In Japan, the servers will greet you with "Irasshaimase!!!" – but not in the annoying intonation as done in Yakimix ( Hey, I love Yakimix! I just find the greeting annoying).
I noticed that most of the “vending machine restaurants” have a small seating capacity for diners. Based on the layout of the chairs and table, the diners do not go here to hang out. You just eat. It is actually quite depressing: it is just you and your yummy food. Good thing the taste makes up for the lack of ambience.
You can have a complete really filling and delicious meal for JPY 300-500. Their noodles are hand-pulled too!
I hope you can be quite proficient with chopsticks. I was quite skilled before but I kinda lost it. I’m not sure if you can ask for a spoon and fork combo.
A fastfood serves this Soba with egg meal in Odaiba. I coupled this with the interesting lime green drink. Cost: JPY 880.
I wanted to test if the KFC Chicken tasted the same everywhere. It did. I tried a KFC branch in Shibuya. Tasted the same, price was different. 2 pcs chicken + iced latte + large fries for JPY 920 (*screams*)
Around the streets of Asakusa:
Fish bread with red bean filling. JPY 180. This is actually quite heavy. Don’t eat this if you plan to have a heavy meal soon.
A hash-brown type of bun with different fillings. Got the most basic flavour for JPY 120.
My standard breakfast is coffee (which is free from the hostel) and the rice cake. I like the tuna variety. Cheapo breakfast. When I’m too tired to find a resto to eat dinner, I just march into a Family Mart or 7-11 store and buy one of these. The rice bun costs around JPY 90-130. The bottled milk tea cost me JPY 100.
When I got tired of it, I wandered around to find a Japanese resto open for breakfast. Most were still closed at 7:00AM. I found Mc Donald’s open and server piping hot coffee. Sold for JPY 490!
You clean up your own mess here. You bring the tray in the garbage bins and segregate the garbage in their respective bins.
I was keeping an eye out for Pepper Lunch. My eye caught the familiar sign when the JR train passed Ueno station. I already ditched exploring Ueno because it was getting quite late and I was tired, but the Pepper Lunch sign was reason enough to make a stop.
|Took a shot while ordering|
JPY 1,130 for the Beef Pepper Rice and Coke.
When eating this, I enjoy mixing the rice, buttered corn and beef in the sizzling hot plate while inhaling the delicious scent of the dish. But the waitress was excited to show me how it is done (of course, I looked like a tourist). So she mixed and mixed until the beef was wonderfully cooked. I was robbed of my mixing experience! Oh well.
|Can't get enough of their sauce|
They’ve got the beef, the sauce and the butter. But the rice is different. The Japanese version is more superb. Still, I am glad we have Pepper Lunch in the Philippines.
Conveyor Belt Resto: Maguro Bito
I was on the prowl for a Japanese buffet resto in Asakusa so I can sink my teeth into authentic (authentic na talaga ngayon) salmon sashimi. There was none. I later found out that the Japanese hated waste, they just eat enough. That’s why there are no buffet stuff your face restaurants around. I followed the hostel’s recommendation: Maguro Bito, a famous conveyor belt resto in Asakusa area.
The waiter handed me this English menu. There’s “Good Tuna with no fat” and there’s “Fatty Tuna”. Fatty Tuna tasted yummier. Oishi! Same mechanics like Sakae Sushi, you pay for the plate you eat.
|Maguro Bito English Menu with price|
I eagerly awaited for my desired plates.
They have powdered green tea.
I was having an epic nomnomnom moment.
|All those plates... and counting|
They have this really cool way of getting your bill. They pile up all your plates then they hold up a device-thingie (sorry, no picture, I got shy I didn’t take one) near these plates. They give you this white plastic chip, which you present in the counter. They place this in a plate-thingie and your total bill is flashed in the screen. I hope you get the idea. My point is: It is so freakin’ Japanese cool!
Some interesting stuff at the groceries:
Yakult! Lactobasilishirota strain, anyone?
Tea in lotsa flavors
You won’t get tired of trying lots of Japanese food here. Contrary to what some would say, food is actually affordable. And there’s no bad food. Just so-so food, but nothing lacking in flavour.