Asian Restaurant CHOWK

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 6 reviews )
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06-64530020
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Fukushima-ku, Fukushima, 2 chome-4-17, Osaka, Japan, 553-0003

Serves meat, vegan options available. Very cozy atmosphere decorated with Thai and Indian images. The South Indian meal is vegetarian. The owner learned to cook the meals during his travels to those countries with his wife. Lunch is usually vegan; call ahead to reserve a vegan evening meal. Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Tue-Sat 11:30am-3:00pm, 6:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Indian, Thai, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

6 Reviews

First Review by Vegeiko

A Crossroad in Asia - Edit

there exists a place in Osaka, where Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, and even Indian and Bengali cross their paths without losing their identities. It is a junction where weary travelers tread by on their way to new destinations; it is an intersection where worldly travelers return to take a rest before going home. Each that passes by leaves a piece of authenticity behind at this crossroad, and that crossroad is Chowk.

Chowk is nondescript in the way of a canteen in Singapore or a backpacker’s hostel in Penang is – you see one and you have seen them all – with a lime green and egg yellow color scheme and tiled store front. Even in the dead of winter in Osaka, the ghost of the scorching sun seems to lurk just beyond the wooden window frame. A hungry traveler is simultaneously greeted by an Indian actor smiling glossily from the wall and blessed by a Japanese deity and a tiny Ganesha sitting on the same pedestal. Mrs. Chowk, after gaging correctly in one glance the newness of the latest arrival, proceeds to explain the menu with unfailing and undying patience, whose pale face is starting to resemble the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin.

The menu at Chowk does need a bit of explaining for the uninitiated. For lunch, there are two options: the South Indian vegetarian meals or the daily special. The daily special changes according to the day of the week: Tuesday is a Thai day with khao rat kaeng – a quintessential Thai fast food of rice-and-curry, plated with a stewed egg and side dishes. The meal is completed by a murmur of Thai radio and a sweet Milo. Wednesday is a Singaporean day, offering a white bak kut teh (the Teochew style), whose garlicky and peppery flavor is to be washed away with Chinese tea. Thursday is a Malaysian day, and you can get a nasi kandar with a choice of curry, along with a side of bean sprouts and vegetables, topped with a shrimp cracker. Friday is back to Thai, serving a khao man gai with its own chicken soup as it should be. And, on Saturdays, Malaysian and Thai take turns for those hard-working souls, who could not make it to the safe harbor during the week.

Regardless of the revolving South-East Asian half, the other half of the menu is fixedly South Indian. The vegetarian meals, served daily, generally follows the traditional banana leaf meals in Kerala, and is consisted of sambar, dal, poriyal, raita, achar and a piece of banana, served on, not a banana leaf, but a banana-leaf shaped plate.

Pros: Great atmosphere, Great food, Great people

Cons: There is only one menu for vegetarian/vegan.

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ok for a quick bite - Edit

Place is ok, owner knew about vegan/vegetarian variations and was keen to substitute things where relevant. Friendly owners but overall disappointing experience and wouldn't go back.

Pros: cheap, friendly staff

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Friendly and knowledgeable - Edit

It's a nice little cafe in a quiet area. The staff were very friendly and made me a lovely vegan meal. It was refreshing to get a vegan meal without all the fuss and hassle. It was very reasonably priced and delicious. I would go there again.
Sadly, because this place is veg friendly and not set to vegan or vegetarian on happy cow I can't give 5 stars. I wish I could though because I think it would be impossible to expect a cafe to be 100% vegetarian in this cultural context and location (in meat obsessed Japan and a quiet residential area)

Pros: Tasty, Cheap, Knowledgeable

Cons: None

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Gastronomic meal - Edit

We had a very rich meal at this very cozy place. They ask if you are vegetarian upon entering. You get several courses and pay around 2500 yen and its worth it. The staff was super friendly. I will definetly return if I have a chance.

Pros: Delicious, Varied, Cosy

Cons: Not sure but I think same pots are used for meat a

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Super delicious - Edit

We were shown the vegetarian menu without asking for it. The owners were very friendly and explained every single part of our meal to us. Lunch was 850 Yen for a wonderful Indian dish, which was cooked by the Japanese owner. Small and cozy. Go there and try the fantastic chai!

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Feel like a short trip to India, Thai or Malaysia! - Edit

Vegetarian Indian meal is so good even the real indians would say "WOW!" I think. They will put in banana-leaf kind of plate and you will instantly feel like you just came to some southern asian country!

The restaurant is located in a very narrow street, although 5 min. by walk from the station. the easiest way is get off at JR Tozai line "Shin-Fukushima" exit 2, turn around and walk STRAIGHT the narrow street for about 200m. until you find a signboard says "CHOWK"

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