You’ll need to bring a big appetite but just a little cash.
Japanese yakiniku (Korean barbeque) restaurant chain Gyukaku gets in a generous mood on the 29th of each month. That’s because the numerals 2 and 9 can read as “ni” and “ku” in Japanese, forming niku, which just so happens to be the Japanese word for “meat.”
While Gyukaku’s Meat Day celebrations are always worth getting excited over, one of the greatest came back in June, when Gyukaku offered 2.9 kilograms (6.4 pounds) of beef for just 290 yen (US$2.50). The chain held the same promotion in 2013, and so after stuffing ourselves on June 29 of this year, we figured we’d have to wait until 2019 to take advantage of the incredible deal again.
But 2016 is special, because it’s the 20th anniversary of Gyukaku’s founding. Because of that, the chain’s branch in the downtown Tokyo neighborhood of Sengakuji wants to wrap the year up on a high note, and so it’s bringing back the 2.9-kilograms-of-meat-for-290-yen deal next week on December 29.
▼ Far, far more meat than you’d expect for less than three bucks.
Diners get their choice of one of three different meals, all of which feature 2.9 kilos of beef.
▼ The Everest Course gives you gigantic, extra-thick slices of beef to go with its rice.
▼ The Mt. Fuji Course comes with 2.9 kilograms of boneless kalbi short ribs, more of that particular cut than you can get from an entire cow.
▼ And finally, the Mt. Takao Course, which features thin, easy-to-grill beef slices.
But perhaps the craziest thing isn’t that Gyukaku is offering so much beef for so little money, but that if you can eat it all within an hour and a half, you get rewarded with even more meat! Customers who clean their plates within the allotted time will be awarded a 10,000-yen (US$85) gift certificate, valid at any Gyukaku location nationwide.
Reservations are required for the promotion, which is officially called the 2.9 Kilogram Big Eater Challenge (2.9キロ大食いチャレンジ in Japanese text). Seats can be reserved here through Yahoo! Japan’s restaurant reservation website, which will begin taking reservations at 10 a.m. on December 26 for the meal, which starts at 11:30 a.m. on December 29.
The promotion in June was booked solid after just 18 seconds, so if the thought of all that yakiniku has your mouth watering, we recommend making your reservation as soon as possible, so that you can experience one of the ways in which Tokyo isn’t always such an expensive place to be.
Gyukaku (Sengakuji Ekimae branch) / 牛角（泉岳寺駅前店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Takanawa 2-19-20, Zaikai Nisegakuin Building 4th floor
Open 5 p.m.-midnight (weekdays), 4 p.m.-midnight (weekends, holidays)
Follow Case on Twitter, where he’s thinking yakiniku sounds like an excellent choice for dinner tonight.
[ Read in Japanese ]