We find out if this curry joint is worth visiting or if it’s an overhyped tourist joint. 

Recently, our reporter Seiji Nakazawa has been checking out Tokyo restaurant recommendations from foreigners on Reddit, and he’s come to the conclusion that some foreigners know more about Japan than Japanese people.

After reading some of the discussions on Reddit, he’s discovered some unusual dining spots he didn’t know about, and now he’s just unearthed another — a curry chain he’d never heard of, called “Sama“.

▼ This chain was highly recommended by foreigners on Reddit.

Sama has 14 stores nationwide, with three branches in Tokyo, and Seiji decided to visit the branch in Okachimachi, which was located in a calm alley between Okachimachi and Akihabara. After doing a little research on the chain, Seiji discovered that most of the branches are located in Hokkaido, where it was founded, and unlike other Japanese curry chains, which specialise in Japanese curry rice dishes, this chain specialises in…

  ▼…Hokkaido soup curry.

At Sama, you can choose from five types of soup: Tomato soup, coconut soup, plain soup, shrimp soup, or creamy shrimp soup. As these are all Hokkaido soup curries, though, the common base is a light chicken broth throughout.

In Seiji’s mind, soup always seems like an appetiser rather than a main meal, so he was concerned over whether it would fill his belly or not. So he decided to order the tomato soup Mega Sama DX Curry for 2,500 yen (YS$17.68), as it looked to be the biggest meal on the menu.

▼ And when it arrived, it was sufficiently huge.

The soup was more like a stew, with thick pieces of vegetable and pork poking out of it, and even a leg of chicken in the back.

That wasn’t the end of the surprises, though, because when Seiji dipped his spoon into the mix, he pulled out…a Hamburg patty!

This was a soup that was filled with surprises, and as soon as he tried it, he was hooked on the flavour. It was meaty, yet light, thanks to the mild curry soup, which was sweet and subtle in spices, making it incredibly easy to eat.

The wide variety of vegetables made every mouthful exciting, and he and his dining partner, who’d ordered the equally delicious Tandoori Chicken and Minced Meat Coriander Cheese Curry (1,500 yen), agreed that they would happily add Sama to their list of regular dining venues from now on.

When Seiji spoke to a friend in Hokkaido about the chain, even they said they’d never eaten there, despite seeing branches around town on the regular. Seiji, now converted to Sama’s soup curry, found himself recommending the chain to his Hokkaido friend, which just goes to show that sometimes, restaurant recommendations from out-of-towners are worth looking into.

So in the end, this recommendation wasn’t a tourist trap, and if you’re looking for another curry chain that’s worth trying, you’ll want to add this Reddit recommendation to your list of must-visit restaurants in Tokyo!

Store information
SAMA Kanda store / SAMA 神田店
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda 6-15-4
Open: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (last order 3:00 p.m.); 5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (last order 9:00 p.m.)
Closed: Second Wednesday of the month

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