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Nasi Kandar Restaurant By Japanese Man In Tokyo Goes Viral, Has M’sian Murals & Terima Kasih Sign

Nasi Kandar restaurant in Japan

Malaysia is famous for numerous things, one of them being our food. As much as we love our local cuisine, we also love seeing them gain popularity overseas among foreigners – such as when this Malaysian woman went viral for her Nasi Lemak Amsterdam that got the Dutch hooked on our local-favourite dish.

This time around, a nasi kandar restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, is making waves online.

Helmed by a Japanese man who fell in love with Malaysian food during his travels to our country, the restaurant serves Muslim-friendly nasi kandar with six different types of curries. It also features Malaysia-inspired murals and a sign that says ‘Terima Kasih’ to welcome and thank diners.

Japanese man falls in love with Malaysian food

Malaysian restaurant in Japan
Image credit: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー

Zero Two Nasi Kandar Tokyo is a Japanese restaurant in the country’s capital city that serves one of Malaysia’s famous dishes for locals there to try – nasi kandar.

The restaurant, owned by a Japanese man named Mr Tateda, opened in February 2022. From photos uploaded to the restaurant’s Facebook account, the restaurant seems to be receiving great response from locals, with the dishes selling like hot cakes within its first few days.

They even had to put up “sold out” signs at their entrance.

Nasi Kandar JapanImage adapted from: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー and ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー

According to the portal Japanese Heart, Mr Tateda was inspired to open a nasi kandar restaurant in his home country after visiting Malaysia and trying the dish here. Before this, he was said to have a South Indian restaurant in Osaka.

Nasi Kandar Restaurant in Japan - murals
Murals inside the restaurant
Image adapted from: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー and ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー

Murals depicting the Petronas Twin Towers and local scenes inside the restaurant shows just how inspired he was from his travels.

Nasi kandar gains popularity in Tokyo

Nasi Kandar restaurant menu
Image credit: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー

Zero Two Nasi Kandar Tokyo offers a variety of dishes for customers, much like what we have here in Malaysia. Since the dish is new to Japanese residents, the restaurant even has a food ordering guide for customers trying the dish for the first time.

The guide includes information on how to place orders for nasi kandar in four simple steps – from choosing their preferred rice and mains, to selecting sides dishes and curries to complete their dish.

Nasi Kandar dishes
Image adapted from: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー and ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー

Some of the items available on the menu are biryani rice, ayam bakar, fried fish fingers, lamb cutlets, stir-fried cabbage and vegetable curry, to name a few. All of these scrumptious mains and sides are served on familiar green plastic plates and banana leaves.

Nasi Kandar restaurant in Japan
Image credit: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー

Based on the menu, the price for nasi kandar at the restaurant ranges from ¥1,000 (~RM36.40) to ¥1,980 (~RM71.90) per plate, with additional toppings priced between ¥100 (~RM3.60) and ¥550 (~RM20).

It is also interesting to note that all their ingredients and seasonings are Halal, as stated in one of the restaurant’s Facebook post. In addition to their dishes, they also serve drinks such as Mango Lassi for ¥250 (~RM9.11).

As the restaurant is also actively attracting Malaysian customers in Tokyo, signs of ‘Terima Kasih’ are also seen outside the shop, indicating its appreciation towards its Malaysian customers.

Malaysian food in Japan

It’s indeed a proud moment to know that one of our favourite dishes is gaining popularity overseas. Kudos to Mr Tateda for taking inspiration from Malaysia during his travels, and turning something he loves into a successful business in his country.

We hope this story instils a sense of pride among Malaysians, as we certainly have one of the world’s best cuisine and culture that’s loved by even those abroad.

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Cover image adapted from: ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー and ゼロツーナシカンダールトーキョー