In a tourist town, it pays to know where to eat before you get there. Pro tip: The best places are usually off the main drag. Look where the locals are lining up; the queue outside Oxymoron in Kamakura is always one of the longest.

It’s the curries and cake that they’ve come here for, especially the former. Oxymoron manages to hit an addictive middle ground between classic Japanese roux-based curry rice and the spicier, often overly ghee-rich styles from South Asia.

Every day there are five different versions to choose from. Standouts include the “ethnic soboro,” a dry curry of minced chicken served with mounds of herbs and an optional poached egg on top; and the Sri Lankan mutton curry, a thick, spicy sauce that is plenty piquant enough to raise a sweat on your brow.

Also check out the daily special: as we get into the cooler season, this often features lots of hearty root vegetables. Order a red cabbage salad on the side for extra vivid color and crunch, and you’ll be all set.

Oxymoron has three other branches now — a second in Kamakura, one in Kitahama, Osaka and another in Tokyo’s Futako-Tamagawa area — but none have the full range of curries that make lunch at the original restaurant so worth the wait.

Curries ¥1,200, desserts from ¥500; Japanese menu; a little English spoken

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