Yoshoku (western-style food adapted to the Japanese taste) is the kind of cuisine that was developed by combining western-style food with rice that Japanese people love to eat. Tokyo is home to a lot of well-established yoshoku restaurants. Here are five restaurants in Tokyo that serve yoshoku that you must try when you visit Japan.
Taimeiken has been serving yoshoku dishes at affordable prices since it opened its doors for business in 1931. Its specialty dish is the Omurice (Rice Omelet) (1,700 JPY (incl. tax)), a dish that is made by wrapping ketchup-flavored ham and rice in a thin omelet. The side dishes such as the mild coleslaw and filling borsch may come at a surprisingly low price of 50 JPY (incl. tax) each, but you can’t make light of their superb flavors. Try to order them together with your dish! Now, after you’re done eating at this restaurant, how about going to the 5th floor of this building for a tour of the Tako no Hakubutsukan (Kite Museum) (admission fee: 200 JPY), the world’s only kite museum that was built on the intense interest in kites of the founder of the restaurant? If you go inside this museum, you will be able to see about 3,000 kinds of kites that were collected from all over Japan.
※English menu available
With a sample of its menu on display at the entrance, Azuma is a retro restaurant that is filled with a cozy atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy yoshoku dishes that have kept the taste and price the same as when this restaurant was opened. Their famous Ketchup Omurice (1,200 JPY (excl. tax)) that comes with fluffy eggs is served with your choice of side dish, including fried shrimp and Hitokuchi Steak (Bite-Sized Steak). You can also avail of the popular Okonomi Moriawase Set (Preferred Assorted Set) (1,100 JPY (excl. tax)) that will let you choose two from a list of six dishes such as hamburger and creamy crab croquette. During lunch on weekdays, you can have the above dishes with a drink for the very low price of 1,000 JPY (excl. tax). Azuma is a rare yoshoku restaurant in Ginza, a place that is packed with high-end joints, where you can make yourself at home.
3. Takase Ikebukuro Branch
With a long 90-year history, Takase is a yoshoku restaurant in the Ikebukuro area that houses a bread and pastry shop, a coffee shop and tea salon, and a restaurant on the 3rd floor. Recommended here is the Hamburger Steak (930 JPY (incl. tax)), which is served with a lavish amount of this shop’s homemade and traditional demi-glace sauce that is made by hand. Using ground beef and pork at the ratio of 70:30, the grilled Salisbury steak in this dish is soft and juicy. This restaurant is also popular for its great-value Higawari Lunch (Daily Lunch) (820 JPY (incl. tax)) that comes in limited quantity during lunch on weekdays and Saturdays.
※English menu and English-speaking staff available
4. ACACIA Shinjuku Main Branch
ACACIA opened in 1963 as a shop for rolled cabbage. It is a place where you can feel the atmosphere of yoshoku restaurants from the good old days of Japan. The rolled cabbage is made by boiling cabbage rolls for a long time over low heat, making the thick white sauce flavored with salt a perfect companion to rice. This restaurant’s pride, the Hayashi Rice (a dish made by stewing beef and onion in demi-glace sauce and then putting it on top of rice), and the one-dish Cabba-Haya (Cabbage Roll Stew + Hayashi Rice) are also recommended. You can even pair its homemade hams and sausages with draft beers from Germany. ACACIA is a yoshoku restaurant where you can thoroughly enjoy your meal together with your drinks.
Koharuken is a yoshoku restaurant that was built more than 100 years ago under the concept of unpretentious and delicious food. Once you try their specialty Katsudon (Pork Cutlet on Rice) (1,300 JPY), you will surely get addicted to the tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet), the chunks of vegetables strewn all over the rice, the coddled egg, and the rich demi-glace sauce spread on the ingredients. Now if you’re someone who likes to eat many kinds of dishes, then you’d should order the filling Tokusei Moriawase Rice (Special Assorted Rice) (1,400 JPY (incl. tax)). This set comes with a wide array of food items, including deep-fried shrimp, scallops, white fish, bite-sized cutlets, croquette, and squid and salmon sautéed with butter. Here, the dishes are only made after you order them, so you're guaranteed to eat piping hot food straight from the stove.
※English menu available
Yoshoku restaurants in Japan are known for their menus containing such dishes as omurice, hamburger, deep-fried shrimp and croquettes that are loved by children and adults alike. You should definitely try yoshoku cuisine at any of these restaurants!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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