Bollywood Dreams

Editor’s Note: Our original review of Bollywood Dreams was published in 2010. Since then, the owner has re-vamped the menu with many new dishes, drinks, and desserts. Marie took new photos of the restaurant in September 2014 and updated a few details, but we’re keeping much of Kate’s original review here so you can still see all the comments!

CONTRIBUTED BY KATE VIERNES/UPDATED BY MARIE LEWIS

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Kate: I love Indian food and consider myself decently well-versed in the wide variety of Indian restaurant-types, both in the U.S. and Japan. You’ve got your traditional fare (mostly North Indian) in establishments ranging from kitschy to fancy. Your all-you-can-eat Indian buffets and hole-in-the wall Indian/Pakistani food joints. Recent trends have brought about upscale, traditional South Indian cuisine in swanky urban hotspots and homestyle, organic Indian food carts for those on the go. Here in Japan you’ll often spot the kare setto, which makes ordering in Japanese a cinch. I’ve even watched a Shahrukh Khan video medley while sweating out spices at a friendly Indian restaurant in the Hawaiian Islands.

Clearly I thought I had some kind of authority on the subject. Then I decided to check out the eatery options in the Depot Island complex in American Village, and was promptly given a run for my money. Should you come across this sign (below) in your wandering, you would be wise to follow it upstairs.

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Picture a combination of just about every type of restaurant I have previously mentioned, but with a healthy added dose of Hindi cinema and a dash of Okinawan flavor to boot. What you will have as a result is Bollywood Dreams, a unique type of Indian restaurant that turns the existing definition of Indian dining on its head!

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

We entered the restaurant and were pleasantly surprised with what we found. The half of the decently sized perimeter that wasn’t made up of windows overlooking the ocean was covered with posters upon posters of popular Bollywood stars (the main players in the largest film industry in the world—yes, India makes and sees even more movies than its U.S. equivalent!) and a large LED television appropriately screening the high-energy dance sequences that Hindi films are famous for. The interior painted with mostly dark hues was accented with seating upholstered in funky fabric and brightly-colored napkins rolled up in holders matching the chairs, giving the place a very modern aesthetic.

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Marie: While Kate was blown away by the samosa, tandoori taco rice, mango chicken curry, mango lassi (a yogurt-based drink), and brownie dessert, the menu has been tweaked to perfection in the last four years. I recently took my parents there to show them why naan holds a special place in my heart (and tummy). Mind you, my parents were not really Indian food fans, but I knew this place would convert them. It has been a favorite restaurant of mine while in Okinawa, and it did not disappoint.

I may or may not have ripped a chunk of butter naan from my basket before I re-gained the self-control required to actually take a photo of my dinner:

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

You really can’t go wrong with the curry here. The pineapple chicken curry is my personal favorite, but our party of six tried a variety of curries, appetizers and sets that we loved across the board. My parents were successfully converted!

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!
Menu – click to enlarge

I will say that this place can get busy. When we came for dinner with my parents on a holiday weekend, they had run out of the jumbo naan (the GIANT one that is served on a rack and can be shared between several people). We were fine with having the regular-sized naan (also very large for a single person…not that I need help finishing it). We also waited longer than usual for our food. But the owner’s son, who was the manager on duty, was extremely apologetic and came to our table to explain the reason for the wait. He also brought our whole table a free round of drinks to make up for the wait. It was a nice gesture, and this is what keeps me coming back to a place; if anything is not to your satisfaction, they find a way to make it right.

The menu is several pages long, but to the right is a sampling of what you can expect. Their full menu is available on their website. A typical dinner will cost you anywhere from 1000-2000 yen per person, and more if you are drinking alcohol, having an appetizer, etc.

Bollywood Dreams l Okinawa Hai!
Menu – click to enlarge

Bollywood Dreams is a pleasure to eat at if you’re at Depot Island, and most certainly sets a benchmark in the Indian dining experience.

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. (Last order at 9:30 p.m.) Friday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Last order at 10:00 p.m.)

Telephone Number: 098-926-0977

Payment: Accepts $, ¥ and credit card

Directions: Depot Island complex of Mihama American Village, Chatan; 2nd floor, towards the back

Address: Depot Island Bldg. A 2F, 9-1, Mihama, Chatan

Google Map Coordinates: 26.3155030467, 127.754248294

Website: Bollywood Dreams

11 COMMENTS

  1. What a delight! I LOVE Indian food, and here in Okinawa we certainly have a great variety of Indian restaurants! I have tried most of them and while they are all good, none have such a wonderful feel to them the way this one does! Between the posters of Bollywood actors, the bright and festive decor, and the Bollywood music videos playing on the big screen, I really feel encompassed in the whole BollyWood Dream! The menu is about as pricey as most indian restaurants, no cheap dinner here, but what you get will certainly fill you up and leave you with takeout bags as well! The naan is huge and delicious, the curry both sweet and spicy, and the staff are helpful and attentive! The location makes parking a little tricky, but unless you are going on a Friday night it shouldn’t be too bad. We went Sunday for lunch and found both parking, and a table right away! FYI lunch prices are very affordable! This place gets an A+ in my book!

  2. The tandoori taco rice was amazing and it was a huge portion. the place seemed to have a night club decor, but the food was not disappointing. The iced chai tea was wonderful, too.

  3. OhMyFreakingGosh!!!!!!! Love this place. I hate that people are constantly trying to compare it to CoCos…..ummmm hello there is no comparison!!!! You can not go here expecting whatever kind of curry it is that CoCos sells. This is Indian curry and you should have a open mind about it instead of casting doubt and you haven’t given the food a chance. They have a very big menu selection for you to choose from. So if you don’t want curry, you can get one of their salad, rice dishes, wraps, ugh its just so many things to pick from. I am here every other week if not every week! My stamp card is almost full!

  4. This place is really good! We ordered the special where you can try 3 different curries and it also comes with a sample of a few different appetizers. Everything was great! They also have good drinks and the mango ice cream was delicious. We’ve tried a few other Indian restaurants in the area, but this is the best one.

  5. They don’t have the samosa sauce but I didn’t care cause it tasted awesome… I just dipped it in my curry lol it was soooo good… Ok now go to Bollywood dreams!!

  6. I thought this place was amazing! I miss my indian food cause I was stationed in the middle east for 2 years and I fell in love with the Indian food restaurants there.. I have tried taj… It’s ok but wayy to pricey and not as great… Alibaba doesn’t even come close to this place… I really believe this is the best Indian food on the island… It’s as close as it comes to food in the middle east and there is sooooo much more to choose from on their menu compared to the other restaurants… Also mango lassi is my favorite drink as well, it was exceptional 😉

    I have fallen in love with their food… Btw the jumbo naan is bigger than your head.. It really does feed for more than 2 people lol… Great price for amazing food… Definelty go to Bollywood dreams!

  7. I went to Bollywood Dreams tonight with my husband after reading all the positive comments. We were less happy with the restaurant than what others have written. It was just “okay”… We started with samosas, which were tasty but like all of the food had nothing great about them – three came in an order for 500 yen ($7.50) and they were half the size of a usual samosa, plus the sauce is plain ketchup instead of a cilantro chutney. The curries were also just okay, and the waitstaff forgot to ask how spicy we wanted so I found mine to be bland. There’s nothing other than some photos of Indian stars and one TV with videos to make this feel like an Indian restaurant. The waitstaff are all Japanese. Plates are like cafeteria plates. We did not feel welcome, like is usual in Indian restaurants; the greetings were minimal and no one asked us how the meal was. Dinner for two was over 5, 000 yen ($75) so I would have expected at least a “thank you” as we left, but nothing. Again, it was OK, but there are better places for Indian in Oki.

  8. A group of my friends came here for lunch and we loved this place! The atmosphere was awesome, food was spectacular, and it made me want to come back that night for dinner! Service was great, and everything is reasonably priced. If you’re thinking about going to Bollywood Dreams…STOP THINKING AND GO!!!

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Bollywood Dreams was an amazing find! We went there for lunch today and the food was fabulous. The smells hit you first but the food that follows is worth the wait. YUMMY!!

  10. I went here for lunch today and it was soooo good – especially that naan. The mild/hot/extremely hot scale isn’t as fierce as some Indian restaurants – I had the spicy (mid level) and it was great. I highly recommend it. And the view out the back windows on a sunny day is gorgeous. There is also a small patio area in the back, overlooking the water.
    I will certainly be going back. And the price was right – total was 980Y, including drink and salad in the set.

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