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At first, the concept behind Spice Lab Tokyo, which seeks to marry the cuisines of India and Japan, sounds like an intriguing but improbable proposition. Indian cooking, with its pantheon of spices, relies on the kaleidoscopic layering of flavors, while the Japanese kitchen emphasizes simplicity. How can one balance the maximalist complexity of Indian recipes with Japanese cuisine’s understated grace?

For executive chef Tejas Sovani, 34, the answer is straightforward, but far from easy: The task requires time, effort and — above all — patience. It’s a lesson he gleaned during an apprenticeship at restaurant Noma in Copenhagen five years ago.

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