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Ladki Indian Restaurant

Matsuyama’s longest established Indian restaurant

Ladki is one of Matsuyama’s longest established Indian restaurants. It’s located on Hanazonomachi, an attractive street just round the corner from Matsuyama’s City Station, which sends out a constant stream of trams and Botchan steam trains. The restaurant is on the north side under the veranda that provides protection against the sun and rain. It’s conspicuous for its yellow paint job and the tempting aroma of curry that can be detected from afar.

In keeping with its status as a venerable establishment, the interior is not in the very latest style. The roof is supported by yellow pilasters and the tables are spread with gaily colored Indian cloth under plastic covers. Colorful posters from the subcontinent hang in frames on the walls, and there are some very green house plants here and there. The staff are all Indian, and you can watch them behind the counter, blending the curries, kneading the nan bread, and mixing the lassi.

The menu offers a wide variety of all the standard curries, with an easily understood choice of spiciness, from 1 to 5. Last time I went, I ordered a chicken and spinach curry with spiciness of 1, while my friend had a chicken and tomato curry at a tricky 2.5. We did a little swapping as you do, and whereas mine was very mild indeed, the 2.5 was fiercely hot. Beware anything over 3! The curry, priced at 1,030 yen, was accompanied by nan bread and a small salad which included an interesting couple of chunks of daikon radish spiced with turmeric. While the curry was plentiful and very tasty, with a generous quantity of juicy chicken chunks, the nan was rather doughy and lacking in fragrance. I’m sorry to relate that there also seemed to be a problem with the plumbing—quite a strong smell of stagnant water came in wafts from the direction of the toilet.

These grumbles notwithstanding, Ladki is popular with just about everyone. On any given day, you’re likely to see office workers, couples of all ages, schoolgirls, and foreign nationals of many countries sitting at the tables. You can also get takeaways, which can be a good option for a picnic in the castle park, or something filling to eat in your hotel.

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