have More Curry. That’s not just a suggestion, it’s the brilliantly eccentric name for the excellent little basement diner that opened close to Omotesando last autumn by Yohei Matsuzaki.

His approach is as individual and inventive as the dining space, which he has decorated with wall-high photos and Indian knickknacks. Every day he buys an array of vegetables, occasionally from the nearby weekend farmers market on Aoyama-dori. He picks what’s in season and catches his eye, and transforms them into half a dozen tasty, wholesome curries of varying spiciness, some based on classic Indian styles, others with Southeast Asian influences.

You pick out a couple of these curries to go with the basic daily set meal, which includes a keema curry, a thick lentil dal, bright yellow turmeric rice and homemade turnip pickles. To try all the side dishes costs an extra ¥450. Matsuzaki works solo in his kitchen, putting everything together with great care and in no hurry. So, order a beer — Suiyoubi no Neko in a can or Rising Sun Pale Ale in a bottle — and relax as you wait. It’s that sort of place.