UPDATE January 30th 2012: This is not something I like to do, but having experienced consistently poor service at Raju restaurants at different locations my former enthusiasm for their food has completely vanished. The infamous occasion at their Shichijo branch when I was served chicken in a vegetarian curry and told “Don’t mind” should have been enough. Being told I could not use the drink coupon that I had brought with me to pay for my beer, because they had given me a “service” chai (which I neither wanted nor drank) merely added insult to injury and on that occasion I swore never to visit that particular branch again. However, on Saturday at their Imadegawa branch, we walked in to find it as cold on the inside as it was outdoors and customers were sitting at tables with their coats on, actually shaking as they ate their food. We asked them to turn on the heating and they told us it would heat up in five minutes but after 30 minutes it was still freezing cold and they had completely forgotten to bring our drinks. When I asked about the drinks in Japanese, and then in English, it was clear that the man who served me couldn’t understand either language. So we walked out. Shabby service means you lose customers and get a bad reputation. I don’t believe it is entirely the fault of the staff however. The blame lies with the owner, who in his eagerness to open more and more branches is neglecting to invest in adequate staff training. He also seems to be cutting costs by turning off the heating. So, Mr. Rajas, your chain is on the blacklist. But fear not Indian curry fans! For really good curry, at reasonable prices, and excellent service, let me point you in the direction of three very fine Indian restaurants: Kerala, Mughal and Namaste Taj Mahal.
The following should now be disregarded.
Prior Post (May 13, 2008): Raju, just off Hyakumanben is an Indian restaurant I have been frequenting quite a lot recently. It serves good food at reasonable prices and has a pleasantly sophisticated atmosphere (so no TVs playing Bollywood videos). Here are some pictures.
If you are hungry enough and want to try a little bit of everything the sets are a good deal. A vegetarian set comes at ￥1,300 and includes a salad, samosa, papado, three curries, yoghurt, nan bread, rice and a mango lassi to wash it all down. Or you might like to try the Rajesh course for ￥2,000 and enjoy all of the above plus a Tandoori set (lots of meat) and soup. Beer aficionados will be interested to note that in addition to the usual beer on draft they also have a selection of bottled Indian beers plus Turkish Efes. In general the food here is spicy but not too hot. If you like your curry to burn you can ask for extra spices (but it will cost a little extra too).
Raju off of Hyakumanben is open from 11:00 am ~ 24:00.
To find it just go east from Higashioji Dori on Imadegawa and you will find it on your left. Here is a map. Tel: 075-712-6688
Here are some maps to Raju restaurants in other locations (this is not an exhaustive list):
Kawaramachi. Tel: 075-212-4533
Fushimi. Tel: 075-643-8882
Yamashina. Tel: 075-593-0366
Tambaguchi. Tel: 075-351-8688