We found one of our favorite things in one of the last places we expected it to be.
If you’re looking for all-you-can-eat deals in Tokyo, the easiest places to find them are in neighborhoods with lots of office buildings or a college campus. All those students and salarymen get hungry, after all, and if a restaurant offers them a way to fill up cheaply and quickly, it’s bound to attract customers.
However, we recently stumbled across an amazing all-you-can-eat karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken) deal in one of Tokyo’s most fashionable shopping districts: Harajuku.
The restaurant, called Rakuichi, isn’t tucked away in the undeveloped, lower-rent backstreets of Harajuku, either. It’s right across the street from Harajuku Station, on the corner of the famous Takeshita-dori shopping street.
Rakuichi is located on the third floor of its building, but there’s a sign out on the sidewalk touting its lunch sets, which start at just 500 yen. As attractive as they may be, though, we recommend spending just a few more coins for one of the 50-minute, all-you-can-eat karaage set meals, which start at just 689 yen (US$6.20).
Aside from the standard karaage, there’s also the tartar namban version for 743 yen which adds a Kyushu-style sauce (each set costs an extra 100 yen on weekends and holidays).
We decided to splurge for the namban karaage, which like the standard set comes with rice, shredded cabbage, and miso soup. You get five big pieces of chicken to start, and honestly, the initial spread alone is a pretty good deal for the price Rakuichi charges, especially for this neighborhood.
The karaage is cooked to perfection, with crisp breading and juicy, tender meat. Once you’ve finished off your starter batch of karaage, you can request a refill of between one to five pieces, and you can repeat the process as many times as you like until your time is up.
Oddly enough, the subsequent batches of karaage don’t include a refill of sauce, so if you’re planning on putting away a large number, the plain, 689-yen all-you-can-eat karaage may be the smarter choice.
Still, this is an amazing deal, especially considering the restaurant’s location, and definitely worth taking advantage of, provided you’re not planning to try on any form-fitting fashions in the nearby clothing stores immediately afterwards.
Rakuichi / 楽市
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku Jingumae 1-14-2, Harajuku Ruponte Building, 3rd floor
東京都渋谷区神宮前1-14-2 原宿ルポンテビル 3F
Open 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
[ Read in Japanese ]
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s thinking he should hit up one of the three karaage specialists in his neighborhood for lunch.
[ Read in Japanese ]