When I saw the pictures of the Thali offered at Milenga appearing in my Facebook feed I became really curious about this new restaurant located in the Okayama Building.
The Okayama Building is indoor food market and if you are coming from Okayama station in the shopping arcade, cross the little canal and Milenga is right on the corner of the market.
The restaurant which doubles as a small cooking store was far from crowded when I walked in. The set menu is pretty simple, vegetarian and pretty much the same menu with an extra piece of chicken. Respectively 750 (vegetarian) and 880 yen for the meatier version.
The open kitchen on the left. Cooking stuff on the right.
There is more food stuff in the back.
The have a selection of chai and lassi
The restaurant is pretty simple looking with interesting metal covered tables.
A Japanese lady served us our two Thali which came with a complementary glass of chai.
First, the basmati rice was delicious. A big change from the regular Japanese rice often offered in Indian restaurants in Japan.
The Thali had a great palette of flavours and amazing spices. The curries and chutneys were actually pretty spicy. The lady inquired to my wife if it was too spicy for her. While my Japanese wife really enjoyed the meal, this is much spicier than the average food offered in Japan, no Japanese taste here.
The restaurant offers only one lunch menu. My wife also notice the absence of the ever popular naan bread. I’m also a big fan of naan, roti, chapati, dosa and other bread delights. I guess we got really used to always eat Indian food with a naan and when it’s not there, we feel like something is missing.
Despite being naan-less, the Thali at Milenga was spectacular. I’ve never been to India, Pakistan, but it tasted a lot like the good Indian food I had in Malaysia. Like my wife said, this is original taste (meaning that it was not cooked for the Japanese palate in mind).
On my way out of the restaurant, I asked the two ladies in the kitchen from which country Milenga cuisine is from and they informed me it’s was Bangladeshi cuisine. I am not very familiar with the food from Bangladesh, but I am curious to see which direction this new restaurant will take.
The restaurant also has a prayer room for muslims and a collection of religious books in English.