As editor of the Alien Times, I want to encourage our readers to patronize our advertisers. And, of course, I want to "practice what I preach", but not being a likely candidate for J-Cool's "cosmetology" (I am fascinated with cosmology, however), and since I am a very likely candidate for a delicious lunch, I went to the Indian Restaurant Avanti to try out their Viking style lunch. Not being all that familiar with Indian food, I wasn't sure what "chicken tikka", "pakora", etc. were, but as the ad states, I expected there to be lots of curry. Indian curry, however, is rather different from Japanese "curry rice", and is tasty in its own right.
I was pleasantly surprised by how clean and pleasantly decorated the restaurant was, in spite of being in an area (Amakubo's "kuidaore") known for "greasy spoons" (or should I say "greasy chopsticks") ("greasy spoon" being American slang for a small, cheap, and rather low quality restaurant). The food table is nicely arranged with 3 large pots of curry, the salads, rice, nan bread etc. laid out to the side. It's self-service, and so you can eat as much of whatever you want to. Nan bread is really tasty, and it's baked on the spot so that it's really fresh.
One of the curry choices looked a bit strange when I first saw it, as it was green. Being a spinach base, of course, that shouldn't be surprising, but I wasn't so sure I would like it. But after I tried it, it was my favorite of the three. It was a real treat.
So whether you are an Indian food connoisseur or want to try it for the first time, give Avanti a try. It's a good deal at 750 yen.
While I'm recommending "oishii" lunch spots, let me put in a plug for Mom's Kitchen (855-1533) in Takezono. It is a small place of the "greasy spoon" type except that the quality of the food is great. It is only open for lunch (from 11:30 to 2:30 daily except Monday), and the menu consists of only a few items. But what they have is very good, with generous portions at a good price. My favorite is the teriyaki chicken lunch at 680 yen. Mom's Kitchen is located next to the Unagi-ya fruit and vegetable stand, just a couple of blocks north of Kasumi Store across from Takezono Park.
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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