¡Que brillen los colores!
Shin-yokohama's status as Yokohama's shinkansen station finally earned it an upgrade a few years back when Cubic Plaza was added onto the station, the first ten floors dedicated to shopping and eating. Maharaja, on the 9th floor, offers Indian food to hungry area denizens.
Since Shin-yokohama is a mecca for tech firms, the daily lunch hour is thick with salaryworkers, telltale suits and ID badges crowding the tables. However, the 80-some odd seats mean that it is almost never much of a wait to get in, even at peak times. The starter 850 yen lunch special includes choice of one curry, unlimited rice and/or nan, and a trip to the salad bar, with more expensive/bigger lunch specials available for the hearty of appetite. The choices at lunch are somewhat more limited than at dinner, but still include three vegetarian options (dal, navratan, and palak paneer) and the usual suspects including shrimp, chicken, and mutton.
Maharaja offers both North and South Indian cuisine, which means that in addition to the usual curries that are the mainstay in most Indian restaurants in Japan, the restaurant also makes dosas. This thin crispy crepe-like concoction made from rice and lentil flour is served with dipping sauces and soup, and sometimes stuffed with spicy potatoes, called masala dosa. The regular lineup of soft drinks and lassis populate the drink menu, but they also offer a small list of Indian wines as well as bottled Kingfisher beer.
When the besuited worker lunch break crowd has cleared, the restaurant is popular with shoppers taking a leisurely break from picking out gadgets at Bic Camera or getting gel nail manicures downstairs. The weekend crowd might include travelers, shoppers, or fans watching a concert or sports event at the nearby arena.
The decor is typical for a department store restaurant floor - that is, clean, tasteful, and casually upscale. A Ganesh idol greets diners at the door, and a few small framed pictures depict Indian scenes. Most of the staff is south Asian and several speak fluent English. They were friendly and knowledgeable when I asked questions about ingredients and preparation, and are quick to bid you to take your time and to bring a fresh serving of naan. Consider Maharaja for your Shin-yokohama dining needs!