Amami is a sleepy Japanese town that is mostly known for the surrounding beach and nature areas. We took a lovely hike up a mountain through a lush green forest to check out the overlook, then headed back into town in search of something to eat. There were no restaurants to be found apart from an Indian joint on a side street, so we figured we’d give it a go.
While the people running it were Indian in appearance and dress, they were Japanese in mannerisms as they graciously took our order with little bows every step of the way. We sprung for garlic naan, saffron rice, chicken curry, dumplings, and naan pizza (how could we say no to that?!). The curry was actually extremely tasty, with a deep cumin flavor and just enough heat to compliment the tender chicken. It made a perfect dip for the massive serving of naan that had delicious stretchy dough.
The rest of the meal was taking awhile in the kitchen, and our waitress brought out two free mango lassis to help us pass the time. Ten minutes later the second half of lunch came, and things started to go downhill. The dumplings were average, but had an unneeded injection of oil that spilled out upon breaking the dough. The pizza naan was, for lack of a better word, horrendous. A large circle of soft bread was topped with a pound of oozing processed cheese and mayonnaise. We had a hard time not laughing at the obscurity of the situation, and we choked some down to not be rude.
The total bill was under $40, which was pretty good given the amount of food and the fact that Japan is extremely expensive. It also made for an unusual cultural experience that we certainly won’t forget.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Amami, perhaps try out Japanese-Indian food for a new experience, but if you find any other food in Amami… please report back!
As always, stay frugal