If you are on a low-carb diet, or ever thought your beef bowls could use more beef and less rice, then this is the restaurant you need to try in Nishi-Shinjuku.
Beef bowls are cheap, tasty and filling, so does that mean they have to be bad for you?
For those looking for a quick and cheap meal in Japan, beef bowls, or gyudon, from fast food chains like Yoshinoya are a great option for both your stomach and your wallet. While in the past we’ve shown you how to make your own Yoshinoya-style beef bowl, odds are if you’re a regular patron of the famous chain or others like it, you probably aren’t that handy in the kitchen.
Still, every now and then people like a change of pace, or they find themselves trying to impress guests with a home-cooked meal. Luckily we have a fried Yoshinoya beef bowl recipe that fits that bill, and best of all it doesn’t require much of your effort or time, granted you have a Yoshinoya nearby.
Yoshinoya, Japan’s most ubiquitous domestic fast food chain, is known first and foremost for its beef bowls. So strong is the mental connection between the restaurant and gyudon, as beef bowls are called in Japanese, that Yoshinoya’s nickname among fans is Yoshigyu.
So we were surprised to hear that Yoshinoya’s newest menu item is not only beef-free, but doesn’t contain any meat at all! A vegetarian option at the king of beef bowl restaurants? Not only does it exist, but we’ve tried it.
Anyone who has watched even a handful of episodes of Japanese anime will have heard the words “suki” or “daisuki” at some point. Literally meaning “like” and “like very much” (daisuki is, after all, written with the characters 大 “big” and 好き “like”), these two words are used not just when describing one’s preference for a particular pokémon or pizza topping, but when declaring deep, “more-than-friends” feelings for someone.
It would seem, however, that staff at Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya have recently been unwittingly handing declarations of love to especially peckish patrons following the arrival of a popular seasonal dish, with these handwritten love letters becoming the subject of great amusement online.
One of the great joys of RocketNews24 editors and writers is getting to see how fast food chains operate in different countries. The sometimes slight and sometime huge changes to the menu can really give us more insight into the local cultures than you might expect. However, for the most part these multinational restaurants originate from the USA, so it’s really a special treat to see how the huge gyudon (beef bowl) chain Yoshinoya looks when localized for American customers’ tastes.
Recently a commercial for the salaryman’s favorite restaurant was posted on YouTube and drew some curious opinions from those back in its home country. The response was largely positive, especially regarding the American take on Yoshinoya food, but some wished the US would stop with the whole Japan = ninjas thing already.
Yoshinoya has been serving “tasty, low-priced and quick” gyudon (beef bowls) in Japan for over a century. In recent years, the chain’s bright orange signs can also be found at around 600 locations throughout Southeast Asia and the United States. It seems the world has fallen in love with the original Japanese fast food.
Now anyone can enjoy the beefy goodness of gyudon from the comfort of their own home thanks to this easy recipe. It’s the closest you’ll get to an authentic Yoshinoya beef bowl without having to put on pants.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Hungry students and budgeting businespeople! Have we got a great deal for you! Yoshinoya’s gyūdon beef bowls – made with the same USA beef, rice, onion and delicious marinade as ever – is available for just 250 yen!
This isn’t a special offer. This isn’t for a limited time only. This is 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week wallet-friendly value. Available at a number of special Tsukiji Yoshinoya restaurants, for just US$3, you can have a big, hearty warming dish of rice and beef, guaranteed to warm your soul and fill you up until your next meal.
Our top dog Kuzo headed out to try the beef bowl for himself, and he can confirm that this is the same Yoshinoya grub that we know and love, for 130 yen ($1.60) less than normal!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Times are tough in Japan, and, as reported here on RocketNews24 earlier this week, the country’s two biggest gyūdon chains, Sukiya and Yoshinoya, are tightening their belts after seeing financial losses in the first half of the tax year.
The restaurants’ response to the decrease in profits? Stop cutting costs, end the focus on dirt-cheap dishes and instead launch new, fancier menus in the hope of enticing new customers and squeezing a few extra yen out of regular patrons.
Both Yoshinoya and Sukiya’s new dishes that are more than twice the price of their regular gyūdon staples, but the restaurants claim that they are a cut above the rest as a result. But will the average salary-man, with just 500 yen per day to spend on lunch, want to pay extra for a fancier menu? And if they do, which dish should they choose?
Armed with a camera and grumbling stomachs, we headed out to both restaurants on two seperate days to try the new dishes for ourselves.
Let the New Gyūdon Wars begin!
The Japanese airline industry has recently entered a phase of stiff competition as low cost carriers from countries like Europe have entered the scene. Mainstays JAL and ANA have had to come up with more creative solutions to attract people to their higher-priced offerings.
JAL’s initiative has been to collaborate with popular restaurant chains so that people can enjoy their favorite foods instead of the dishes that are so-often the target of stand-up comedians. Already they have sold hamburgers from fast food chain Mos Burger in a project called AIR Mos Burger, as well as dumplings from popular Chinese food chain Edosei with AIR Nikuman. The third time’s the charm as now the granddaddy of Japanese fast food comes to the skies with AIR Yoshinoya.
The number one gyūdon (beef and rice in a bowl) restaurant, Yoshinoya, has been working its way into Thai markets. Already having infiltrated America and China amongst other countries, it appears there is no stopping Japan’s favorite beef and rice restaurant from world domination.
However, the further a restaurant strays from its homeland, the harder it is to keep the original atmosphere of that restaurant, as a team of reporters from our editorial department learned during a recent trip to Thailand. At first they were simply curious whether the taste was the same as Japan or not, but what they discovered was far more troubling. One member of the party, who was new to Thailand, exclaimed upon seeing the menu: “Huh? A cup of tea costs 30 baht (US$1)? What’s this about?! It’s free in Japan!”