What is a Himalayan waltz? Well, for those looking for a dance hall, sorry to disappoint, but this waltz is a recently opened curry restaurant. It’s located a short five-minute jog from my house, which is maybe a little too convenient, as the food is always delicious!
A personal Story
If you happened to read one of my previous articles about black soybeans, you’ll know that I lived in Ecuador before, actually from 1980-1985, quite some years ago. As coincidence would have it, at the same time that I was exploring life in South America, Taku Azuma san was exploring life in Nepal.
While there in Nepal he established a family business with a local Nepali family, teaching them how to make Japanese miso. In English, miso is called fermented soybean paste, which sounds nothing like something you’d want to eat! But actually, when combined in various Japanese dishes it is very delicious. For many people here in Japan, rice and miso soup are an essential part of daily breakfast, as much as eggs and toast in England. But I’m getting sidetracked from Taku’s story! He pursued the miso making in Nepal for 7 years, until political and social turmoil engulfed the country and the government recommended, he, along with many other non-nationals, leave the country over safety concerns. So, he returned to Japan.
SASAYAMA Innovators School
Although originally from the Kyoto area, Taku and his wife, Chiyoko, decided to attend the “Sasayama Innovators School” at the “Rural Innovation Lab”, here in Tamba Sasayama. The goal of the seminar is to guide the attendees in how to establish new business opportunities in our rural area. That was in 2018.
Taku and Chiyoko decided to establish a curry restaurant with a twist, something very stylish! They searched extensively for a suitable location, but nothing materialized. Around the time of completing the seminar series, someone from Sasayama got in touch with the Innovators school asking if they new anyone who would need an unused location of theirs. The timing was perfect and so was the location. Thus, began their Himalayan Waltz.
The restaurant is on a main road, Route 176, as you head north out of Sasayama to the next town of Kaibara, which is also a historical area.
Living in Nepal and having first hand experience of the ‘curry life’, Taku and his wife are uniquely qualified to produce excellent cuisine, that has an international style. As an example, this week’s menu included a Thai style curry and a lamb matsaman curry in Taku’s own original style. The curry sauces and dishes are combined with locally grown organic vegetables of the highest quality.
As for the restaurant’s atmosphere, much of the decor, tables and seating etc. are handcrafted from high quality wood and materials. As you can see in the included photos. Unlike many other ‘curry restaurants’ I’ve experienced here in Japan, which unfortunately tend to look and feel like a poor man’s dining experience. This is another world. Although, I must point out that the prices here are extremely reasonable, especially considering the quality of the menu.
Both, Taku and Chiyoko speak English and many locals frequent the restaurant, so you will find a very friendly, inclusive atmosphere here, that’s sure to make yours a memorable experience. Who knows, you may meet me there too!