Darjeeling is an Indian restaurant and tea room located just minutes from Nippori Station in Tokyo and just steps from the Yuyake Dandan (sunset stairs) leading to the Yanaka-Ginza shopping district.
Two flights of stairs lead up to a cozy and richly decorated slice of India. With walls and ceiling covered in fabrics, an abundance of beautifully detailed statues and lanterns, and carved and inlaid furnishings, everywhere you look is a feast for the eyes.
Each table is decorated with flowers and guests are presented with a generous cup of water, notable in a city where water is often served by request only and in very small portions.
The menu includes suggestions for the ideal tea for each season and an explanation of tea plant descriptions like BOP. Darjeeling offers a nice variety of seasonal teas from India as well as a specially priced Tea Set and Chai Set. Though I visited for tea, their dinner menu is filled with mouthwatering options and the lunchtime favorite, freshly baked naan, was enormous!
Indicate that you're here for tea and a tea chest will be brought to your table to help inspire your selection.
On this first visit, I enjoyed the Tea Set with Nilgiri OP and scones filled with golden raisins and served with cream and jam. The gorgeous silver teapot produced four delicious cups of tea. There was some confusion about what tea come with the tea set and I believe they were very kind and made an exception for me. If you would like to select one of Darjeeling's finer teas, I would recommend ordering it outside the set and then ordering a side dish.
I returned on my final day in Japan to try their Chai Set. The chai is served unsweetened with sugar on the side along with a flavorful samosa. Aside from the tea provided in the Chai Set, Darjeeling also offers a Masala Chai and Ginger Chai.
Darjeeling is a popular destination, so I recommend visiting by or before noon to ensure seating for tea.