Restaurant

Eat like the judges and lawyers of Japan at this theme restaurant in Kumamoto

Eat like the judges and lawyers of Japan at this theme restaurant in Kumamoto

Eating out at a restaurant is as common as being asked “can you use chopsticks?” But with so many restaurants vying for your patronage, how does each restaurant separate itself from the rest?

We’ve brought you stories about them before, from the pop culture themed, Gundam Cafe, AKB48 Cafe, Square Enix Cafe, and Resident Evil restaurant, to the ubiquitous maid cafes, Lock Up restaurant, robot restaurant and ninja restaurant. Theme restaurants don’t just rely on popular culture to bring in the customers though. RocketNews24 has written about the restaurant that serves you the food that prisoners eat. Click on through to find out about another unique restaurant giving you a glimpse of how somebody else eats.

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Japanese casual steak joint set to debut in New York

Japanese casual steak joint set to debut in New York

When one thinks of exported Japanese food, one tends to imagine sushi, miso, and other dishes that have become so ingrained in the English lexicon that they no longer warrant italics.

One thing you almost definitely don’t consider when thinking about Japanese food is steak. Why would you? Steak is the territory of Western food, often associated specifically with American diners; Which is what makes the New York debut of Ikinari Steak – a Ginza-area chain – so much more surprising.

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Japan’s cat food restaurant is back!

Japan’s cat food restaurant is back!

In celebration of Cat Day on February 22, Nestle Purina created a cat food-themed dining experience inspired by their popular “luxury cat food,” Mon Petit. Diners were treated to a full course set meal with items that resemble the snacks you’d feed to your beloved pet. With feline waiters and plenty of kitty products, the bizarre restaurant actually turned out to be a huge success. But since it was only around for a total of four days, many cat lovers and adventurous eaters were left without a chance to dine like an animal, so Restaurant Mon Petit is now back in Tokyo for an entire month.

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Stingy people rejoice as Japanese restaurants in New York introduce a ban on tipping

Stingy people rejoice as Japanese restaurants in New York introduce a ban on tipping

Please can I give you a tip? In America, we have this custom, you know. I have to tip the pizza guy. And you came all the way out here in this weather…”

The rain-drenched delivery man on the doorstep of the Japanese apartment looked mildly embarrassed as he waved away my friend’s money. It was a typhoon day – classes cancelled, school closed, and the English teachers from my school had piled into one apartment for a party. Not wanting to brave the lashing wind and rain to go out and get food, we had ordered pizza, but hadn’t counted on the guilt we would feel when the delivery guy turned up on a moped looking like he’d just jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.

In Japan, there’s no custom of tipping. In fact, leaving a tip could potentially be considered rude, as the cost of the service is already supposed to be included in the price you pay. My American buddy’s attempt to follow his home custom in Japan ended in the delivery driver apologising profusely for not accepting the tip! In New York City, meanwhile, Japanese restaurants are bringing the no-tipping custom Stateside, as Restaurant Riki becomes the latest Manhattan establishment to ban their customers from tipping.

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Eat not like a king, but like a cat at this cat food-themed restaurant in Japan

Eat not like a king, but like a cat at this cat food-themed restaurant in Japan

Each year, cat lovers in Japan celebrate annual “Cat Day” on February 22, based on the fact that the number 2 sounds somewhat similar to the sound of a cat’s meow (pronounced “nyaah“) in the Japanese language. Well, this year cat fans will have an extra special way to celebrate all things feline — by feasting like a pampered cat! For a very limited time, Nestle Purina, the makers of popular “luxury” cat food Mon Petit will be operating the “Restaurant Mon Petit”, and while the restaurant is named after cat food, it’s most definitely a place for humans to eat, and in fine style too!

Befitting an establishment operated by a famous cat food manufacturer, the Restaurant Mon Petit is offering beautifully executed dishes that are recreations of actual cat food products. And not to miss such a special opportunity, one of the reporters from our Japanese site rushed to the restaurant to find out first hand what it feels like to dine like a cat!

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Chinese restaurant has the most epic English menu of all time

Chinese restaurant has the most epic English menu of all time

One of the biggest obstacles of traveling in a country where you don’t speak the local language and English is not commonly spoken is ordering food. If you could read maps, you would probably be able to navigate around even if you don’t understand the native language, but if you can’t read the restaurant menu, ordering at meal time would be like playing a round of Russian Roulette.

Some restaurants attempt to make things easier for their patrons by including English translations on their menu, which could be a lifesaver for foreigners. But somebody ought to tell this restaurant’s owner that Google translate isn’t the foolproof method…

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We try traditional Japanese soup stock at a specialty standing bar in Tokyo

We try traditional Japanese soup stock at a specialty standing bar in Tokyo

There’s plenty of standing ramen bars in Japan, but this may be the first standing dashi bar. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, dashi is a soup stock that makes up the base of many delicious Japanese dishes such as miso soup and ramen. Typically made of shaved katsuo bushi (preserved bonito fish), dashi is the lifeblood of traditional Japanese food, adding plenty of umami to even the humblest of dishes. Let’s take a closer look at Nihonbashi Dashi Bar, a shop that specializes in serving hot dashi by the cupful. Read More

Story of kindness at American restaurant warms hearts, stokes privacy concerns in Japan

Story of kindness at American restaurant warms hearts, stokes privacy concerns in Japan

Despite one of the top stories this past week being about how terrible Americans are at getting along, a picture posted on the Internet messaging board reddit has brought a little credibility back to the United States. Normally a hand-scrawled note to a server about paying the bill would barely make local gossip. However, this man’s offer of charity to two crying women who just received bad news made its way to Japan, moving some to tears and some to wonder if privacy concerns would prevent this from happening in their country.

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To reuse or not to reuse, that is the question for restaurants everywhere

To reuse or not to reuse, that is the question for restaurants everywhere

The other day I was eating at a restaurant that served their French fries with a small cup. One half was filled with ketchup and the other half mayonnaise. The presentation was quite lovely but it made me wonder. It was about the size of a pudding cup and there was no way I would be able to use all of those condiments in one sitting. What would happen to the rest of it? Would it be thrown out? Surely it wouldn’t end up being served to another customer after I’d dipped my fries and poked around in it for the majority of my meal?

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New toilet-themed restaurant opens in China: Soft-serve chocolate ice cream? You bet!

New toilet-themed restaurant opens in China: Soft-serve chocolate ice cream? You bet!

In the gradually blossoming trend of toilet-themed restaurants, now the people of Taiyuan City in Shanxi Province have one to call their very own. Having only opened in August of this year, it has been drawing capacity crowds of diners and can often be seen with a line going out the door. Much like a real restroom when in high demand…

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Restaurant in China Denies Claims of Cockroaches in Its Smoothie

Restaurant in China Denies Claims of Cockroaches in Its Smoothie

On April 20, a woman who ordered a smoothie at a restaurant in China was shocked to discover that it wasn’t just fruit and a little ice that made up her drink. Upon closer inspection, what looked like dead and dying cockroaches could be distinctly seen floating around in the drink. Thoroughly abhorred by the presence of creepy crawlies in her healthy beverage, the woman made a complaint to the restaurant. The waitress who had served it to her, however, refused to accept the claim.

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Curry Udon Topped With Whipped Cream!? It’s Better than You Think!

Curry Udon Topped With Whipped Cream!? It’s Better than You Think!

The dish in the photo above looks like a dessert, something sweet to eat after a meal. But wait!  It is the meal!  It’s udon noodles in curry sauce and topped with whipped cream, to be exact, and it is absolutely delicious!

According to our trusty reporter Mr. Sato (Food Queen Sato, as he calls himself on Twitter), that is, who went to the noodle shop Shodai in Ebisu, Tokyo to taste this revolutionary spin on curry udon.

Curry udon is a standard noodle dish that can be found at just about any udon shop in Japan. It mixes the flavor of udon and curried rice by ladling curry sauce over a bowl of udon noodles. Simple, yet effective.

Throwing whipped cream into the mix doesn’t sound like it would end well.  Usually these kind of things don’t. But what did Mr. Sato think about this unlikely combination?

Check his full report below! Read More

Burger King to Offer All-You-Can-Eat Whopper Buffet in Japan

Burger King to Offer All-You-Can-Eat Whopper Buffet in Japan

Well Japan, you had a good run.

For decades your people have boasted the longest life expectancy in the world, but it looks like American fast food chain Burger King won’t rest until you start dropping a few ranks with some good ‘ol American heart attacks. We saw it first with the “15 strips of bacon for a buck” deal earlier this year—and you know how that ended.

Now Burger King is pulling out the stops with their boldest health-destroying promotion yet: an all-you-can-ear hamburger buffet.

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Instant Ramen Maker Sets up Tiny Restaurant in Shibuya Station: Three Dollar Lunch, Anyone?

Instant Ramen Maker Sets up Tiny Restaurant in Shibuya Station: Three Dollar Lunch, Anyone?

Japanese food manufacturer Nissin, maker of incredibly popular “like fresh” instant noodle brand Raō, has taken the unusual step of opening a tiny restaurant of its own in Shibuya station, Tokyo. The restaurant opened just yesterday and is situated, of all places, in the very centre of the busy Yamanote line platform.

The miniature restaurant’s menu consists of just two items: two flavours of regular, shop-bought instant ramen, each costing just 250 yen (US$3).

Always eager to try out new food and discover interesting new locations, our intrepid RocketNews24 reporters headed down to see the restaurant for themselves.

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Curry Hamburger: Delicious! Nutritious!! Contains Cesium!!! Our Brave Reporter Investigates

Curry Hamburger: Delicious! Nutritious!! Contains Cesium!!! Our Brave Reporter Investigates

It’s not every day that you hear of a dish whose ingredients include a chemical element.

When most people hear of cesium, they probably think of either high school chemistry class or, if you happened to be glued to the TV during last year’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the element’s association with radiation…

So when a restaurant in central Tokyo openly advertising a lunch-time curry featuring a “cesium burger” came to our attention, we had to check it out.

Our brave food reporter Kuzo headed into town to find out whether the rumours were true and, if they were, to see what on earth a meal featuring a potentially hazardous chemical substance could taste like…

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New York’s Famous Restaurant Sarabeth’s Opens a Branch in Shinjuku, May Not Have What it Takes to be Popular in Japan

New York’s Famous Restaurant Sarabeth’s Opens a Branch in Shinjuku, May Not Have What it Takes to be Popular in Japan

Sarabeth’s is a popular New York bakery restaurant chain featuring a breakfast menu loved by the locals since 1981, and has become such a huge part of New York food culture that it has influenced movies, TV, and publishing. And now Sarabeth’s has finally arrived in Japan, opening a branch in Shinjuku at the beginning of this month.

Rocketnews24 correspondent/foodie extraordinaire Kuzo went to check it out!

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America! Our Japanese Reporter Approves of Julian Apple Pies, and You Should Too

America! Our Japanese Reporter Approves of Julian Apple Pies, and You Should Too

When travelling to America, most Japanese people usually have one or two “must-eat” foods on their itinerary, the most popular of which are probably hamburger and apple pie.

When our Japanese reporter, Yoshio, visited America last month, he wasted no time in seeking out the former. His haste and curiosity led him to something called the Donut Burger, which, as you might imagine, didn’t go over so well.

Determined not to commit the same mistake with his apple pie, Yoshio had his American acquaintances point him in the direction of the best damn all-American apple pie the country has to offer.

Where did that take him? Check his report below to find out!

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Ramen Stand Ranks First for Sweets and Oden, Such Mouth Watering Variety (but what about the ramen?)

Ramen Stand Ranks First for Sweets and Oden, Such Mouth Watering Variety (but what about the ramen?)

Ramen stands can be found all over Japan, and Fukuoka prefecture is no exception. But there probably aren’t many ramen stands out there that are popular with the locals for just about everything but ramen. Maruwamae, located in Kokura, Fukuoka, is one such ramen shop.

According to Tabelogu, a local restaurant review site akin to Yelp, ramen shop Maruwama is ranked first in the city for the best sweets and the best oden. In particular, reviews rave that their ohagi and kinako mochi surpass all cake, cookie, and Japanese sweet shops— a reputation that’s sure to have the competition cringing. Their ramen, by the way, is ranked fourth.

First, for those unfamiliar with the dishes, oden is a winter soup dish consisting of a number of ingredients which are anything from octopus, fish cakes, and boiled eggs, to konbu seaweed, daikon radish, and potatoes; all skewered on wooden sticks and simmered in a huge pot of tasty broth and eaten with yellow mustard. Ohagi and kinako mochi, the sweets available at Maruwamae, are sticky mochi rice cakes covered in sweet bean paste and sweetened soybean flour, respectively.

While oden we could understand, it’s a wonder that a ramen stand is ranked first for sweets, which is why we sent resident RocketFoodie Kuzo to see and taste for himself!

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Nara Noodle Shop’s Revolutionary and Fun Way to Eat Udon From a Draw String Bag!

Nara Noodle Shop’s Revolutionary and Fun Way to Eat Udon From a Draw String Bag!

As fall turns into winter, Japanese people look to food such as hot noodle dishes as a tasty way to warm up.  Udon noodles, in particular, are great during the winter, and nothing beats slurping up a steaming bowl of udon on a cold day.

We discovered a unique way to eat hot udon noodles at Mentouan, a noodle shop in Nara.  When you order a bowl of udon at Mentouan, you are presented with what appears to be a small pouch floating in broth…but you can’t see the noodles!

Following his report of Kyoto’s gigantic one-noodle udon, our resident foodie Kuzo went to Mentouan to try this “invisible udon” for himself. Read More

Kyoto Noodle House Serves One Big, Long Noodle

Kyoto Noodle House Serves One Big, Long Noodle

Udon is one of Japan’s most well-loved noodles dishes, ranking in line with soba and ramen. Everyone has an opinion over which is the tastiest, but those who like a bit of girth in their noodles will probably go for udon, which are traditionally rolled thicker than other Japanese noodles.

If you really want something to chew on, Tawaraya, an established noodle house in Kyoto, makes udon noodles so thick that only one fits inside the bowl.

Our resident foodie, Kuzo, recently took a train out to the ancient capital to try Tawaraya’s udon for himself. Check out his report below!

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