chicken curry mac's carrot restaurant mejiro tokyo

I’m out running errands all day on a rainy Monday. One of my errands brings me to Mejiro, and I’m in the mood for curry. A quick search, and I find the mysteriously named Mac’s Carrot. Chicken curry seems to be their thing. Reviewers write about the cost performance and the volume of the dishes. Intrigued, I check it out.

A short walk to the North of of Mejiro station, this restaurant is a sketchy-looking place that seems very student-oriented. There’s a large terrace in front of the restaurant with a big menu plastered on the wall.

I walk in through the curiously organized two sets of doors to a restaurant totally empty save for one couple sitting at a table finishing their lunch and watching a movie blasting from a TV on the wall.

I am seated under said TV. It is playing at a volume so loud that if I had come with a companion I would not have been able to hold a conversation, save at quiet moments.

I understand that the chicken curry here is the must-try item. There are a few sizes on the menu, beginning with “medium,” apparently (though it is unlabeled). When I inquire about size, the staff say that the medium is quite large, so I opt for that. The two staff guys working both appear to be college students; they are polite but seem a bit nervous. A cook in the back is referred to as “master” by them.

The interior of the place is all dark wood. There are stained glass lights on a center table and flags hanging from the ceiling. The walls are an odd mix of old-timey clocks, artwork, beer posters, and blown up photographs. It is old, but very tidy. A grand piano stands in a corner, covered with a blue velvet cloth, atop which sits a neon Lowenbrau sign and a maneki neko, on a pillow.

Mysteriously, 5 minutes or so into my visit, thee TV is cut and Bach begins playing over the store’s speaker system. The couple leaves and I am alone in the place.

By now it’s just before 4:30.

My dish comes and oh, is it huge. Huge. Smells really good.

It’s an entire chicken breast on top of white rice. It’s been slathered with a curry sauce and topped with raisins. The chicken is fine, but unexceptional. The outside has been crisped and breaded, but there’s no flavor to the meat itself. I find myself wishing for a side salad or a soup; something to counteract the heaviness.

It’s the kind of thing a college guy eats after soccer practice.

I want to try other dishes, but the bird is so large I get worried halfway through eating, and realize I won’t be able to finish. There is no hope. I consider calling a friend.

Other customers begin arriving just before 5. As I imagined, they look to be college-age guys.

At this point I’ve been working away at my dish for half an hour and am only just nearing the end. My stomach is protesting, but my “waste not want not” mentality is kicking in. I plan to go for a run that evening to try to compensate. 

Finally, I decide to leave a portion on my plate and go. It’s the only way I can think to perhaps communicate politely that I thought the portion was way, way too big.

A few other college dudes have entered and are chatting and the Bach is ridiuclously silly. Time to go. Stop in for massive serving sizes and a laid back atmosphere. Good portion for the price. You’ll just need to know katakana to read the menu.

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