Get your morning veggies and carbs in with these two Japanese delicacies.

We’ve found some of Tokyo’s best station-area breakfast spots, like the izakaya in Tokyo Station that serves up tasty rolled omelets, but what about Shinjuku Station? Leave it to the SoraNews24 team!

Introducing: Donabe Curry Bonta.

Our Japanese-language reporter Mariko Ohanabatake found this restaurant, which serves up a unique combination of soup curry and onigiri, in the Subnade underground shopping center that’s connected to Shinjuku Station. They serve breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Mariko tried one of their morning sets.

▼ There are two morning sets, A and B.

The A Set includes a regularly-priced soup curry with just an extra 190 yen (US$1.36) tacked on for an onigiri rice ball, some karaage chicken, a piece of rolled tamagoyaki omelet, tsukemono pickles, and miso soup. If you’d prefer curry, two onigiri, some tsukemono pickles, and miso soup for Set B, it’s no extra charge on top of the cost of the curry!

Fun fact: the onigiri made here is by the same company as Bongo, an ultra-popular onigiri restaurant in Tokyo’s Otsuka neighborhood.

There were a lot of soup curry options–Hamburg steak, karaage, and chicken leg, just to name a few–but Mariko chose the vegetable soup curry for 1,000 yen to start her morning off on the right foot.

▼ How much spice can you handle?

Mariko also learned that she could choose from nine different spice levels. While levels one through four are free of charge, you’ll have to pay extra for anything spicier than that.

▼ The onigiri selection

The onigiri menu also has a ton of options! Mariko had trouble deciding which of the 18 varieties she wanted to try since they all looked appetizing. In the end, she went with the Tenpaku Okaka Cream Cheese onigiri, and she also tacked on a homemade soy milk lassi for an extra 200 yen. Can’t go wrong with curry and lassi!

▼ Here’s her spread.

Mariko was worried that the soup curry portion would be small since it came as a set with onigiri, but she was pleasantly surprised to see it practically bursting with roasted vegetables. For 1,000 yen, this was a lot!

▼ The curry comes served in an earthenware pot called a donabe that keeps its contents piping hot.

What’s unique about this particular soup curry is that it has a generous helping of bonito powder on top, giving it a flavor found in man traditional Japanese dishes but one that’s also not commonly used in Japanese curry.

If that’s a turnoff for you, don’t worry! Mariko had the same concern but was pleased with how mellow the flavor was once she tried it. In fact, the roux was so tasty that she wouldn’t mind drinking it on its own.

▼ A generous dollop of cream cheese topped the onigiri.

As for the famous Bongo onigiri, it hit the spot, just as Mariko expected. There was just enough rice, and the tartness of the cream cheese matched well with the bonito flavoring.

▼ She alternated with a bite of soup curry…

▼ …followed by a bite of onigiri.

Mariko planned on dunking her onigiri into the soup when the vegetables ran out, but they seemed to be never-ending.

▼ Not a bad problem, if you ask us.

▼ At last, it was time to dunk.

Despite the unlikely combination of nori seaweed, cream cheese, and curry seasoning, it was quite tasty and balanced.

“What about the lassi?” you may be wondering.

Well, it’s delicious. It’s served in an ice-cold stainless steel cup, so it stayed perfectly chilled for the whole meal.

All in all, it was a highly satisfying meal. What’s more, despite Shinjuku Station being the busiest train station in the world, Donabe Curry Bonta wasn‘t very busy when Mariko went in the morning, so she recommends it if you’re looking for someplace to easily squeeze in a nice, quick breakfast in the center of Tokyo.

Restaurant information
Donabe Curry Bonta / 土鍋カリーぼんた
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-2-2 Shinjuku Subnade Chikamachi 1-chome
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-2-2 新宿サブナード地下街1丁目
Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last order 9:30 p.m.)

Photos ©SoraNews24
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