Kicking off our list of the best soup curry restaurants in Sapporo, we start with our personal favorite, デリー or Delhi Sapporo.
The first time we came to Delhi, we were expecting Indian food. And while the curry flavor served here may have Indian inspiration, as for the style of the cuisine, you’ll be better off to classify this as soup curry restaurant.
And as soup curry goes, it is fantastic. While I don’t think of their food as Indian, the Hindustani influence takes their soup curry in a unique direction, and sets them apart from the many other choices.
Beyond the food, the simple atmosphere at Delhi Sapporo has a very “at home in someone’s living room” feel that also makes this place special. The feeling is like being in someone’s house – if that someone had been to India a few times, brought back some decorations, and put the fondness for that culture on display. It’s that. mixed with a console with a their music collection on display, maybe 100+ LPs, another 50+ CDs, and even some cassettes. There are handcut flowers in little vases. The tables and chairs a mix of various designs and styles, all at least 20 years old.
From the greeting as you open the door to apron the host wears as she ushers you into your seat, the complete lack of formality creates a place to eat and relax that is more intimate for me than almost anywhere else in this, Sapporo, the best city in the world.
Delhi is about a 10 min walk from Odori station, at the very end of the covered walkway known as Tanukikouji. On snowy, wet days, the easy walk down Tanukikouji is a great excuse to choose Delhi for lunch (Tanukikouji will keep you dry all the way there). On sunny days, it is about one minute away (just across the street) from Sōsei Kawa (the little river-park that runs north and south from Susukino up toward Sapporo station).
The business is run by a Japanese couple, adorable people that feel like family to me. And as the menu is hand written, and hard for me to read (everything in Japanese is hard, if not impossible, for me to read), the first time I came here the woman that takes care of you helped me choose a spicy curry. It comes with a potato, a slice of carrot, and a small green pepper (called a piman). The curry is thin, and spicy.
The way it works (or so I think) is that you choose your sauce. And then choose your meat (if any). You can choose between chicken and lamb. Or strictly vegetarian, if that is more your speed.
Delhi is also a good option for vegetarian restaurants in Sapporo, actually. I usually get a spicy curry they call Kashmir, but there is another flavor that is made with chickpeas (in Indian cooking they would say “chana”) that is creamy, and I have seen it served with an emphasis on vegetables, including tomatoes and small Japanese eggplant (which is quite delicious).
As I mentioned above, my standard order is the Kashmir curry, with chicken. I pay a little more to get extra serving of meat. And I always try to start with their green salad, which is simple (lettuce and tomatoes, some broccoli when it’s available, and is tossed with a fantastic dressing) which helps make for a full meal.
I opt for the lamb less often, but it is also a great choice. I am here for a second time in the last week as I write this review, and I intentionally had the lamb, and it was amazing.
The Kashmir curry is spicy, and they seem to know it because they have an almost religious dedication to keeping your water glass full. It’s not uncommon to hear other patrons making a *sniff sniff* noise, as the spiciness can make your nose run a little. Not overly hot (I don’t like super spicy food), just perfect for a rich flavor.
Today’s meal (including the salad), with the extra meat was Y1300, which is an excellent price for a “home cooked” meal.
Delhi is open for dinner, but closes early (more of an after-work spot, I’d say). And I usually don’t drink during the day (which is when I stop in), but they do serve beer.
They are closed on Wednesday and Thursday (which presumably serves as their “weekend”).
While Delhi’s soup curry is “Indian” in terms of flavor, for proper Indian food in Sapporo, we can make some recommendations: We like the Indian food at Mohan Dish in Kita-ku quite a bit. If you’re near Sapporo Factory, Taj Mahal offers a good experience. And for the best Indian in all of Sapporo (with an experience that holds up rather well with International options), we highly recommend Jhad Pul Indian restaurant in Maruyama.
Delhi is a place I can really relax and enjoy myself. Highly recommended. Such a good feeling in there… stop in, bring a friend, you’ll have a great experience.