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Kenbokke (and chiffon cake!) in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo

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Kenbokke (and chiffon cake!) in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo

Rachel M. | Nov 17, 2001 08:49 PM

Following Robb S.`s recommendation, a friend and I decided to try Kenbokke, an Indian restaurant in Nishi-Azabu,last night. Being somewhat lazy, we decided to order the "special course", which includes a plate of tandoori-grilled stuff (chicken, shrimp, mutton kebab), one curry, and nan or rice. As promised, the tandoori stuff was wonderful--really well spiced, cooked just the right amount of time so it was still very moist. The curries, however, lacked zip, although it could just have been a relative thing after eating well spiced meats. Chicken sag, in particular, was quite bland.

The atmosphere is very nice--it`s a small place (seats about 20?), run, at least while we were in there, by an older Indian gentleman, who does the cooking, and a Japanese woman who we assumed was his wife. I`d definitely go back, but I wonder--Robb, is there a trick to ordering there? ie, are there curries that are better than what we had, or does one just stick to the tandoori stuff?

By coincidence, I even ran into two tables of former co-workers there (both of which had come in separately). Small world...

Part of the incentive for going here was also that it's near a favorite cake shop, Ruelle de Derriere, that serves fantastic chiffon cake. They generally have about five types of chiffon (marble, chocolate, sesame, spice, etc.), along with several other types of cake. This place is apparently quite well known, and it's usually packed. If you can get a table, however, it's a good way to end up an evening. It's on the road that runs parallel to Gaien-nishi-dori on its west side.

We used to always go for the disgusting combination of okonomiyaki (at a place nearby on Sekijuji-dori) followed by chiffon cake, but the okonomiyaki place switched owners and went downhill... so we were in the market for a restaurant to go to beforehand. Combining the course at Kenbokke with cake, however, is actually too much food, I discovered. We`ll have to adjust the menu next time!

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