This may be the best deal ever for fans of beer and shochu sours who’re tight on cash and time.
One of Japanese advertisers’ favorite phrases is “one coin,” used to describe goods and services which can be purchased using a single yen coin. Usually, they’re referring to the 500-yen (US$4.30) coin, the largest-denomination piece currently in circulation.
So when we heard about a Japanese restaurant chain that offers all-you-can-drink beer, wince, and shochu cocktails for “one coin,” we were pretty excited. Then, when we found out that prices for the deal start at just 100 yen (US$0.86), we were out the door.
The amazingly attractive offer comes from Volks, a casual restaurant that specializes in affordable steaks and other meaty dishes. The closest branch to our offices is about a 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Station in downtown Tokyo, and as we rolled up, we saw a poster on the window confirming that even though the idea of all-you-can-drink beer for less than a buck sounds too good to be true, it really does exist.
▼ The poster also informed us that unlike many other all-you-can-drink plans that require a group, this one is available for single drinkers as well.
Between 2 and 7 p.m., 100 yen will get you 10 minutes of all-you-can-drink alcoholic beverages, with 10 minute extensions costing an additional 100 yen each. The menu for the deal includes Asashi Super Dry draft beer (in large, medium, or small glasses), whisky highballs, shochu, shochu sour cocktails (lemon and grapefruit flavors), plum wine cocktails, and finally, red or white wine (in glasses or decanters).
▼ Non-alcoholic beer and cocktails are also available, and if you’re feeling hungry, munchies such as grilled bacon, fried chicken, French fries, and smoked salmon can be ordered for 100 yen each.
The clock starts running as soon as you ask your server for the all-you-can-drink plan, so we decided to time ourselves to see how many rounds we could get for just 100 yen. After we asked for our first beer, it took one minute and 52.12 seconds to arrive.
You have to drain your glass before ordering another drink, so we knocked our Asashi back quickly, polishing it off at about the four-minute mark and promptly asking for a refill, which came at six minutes and 52.73 seconds into our campaign.
Since the clock stops on the all-you-can-drink plan when you go up to the register to pay, we realized we weren’t going to have time to order a third drink, down it, and pay before our ten minutes were up. But because an extension would cost us just 100 yen more, we decided to get classy with a glass of white wine, which came to our table 10 minutes and 15.41 seconds after we’d started.
We drank that a little more leisurely, then got up from the table 16 minutes after we’d begun the plan and sauntered over to the register and completed the transaction at 18 minutes and 17 seconds in.
For some unknown reason, they only ended up charging us 108 yen (after the eight-percent sales tax was tacked on). We’re not sure why they did this, since the rules clearly state that the price of the all-you-can-drink plan is 100 yen per 10 minutes, and we’d clearly rolled over into the second block of time. Nonetheless, they only charged us for the first 10.
Of course, even if they had charged for 20 minutes, it’d still be an unbelievable bargain. So if you’re looking to enjoy some of the cheapest beer in Japan, you know where to go. While you’re there, maybe consider getting a few of those side orders too, though, so that Volks can stay in business.
Volks (Nishisando branch) / フォルクス（西参道店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 3-33-7 Forest Town Sandobashi 2nd floor
Open 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where all this is reminding him of the all-you-can-drink deal at the now out-of-business Takadanobaba BLDY.
[ Read in Japanese ]