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Reviews (14)

First Review by Aya

Very standard Indian Veg food that is extortionately priced - Edit

This restaurant serves only vegetarian Indian food. It would appear that they use their pure vegetarian concept to charge exorbitant prices when in fact it ought to be the other way around.

To give you an example, the price for a 2 piece starter masala vada is Yen 900, and anyone who knows Indian food would tell you that that is criminal.

The place is not worth visiting on grounds of its extortionist prices but more so because the owner has the decorum of a flatulent cart horse. To say that he has the intelligence of a flatulent cart horse would be an insult to cart horses the world over.

The PR of the place is carried by the friendliness of the staff but the owner, it would seem does everything to waylay this one thing that the restaurant has going for it.

On my visit, one of the staff members engaged in friendly banter about Indian food etc. Mind you by that time I had already looked at the menu and was appalled by the extortionist prices. I decided that I would order the only thing that appeared to be within value for money - the masala dosa ( and that to only during the lunch set specials).

However unbeknown me, a sow faced obnoxious man was sitting at one of the adjacent tables in the form of the owner of the restaurant. He noticed the staff member talking to me about the items on the menu and loudly shouted in Hindi, that I ought to eat my food hot and that the staff member ought to leave me to it. His body language and attitude was one of 'don't talk to my staff' to me, and ' get on with your work' to the staff member. Sadly the staff member was engaging like one would expect a frontline staff member to engage with customers at a restaurant.

The owner, it would appear, is an ill bred villager or at least possess the decorum and disposition of an ill bred villager from India.

This place is not worth visiting. If you do go, go at lunch time only, order the masala dosa, eat and leave.

Visited July 2016

Updated from previous review on 2016-07-29

Pros: friendly workers who try hard but undone by owner

Cons: overpriced, obnoxious owner


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Wait! There's more! - Edit

Indian restaurants are a safe haven for vegetarians all over the world. Every Indian restaurant has at least a few vegetarian dishes on the menu. "Vege Herb Saga" takes it one step further and only offers vegetarian food. Reason enough to pay them a visit.

But wait, there's more! As it turns out the menu of Vege Herb Saga offers much more variety than other Indian restaurants. Most Indian restaurants in Japan only offer curry, while a few offer rice dishes like biryani. Even fewer Indian restaurants offer South Indian meals like dosa. And they're all on the menu at Vege Herb Saga!

But wait, there's more! On request many meals can be made vegan instead of vegetarian.

We ordred three kinds of dosa and all were made vegan on request. The dosa usually comes with soup, but since that contains milk it was replaced by a tasty glass of fruit juice. The taste of both the dosa (kind of pancake), the stuffing (spicy potato) and the dip (five different kinds ranging from insanely spicy to sweet coconut) was excellent.

But wait, there will be more! Next time we visit...

Pros: great taste, wide variety

Cons: shady looking place

3 Responses

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Good value near Akihabara - Edit

A lot of variety in this authentic Indian, there is plenty to choose from. I went for the set lunch while my partner picked and chose individual dishes. Menus are labeled with individual choices as veggie/vegan. We came near to closing time so don't know if that's why service was a little slow, unfortunately. They didn't try to rush us along at the end of service which was appreciated. Portions were decent and you can always find room for another naan or some more rice if you are hungry.

We go to various curry houses in the UK and on the whole this is comparable. Nothing really stood out but very useful to find for vegans in Tokyo, it is worth a bit of a walk out of Akihabara if you are in that area. Certainly it was nice to have something different while on our trip. If you are a veg curry fan, you will quickly become disappointed looking at all the Japanese Style Curry places and realizing it is a very different kind of curry. If we went a few more times and explored the menu I'm sure there are some specialities in there but for now the set menu lunch is perfectly acceptable and very good value.

Pros: Lots of variety, Value, Authentic

Cons: Service okay, English okay


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Vastly Improved. - Edit

This place has had its ups and downs. Before its move and renovation a short while ago, there had been gradual deterioration, to the point where my own rating dropped and I all but stopped coming to what was originally a favorite spot. But after being nudged to try it again, I was pleasantly shocked to find it had improved back to the original quality (from a few years ago), or in fact even better.

The decor, which was the weakest point with the previous location (no way to sugarcoat it...it was truly horrible) is now vastly improved. More than anything else, this makes it feel like an entirely new restaurant. Clean, spacious...really pleasant to eat here now. Not quite as nice as Nataraj for example but nicer than most indian restaurants I've been to in Japan, and nicer than nearby Veg Kitchen.

But the food is really the main draw here, and it is really excellent. It is authentic Jain and delicious, and the spicing is natural and strong here, unlike any other Indian restaurant in Japan in my experience. The vegetables are also very fresh. Lunch selection is 5 or 6 curry choices, a mix of both north and south indian food, both vegan and veg. Twice a week they also offer biryani, which I also really liked. And, they also now have new special naans (like spinach, my favorite) for 100 yen extra.

As for the prices, lunch is as reasonable as ever - sets are 880 to 1350yen. The serving sizes are rather small here though. It might not be ideal if you're famished (in which case consider Nataraj's incredible lunch buffet), but it is definitely quality over quantity. As for the dinner menu, as one fellow reviewer noted, the prices are indeed higher than before. Although I don't think I'd call it really "expensive". Especially given the current quality. But yes, dinner prices are a bit higher.

Finally, service still seems a bit inconsistent. The staff are polite enough, but are frankly uneven with actual service.

To sum up: fantastic food, great new locale, staff/service still a bit weak. As of this writing I think it is unfairly underrated (mostly based on its pre-move condition). 5 stars from me, and food quality-wise, it may be the best indian veg restaurant I've found in Japan. For newcomers: full recommendation, worth going out of one's way for. And for veterans who might have become disillusioned with the previous location, give it another try...you may be pleasantly surprised, as I was.

Pros: Excellent food (especially the spicing), Great new decor

Cons: Uneven service

1 Response

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Good indian food - Edit

We were there for lunch and I can not agree with the bad reviews. It is not the prettiest restaurant in town and the metal plates are not really aesthetic, that's true, but besides the decor it was clean and tidy.

Also, we had a very nice waitress who was able to speak english! So they don't just have an english menu, but also the lady was able to explain the dishes to us. That is really rare in Tokyo and we were happy about that. Besides that, the waiting time was very short.

No on to the food: My husband had one of the lunch sets, so he was able to try three curries and a soup with Naan and I had the rice dish. All the dishes were very tasty. Although I have to say, if you are not able to eat spicy food, this is not a place for you. Included in the sets were either lassi, tea or coffee.

Pros: Good indian food, Nice waitress

Cons: decor, metal plates


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updated review: pricey - Edit

Vege Herb Saga used to be located in a rather dingy basement with service that was sometimes shockingly slow. However the food was very good, the menu extensive, and the prices were reasonable so I happily frequented the place on weeknights when they weren't so busy. They've now moved to a much nicer venue right around the corner from before. They also have several chefs on staff so wait times aren't bad even when they're busy. Unfortunately with the move, their prices have gone up quite a bit. Although the quality is still good, I just don't think the overall dining experience is good enough to charge as much as the high end Indian restaurants in town like Dhaba India or Nirvanam. If you want authentic Indian food at lower prices, I suggest heading out to Nishi Kasai.

Pros: authentic, good quality, huge menu

Cons: pricey


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Not worth it. Uncomfortable dining experience. - Edit

I don't know what the hype is about for this place. My partner and I went out of our way to dine in this restaurant, only to be disappointed by it.

When we first entered the restaurant, we immediately noticed that the environment was dirty, messy and shabby. It was unpleasant to look at.

The service needs improvement. One of the staff was friendly enough to point out which are our vegan options but the waiter who served us the food was grumpy. He handed us a metal plate which was dripping wet. He then quickly retrieved it and exchanged for a dry one. When the food was being serviced he basically dumped our food on the table. 'Thump' job done, moving on.

The food was mediocre. Not the best curry I have had but not the worst either. Ordered Chana Masala and it was a bit too dry. The roti was OK.

I really do not recommend this place. There are better places to eat in Tokyo.
Updated from previous review on Saturday May 02, 2015

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Dirty environment , Bad Service

2 Responses

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Dodgy and Weird - Edit

Funnily enough we were seated and eating slightly before the last reviewers came in. I laughed the whole way through their review because I couldn't agree more.

The curry was mediocre at best, I've had better so all the people here saying its 5 star obviously don't know curry.

The restaurant looked dirty and not just shabby. One dude was friendly enough but his other staff was grumpy and it seemed like they were all arguing. So weird.

Bad service, below par food, and we got asked for ten yen too. Freakin weird.

Would not recommend.

Pros: food not as bad as it could have been

Cons: crap service, crap atmosphere, awkward


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Food OK, That's About It - Edit

My partner and I were pointed to a 4 person table when we arrived. When I asked about the blue dots on the menu, guessing it meant vegan, the staff said it meant no garlic and onion. It was vegan though. While waiting for our food, we couldn't help but notice the lack of cleanliness. The walls were dirty, the tables hadn't been wiped properly, the steel plates given to us had water droplets still on them and the container with the cutlery in it was unclean too. The staff member serving us barely spoke to us, so we didn't realise we had to get our own cutlery until he had seated two other customers at our table (which we weren't asked/notified about either).

We could hear hoicking sounds (the ghastly sound many old men tend to make before spitting) from the kitchen, and saw a customer being served an order of a glass of coke. The staff member pulled out a 3/4 full pet bottle of Coke, opened it and poured it into a glass and handed it to the customer, then drank directly from the bottle himself in front of the customer. It made us concerned about the missing initial 1/4 from the bottle.

My curry was OK, but when the staff member put a curry down in front of the lady beside us, we weren't sure whether it was hers or ours (turned out it was ours). His curry was also reasonable tasting at least. The rotis were just OK as well, and the rice we had ordered was forgotten, so got that pretty late.

When going to pay, the staff member asked me for ten yen to make it easier. I didn't have ten yen, which is why I didn't give him any in the first place, but he insisted so I asked my partner gave me his. Partner had the same problem, being asked for ten yen repeatedly even though he didn't have any. Eventually the staff gave him the correct change. Very uncomfortable.

Would NOT recommend.

Pros: Food, Price

Cons: Cleanliness, Service

2 Responses

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Great Food, ignore the decor! - Edit

I never would have found this place had I not read a review, and, having found it, I'm not sure I would've gone in! It's in the basement of a building, a tiny place, and really shabby looking. But the food! Delicious! I've been a couple of times now, tried the masala dosa,coconut rice, aloo gobi, and the kofta. And the naan bread is some of the nicest I've ever had. The two staff (owners?) are lovely, one in particular is super-friendly, he sings as he works, and really wants you to try the chai tea. They seem really concerned that the spiciness level of the food suits you too. The decor may not be up to much, but honestly, for great Indian food at a good price, I really recommend this place. Easy to find. Take the Hibiya line to Naka-Okachimachi, Exit 2. On street level, turn right and walk to the first side street. Turn left down this street, walk along to second street on your left. You will see a sandwich board outside, directing you down a grim-looking set of stairs! Don't be afraid, there is good food down there!

Pros: Great Indian food!, Inexpensive, Friendly staff

Cons: Very small, Interior a bit seedy


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Ueno Vege Herb Saga - Edit

I've eaten here 2 times. It is a long way from my apartment. On weekdays they have lunch sets. Choose 1, 2 or 3 curry servings from a list of 5-6.

The restaurant is open until 3pm for lunch but you have until 2:30pm to order food. They shut down the kitchen at this time.

Spicy means spicy! And I love it.

The space is small. And large groups can become noisy.

Pros: competitive price, good food

Cons: small


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A Little Piece of India - Edit

This cluttered, aroma-filled basement is a little piece of India, where beaming chefs, run off their feet, turn out the best Indian meals in Tokyo. Owned by a Jain, this is where vegetarian Indian business people come to eat authentic Indian food like they'd get at home without worrying about contamination of their food. But it's not just vegetarian Indians: many Japanese I've met there come because they've seen it on TV, where it wins awards as one of the top Indian restaurants in Tokyo - a great advertisement for vegetarian food in Japan. Beware that being a tiny place, you'll often need to share a table with other guests (not necessarily a bad thing as I've had many an interesting conversation there, but something to consider when planning a night out) and if you order a time-consuming dish it may take a while - up to an hour, or two on a really busy Saturday night, but of course side orders will come out earlier - as the two chefs freshly cook all the meals, regardless of how busy they are. Even the curry powders etc are roasted on site from fresh ingredients, regularly imported from India. This is the only specialised South Indian vegetarian restaurant in Tokyo (apart from a few dishes at the new Govinda's Edogawa) if not Japan, and the dosas and other snacks are divine. Vegan items are clearly labelled on the menu. This is one of my favourite restaurants in Tokyo.

Pros: South Indian food like masala dosas!!, friendly staff, reasonable prices

Cons: located in a cramped basement, sometimes long waits for food


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The most cheerful staff ever! - Edit

I wasn't impressed by the food - we had a set of two curries, but the portions were extremely small while the curries were extremely spicy (spicy-spicy). I guess we forgot to ask for a milder option.

Even though the food left a lot to be desired, the atmosphere was great - it's a simple no frills place with singing staff! They were chatting cheerfully, humming melodies and in general they were very friendly.

Pros: Nice staff, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Small portions, Very spicy


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