Shimo-Kitazawa: Soup curry
Ponipirika (Shimo-Kitazawa: Soup curry)
Open 11:30am-9:30pm (LO; Fri, Sat -10:30pm) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Hokkaido venison burger is one of the unusual soup-curry main ingredients here, and it's a tasty change from the usual chicken. Ponipirika also distinguish themselves from the competition with their soup options - you can choose from the umami-rich wafu-style soup (with katsuobushi and dried mushrooms), a very savory shrimp-based soup, or regular tomato soup. Even the regular version is quite rich though, almost closer to a stew than soup.

In addtion to venison, other popular main ingredients are bacon-mushroom, fried fish, and of course the ubiquitous chicken leg, while extra toppings include a nice crunchy version of zangi (Hokkaido-style fried chicken) as well as Camembert cheese and avocado.

Over-the-top exotic decor seems to be de rigueur in Shimo-Kitazawa soup-curry establishments, and this shop is no exception. Each of the individual tables and booths seems to have its own decorative themes, and there's a collection of very odd bric-a-brac next to the cash register for your entertainment while you're waiting to pay.

Ponipirika seems to be a bit more expensive than average - a venison bowl with a couple of extras might run Y2,000. At lunchtime (11:30am-3:30pm) you get a free salad with your soup curry, and child-size portions are available if you're a child.

Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-8-8, Akarenga Bldg 2F.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended