A taste of south India in Japan: This Kyoto eatery serves the best idli in town

Tadka eatery, Japan
Tadka eatery, Japan. Photo: www.tadka-kyoto.com

In today's interconnected world, global travel has become increasingly common. One of the first questions that often arises when stepping onto foreign soil is, "Where can I find a restaurant that serves cuisine from my home country?" However, for Indians travelling abroad, culinary choices are often abundant, with Indian restaurants seemingly present in every corner of the world.

If you're an Indian traveller in Japan, consider visiting a unique South Indian joint in the city of Kyoto. Setting itself apart from other Indian restaurants abroad typically run by Indians, this establishment, named 'Tadka,' is managed by two Japanese men. What distinguishes Tadka is that all its authentic South Indian dishes are crafted by Japanese cooks. A user named Prasanna Karthik introduced this Japanese South Indian fusion eatery on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) last year. Ever since, Indians who drop in for a taste of home have been giving raving reviews for this quaint eatery.

The Japanese proprietors of Tadka make biannual trips to Chennai to stay abreast of the evolving trends in South Indian culinary traditions. They diligently learn the intricacies of new dishes and incorporate them into their menu. Karthik attests that the dosas and idlis served at Tadka are exceptionally soft and fluffy, rivalling those found in South Indian restaurants both in India and abroad.

Interestingly, Tadka attracts more Japanese diners eager to savour the flavors of South Indian cuisine than Indian expatriates in Japan. The irresistible appeal of dishes like dosa-chutney combos and filter coffee has left Japanese patrons enamoured.

Adding to Tadka's allure is its encouragement of diners to eat with their hands, a departure from the ubiquitous chopsticks in Japanese dining culture. The restaurant provides guidance on hand-eating etiquette through informative boards. Additionally, the owners of Tadka harbour a profound connection to Indian culture and spirituality, often journeying to Chennai to meditate at the ashram of Ramana Maharshi, as noted by Karthik. The restaurant's walls adorned with Hinduism-related imagery further underscore this affinity.

According to Tadka's official website, owner and chef Dai Okonogi inaugurated the first restaurant in Kyoto in 2012, with a second location opening its doors on Oshikoji street in December 2021.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.