KFC Japan’s summer of all-you-can-eat fried chicken is ending, but at this Tokyo restaurant limitless chow can be your all year long.
If you’re someone who loves summer, there’s a certain twinge of melancholy that comes at this time of August, as the sun starts to set just a bit earlier and the season fades into fall. The end of summer is especially sad this year, as it also signals the end of all-you-can-eat fried chicken at KFC branches in Japan.
But don’t let the turning of the seasons turn your smile upside down, because autumn is still a lovely time of year in Japan. Instead of swimming at the beach, you can see beautifully colored foliage, and instead of all-you-can-eat fried chicken at KFC, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat fried chicken at this Tokyo restaurant, named Hitoe.
At night, Hitoe is an izakaya, or Japanese pub. The restaurant (located in the Yotsuya neighborhood) is open for lunch too, serving a variety of set meals, including grilled fish, stewed shabu shabu pork, and sliced sashimi. If you’re feeling hungry though, it’s hard to beat the all-you-can-eat karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken).
Hitoe’s all-you-can-eat karaage deal is so popular that the restaurant keeps a running leader board next to its entrance, listing the results for the top three diners who put away the most fried chicken. Since we’re pretty experienced in the field of ridiculously large meals, we figured we’d be able to add our names to the list, but our confidence quickly dissipated when we checked the standings and saw that the top three tallies are currently…
…42, 43, and 45 pieces of fried chicken!
Now since Hitoe is not only accommodating, but even proud, of customers who can eat so much, you might be assuming that the price of the meal is shockingly high. But no, the all-you-can-eat karaage set meal is just 850 yen (US$8.25). That paltry price gets you more than just chicken, too, as the meal also includes unlimited rice, miso soup, and raw eggs.
However, the star is the karaage, of course. Aside from being extremely affordable and infinitely plentiful, it’s also remarkably tasty. The breading is crispy without being tough, and the meat is juicy, flavorful, and even smells delicious. Sadly, our final score of 21 pieces kept us off the board of fame, but we still walked away happy and full.
So if you decide to pay a visit to Hitoe, you’ll probably want to plan it for a day when you’re not also headed to Tokyo’s all-you-can-eat cookie cafe.
Hitoe (Yotsuya branch) / ひとえ （四谷本店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Yotsuya 2-9-15, Sansara Yotsuya, 1st floor
Open: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Closed: Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and holidays
[ Read in Japanese ]
Why not see what Casey is up to on Twitter as you begin the lengthy process of digesting all-you-can-eat karaage?
[ Read in Japanese ]