Take our user survey here!

Mysterious SOUP CURRY of Shanti

The sign outside of Shanti said "SOUP CURRY." Which was it -- soup or curry? A set of both? Led by my stomach and sense of curiosity, I entered the shop without looking at the menu outside.

By 3 min read 7

Both Indian curry and Japanese curry are loved by Japanese and non-Japanese alike. This means that Tokyo is filled to the brim with Indian and Japanese curry shops. You can find the occassional Thai curry restaurant, but I’ve never come across a restaurant quite like Shanti. I’d had enough of the flashing lights of the east side of Ikebukuro and thought that maybe the west gate would offer some respite. Luckily for me and my empty stomach, in addition to some quiet, the west side of Ikebukuro had food.

The sign outside of Shanti said “SOUP CURRY.” Which was it — soup or curry? A set of both? Led by my stomach and sense of curiosity, I entered the shop without looking at the menu outside.

A drink menu in English was placed in front of me, and the curry menu, in Japanese, was posted next to the table. The curry menu featured colorful photos of the various curries, ranging in price from 890 yen to 1490 yen. Still, the small photos didn’t clear up the mysterious “SOUP CURRY” sign. I chose an egg and vegetable curry, one of the simpler dishes, at a “normal” spiciness.

When my food came, the mystery was solved: soup curry is, well, curry-flavored soup.

The wait for the soup to cool provided a few extra moments to study the menu on the wall. The menu described four types of “curry eating techniques.” Apparently the “regular” way to eat soup curry is to pour some of the curry on the rice and then eat the rice. I decided to go with the “elegant” way: scoop some rice on the spoon, soak the rice in the soup and eat.

When I elegantly began to eat my curry, I found that “normal” level 2 spiciness was much spicier than I had expected. A surprise, but a welcome one, given the chilly temperatures outside. If you’re the type of person who would pay for the pleasure of second-degree burns to the tongue, you can get the level 40 curry for an extra 400 yen. The menu even warns that this level of spiciness is without a doubt bad for you.


Satisfied with my flavorful dish, I did wonder if it would be filling enough. Both the soup and rice servings looked small, but near the end of the meal, I was almost ready to give up. The soup included one and a half eggs, a full carrot, and several other halved vegetables. A more heartier dish, such as the curry soup with a full hambuger patty in it, would’ve been impossible to finish.

On my way out, I took a business card and saw that there were five Shanti restaurants in all, three of which are in Tokyo. With the successful expansion from Hokkaido to Tokyo, more Shanti restaurants will undoubtedly be on the way soon. That’s definitely a good thing.


Address: #2 Yajima Building, 1st floor, 5-1-6 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0021
Nearest station: 2 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Ikebukuro Station, exits C2 and C3
Telephone: 03-3981-9991
Hours: 11:30 to 24:00 (last order 24:00), only closed during New Year holidays
Shanti Ikebukuro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA - Privacy Policy - Terms of Service

  • Kalisto Angelique Hart says:

    curry soup I must try this at home. =^.^=

    • Lynn says:

      It’d be super awesome to try making at home! Though, I’m a terrible cook and it looks difficult, so I’m not sure where to start…

  • Lynn says:

    According to friends, Tokyo tofu and nihonshu/sake also can’t compete with that of areas with better water. The water quality matters!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Soup curry is a speciality of Sapporo. I like it a lot but I totally agree you have to be careful of the spice! For some reason, liquid spicy food has a far greater kick than when in something more solid 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      I had no idea that it was a specialty of Sapporo. I wonder what the history is behind it?
      Next time I visit Shanti, I’m going for the mildest curry they have. Like you said, it’s curious how spicy soups seem much spicier than solid food with the same amount of spice.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I like to think it’s the blisteringly long winters (we had fresh snow today) that produce a longing for food that makes you steam out the ears!

        I always go for the mildest and ignore any insinuations I’m a wimp 🙂

    • Katya Ph. says:

      Yeah, Tokyo soup curry can’t beat the ones in Sapporo – the water makes huge difference. Picante, Dominica, Voyage – I miss you so badly!!



A Taste of Europe at the World Beer Museum

Drink your way around the world at the World Beer Museum.

By 3 min read 3


Books, Dinosaur Heads and Chili Dogs @ Marunouchi Reading Style

Grab a book from one of the sleek shelves of this bookstore/‘zakka’/café’ and try not to spill any of your delicious lunch on it.

By 3 min read


An All-American Bite at Tokyo’s JS Burgers Cafe

For pregnant times, make it JS Burger time.

By 2 min read 4