Posted January 13th, 2012 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »
While I’m in Japan I often went to family restaurants to have lunch or snack. The top reason is the price! I can easily get a coupon for free drink bar (unlimited drinks) online. Not all family restaurants have good drink bar though. D loved matcha latte at Big Boy and Gusto, but we didn’t see matcha latte at Saizeria.
Saizeriya is a Japanese chain of Italian family-style restaurants. I used to go there often when I was a student because the food there is very very cheap. Pasta, gratin and pizza starts from 280 yen each. Plus, they have drink bar (which is normally 190 yen). Although their pizzas and pasta are with just few ingredients and don’t really look nice, students like us were happy with those foods. We could kill time with just few hundreds yen after school I saw many students at Saizeria when I went there have lunch the other day. Food there is much cheaper than other family restaurants such as Coco’s and Gasto, It could be even cheaper than McDonald’s.
I went to Big Boy more than 5 times during this stay. I’m actually quite fed up with their menu now :p. D wanted to go there because of Matcha Latte at their drink bar. At some Big Boy they gave us a toy for Hiro too, and it was nice. They do “Kids Members Card” as well where you can chose one item from their selection as a gift to your kid after earning 5 points (1 visit = 1 point).
One thing I was surprised was that Gusto now has few different versions – normal Gusto, Ohashi-Gusto, and Steak Gusto. Ohashi-Gusto serves all the foods with chopsticks (ohashi = chopsticks). I loved their food menu than Big Boy. They had matcha latte at their drink bar too. (the one near my house) And I won a free vanilla pudding as they were doing “instant win” scratch for New Year. Steak Gusto serves steak, and it’s cheap! It comes with salad bar & drink bar, and you can enjoy it under 1000yen. I should go there one more time before I go back to Perth.
Oh, another thing I noticed when I came back to Japan was that some Japanese fast food restaurants, such as Yoshino-ya, Nakau and Matsuya, now have drive-thro facility! It’s just like McDonald’s and KFC. People can take-away beef donburi etc through the drive-thro. Many people are using it, actually. Japanese people work hard, and just want to eat up one donburi in the car then head back to office, maybe!
Posted December 19th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »
Betokon is name of a small stall selling ramen noodles, gyoza, etc near my house. I don’t know if I can call it “a stall”, or should I say “a shed”. The place looks just like a small shed, really. They open only at night time, and there’re only 2 staff (son & mother) working.
My dad and brother likes going there because it’s very close to home. My dad always have one or two glasses of beer when eating out, so being close to home is very convenient for him. (even though my brother who doesn’t drink usually drives) Penalty for drink driving is severe in Japan too.
Another reason for them going there is, of course, the food. They don’t have much variety on thier menu, and the place is awfully small (just counter table + 10 chairs), but they serve pretty good food. Some say the food is bit oily, but it fills you up when you are really hungry and want to eat FOOD.
Son is in charge of cooking, and mother serves customers. Oden is ready in front of the counter, and customers usually eat oden while waiting for other foods they ordered.
They mostly serve Chinese food, including Changhai fried noodle, but most of them are “Japanese Chinese” food. Cha-han (fried rice), tenshin-han, gyoza, chicken karaage etc…
It was Wednesday night, and we didn’t expect to see any other customers there. And, so did the staff. There was only son in the shop/shed, relaxing on a chair. He said mother’s coming at 9PM.
My dad ordered 3 x gyoza, 3 x oden, and 2 x fried rice to start. Yes, we eat A LOT. The staff was moving around very fast, cooking all the food we ordered and serving us at the same time. His speed became much faster when other customers came in. After 30 minutes we arrived, the place became full. And, there was only one staff! I felt sorry to place order to him… :p
I love their gyoza. The skin is crispy and chewy, and inside got juicy meat stuffing.
Fried rice was ok. Not the best… but still tasty
We ordered 1 x omelet and 2 x ramen noodle too.
Their omelet contains stir-fried pork and vegetables inside. Bit too much tomato sauce to me…
By the time ramen noodle was served, I couldn’t eat anything already. I just watched my dad & bro eating the noodle.
Oh, I forgot to mention that D was staying at home looking after Hiro. Hiro was sleeping tight, and we didn’t want to wake him up just to go to the narrow space. D said he’d stay home, so we bought souvenir to him – chicken karaage and Changhai fried noodle. Karaage was stir-fried with garlic and spring onion after being deep-fried to add aroma and also drain excess oil. It smelled so good. I will try it next time !
Posted December 15th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »
D, Hiro and I went to Katsukura in Kusatsu city, Shiga to have lunch with my friend. I haven’t seen her for a long time… probably around 5 years. We used to go to same collage in Osaka, then flew to Perth to study English at same TAFE campus. After that she went back to Japan, then came back to Australia to travel around, then went back to Japan again, flew to Europe to travel around, and now working in Japan She brought her boy friend to lunch
I chose Katsukura because I had craving for katsu when she asked me what I wanted to eat. Katsukura is in Kintetsu building which connects to Kusatsu train station, so easy access was another reason I chose this place (as we both traveled by train).
Inside was bit stuffy and narrow, but maybe I felt so because I had Hiro. He didn’t want to sit still. I thought they might have zashiki (dining area on tatami) but they only had tables and chairs.
D ordered normal tonkatsu-zen (pork katsu set meal), and I ordered wakadori-zen (young chicken katsu set meal).
First, small bowls of sesame seeds were brought to the tabel. We need to grind the sesame seeds at the table, and pour choice of katsu sauce into the bowl. It’s going to be the dipping sauce for katsu. Freshly ground sesame seeds are very aromatic.
Rice was served in a big container, and we scoop into our rice bowls by ourselves. So was pickles. Bottles of Sauces and salad dressing were set at the table. Rice, shredded cabbage, and miso soup are all unlimited. Yes, you can order as many times as you want.
I could just eat rice with the katsu sauce. Very nice. The meat was juicy and soft too.
Posted December 13th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »
Hi there, happy Hiro from Mister Donut. We’re having afternoon tea
Three donuts and OJ for ¥500.
At MisterDonut, they are selling these “Christmas donuts” right now for limited time only ↓↓↓
Snow-man-looking donuts (the face is coated with icing), and Christmas-wreath-looking churros (one is coated with icing, others are with chocolate). The icing donut is sweet, but it’s kind of addictive! I love the icing Christmas wreath churros.
I went back there in few days to eat another icing churros.
They’re collecting the orders for Mister Donut Christmas Set (¥1000), and I wanted to order one, but I couldn’t….. They were all sold out by the time I went to submit the order sheet.
The donuts are yummy…. Unlimited drinks (cafe au lait etc) make afternoon tea perfect relaxing time of the day!
Posted December 11th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »
We had lunch at Big Boy the other day.
I remember staying here for hours with friends when I was a student, just by purchasing drink bar. It’s sometimes ¥100, so it was the best place to kill time and have a chat with friends.
I ordered daily lunch menu (¥580). It was a set of grilled chicken, prawn katsu, and stir-fried pork dish came with unlimited soup bar and a choice of rice or a bread roll.
D had big hamburg set (¥780)which came with a choice of sauce and a choice of rice or a bread roll. The hot black stone on the right front is to sear the meat if you want to cook more.
I had ¥100 coupon for drink bar, so we ordered one.
A piece of paper was placed around the hamburg plate to avoid any oil spill.
It was pretty volumy… I was full after having 3 cups of soup, meat plate, drinks, and bit of rice.
D was eating the hamburg as hamburger… sandwiching slice of hamburg inside a bread roll.