I'm surprised no one else has offered to write a review about Raja, an Indian curry restaurant that opened on February 19, 2006. Whenever I go there, I tend to see a few foreigners, as it is already popular with the international crowd.
Raja's specialty is Indian and Nepali food. The lunch menu is as delicious as it is simple. You can choose from four different sets that include curry, rice, nan (bread), salad, and drinks in various combinations or you can get the "C Set" which includes all of the above, plus chicken tikka and mutton sheek kebab. With any set, you can get as much nan or rice as you like, so be sure to work up an appetite before you go. The curries on the lunch menu include mutton, chicken kashimir, keema, sag (spinach), vegetable, and chana dal (bean). You can choose the spice level (1=mild, 5=Are you Indian?). Drinks include oolong tea, orange juice, and hot or cold coffee or chai. Prices range from 750 yen to 1050 yen for the regular sets and 1320 yen for the "C Set". You can get an extra large serving of curry (omori) for an extra 100 yen or you can put cheese on your curry for an extra 200 yen.
For dinner, you can choose from one of their party plans, or you can order off their dinner menu. There are dishes to suit every taste. Be sure not to miss out on some of the Nepali dishes, as they are quite unique.
A few weeks ago, I held a party at Raja for about 15 people. The service was excellent and the food was well received by the whole group. It was great fun to order all kinds of different curries at all different spice levels so we could get a taste of the ones we weren't brave enough to order for ourselves.
Bishnu (pictured above) and his colleagues are always waiting to greet their customers with a big smile (maybe Tsukuba's biggest!) and a heartfelt "namaste". Bishnu tells me that Raja's dishes include a variety of spices, some of which come from the Himalayas, and that the spices have been used for medicinal purposes for many generations. His staff are all very friendly (be sure to say "namaste" to them too!) and you can see that they run a very clean kitchen. The whole Raja team works together to bring a high level of service to their restaurant.
Raja has not even been in Tsukuba for one year yet, but it is already one of my favourite restaurants in Tsukuba, and one of the places I recommend to friends who are looking for a non-Japanese, non-Western dining experience.
Raja is located at 2-2-3 Ninomiya, just off Nishi Odori, to the east of the parking lot for Otaru Zushi. If you turn east onto the street that Otaru Zushi is on, you will see the parking lot for Otaru Zushi, and then immediately after, you will see Raja. The parking lot for Raja is across the street (on the north side of the street).
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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