Gyu-don (a bowl of rice with beef on top) chain stores in Japan turn into drinking establishments with red paper lanterns hanging on their doors at night. They are perfect spots for “furari-man” (office workers who don’t go home immediately after work) who want a quick drink alone. Yoshinoya pioneered the concept of gyu-don chain stores transforming into bars through its “Yoshinomi” (“nomi” means drink) service that began in April 2015. Since then, it has been followed by other gyu-don shops with their own extremely unique “choinomi” (quick drink) setups to offer. They may not be full-fledged izakaya (Japanese-style bars), but people love them for being convenient spots where they can grab a quick drink alone. The speed in which they serve dishes is simply amazing. So, enjoy different types of choinomi services with authentic snacks and rare alcoholic drinks! ＜※This information is from Kansai Furari-man Walker (issued on March 9, 2018)＞
Yoshinoya – A Lineup That Can Get You Tipsy Easily
Yoshinoya offers beer, Hoppy (which is rarely seen in the Kansai region), and around 30 types of snacks that go really well with alcohol. Their cheap yet delicious dishes, such as Niku-dofu (dish of beef and tofu) that uses the same sauce that’s in their gyu-don, you will find yourself drinking more and more alcohol!
This is the Gyu-sara (Regular) (330 JPY). It is a plate of gyu-don ingredients that are served as a snack for alcohol. Start the night with a glass of alcohol and this classic dish!
This is the Dashi-makazu (180 JPY). It is the shop’s version of a rolled omelet with a dashi (soup stock) flavor, and is exquisitely soft and syrupy inside.
This is the Niku-dofu (280 JPY). It has a rich taste that comes from the fusion of gyu-don sauce and unagi (broiled eel) sauce.
This is the Horenso to Wiener (spinach and sausage) (230 JPY). The flavor of butter will spread inside your mouth.
They have a lineup of about 10 kinds of drinks.
Try beer tasting by mixing beer with shochu (distilled liquor).
A red lantern hangs in front of the store, filling the place with a bar vibe. Your excitement is bound to go up, as you’ll feel like you are entering an izakaya even before you set foot inside!
■ Quick Drink Menu: Kaku Highball (350 JPY), Bottled Beer (410 JPY), Ham and Potato Salad (280 JPY), French Fries (200 JPY), Tako no Karaage (deep-fried octopus) (280 JPY), Shime no Gyu-don (gyu-don that is meant to be the last dish of the night) (300 JPY), Edamame (green soybeans) (150 JPY), and so on.
Other Shops: Ohatsu Tenjin Shop, Dotica Shop, Osaka Kyobashi Shop, Fukushima Shop, Tenjinbashi Roku-chome Shop, Kyoto-eki Hachijoguchi Shop, Shinnagata Shop
■ Yoshinoya Higobashi Shop
＜Address: 1-7-4 Kyomachibori, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka/Phone: 06-6445-6214/Hours: 5:00 am – 3:00 am the next day, 8:00 am – 11:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and 8:00 am – 3:00 am the next day on Mondays, with the Yoshinomi service available from 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm/Closed: None/Seating capacity: 38 seats/Smoking: Non-smoking/Access: 3-minute walk from subway’s Higobashi Station＞
Nakau – Be Surprised by the Extremely Reasonable Prices!
Nakau’s Nomiu menu is centered on dishes that are fairly priced at 190 JPY or 280 JPY per dish. There are many fans of their richly-flavored egg dishes, such as Katsu-don (pork cutlet on rice). They also serve Katsutoji-sara (plate of chicken cutlet with egg) (490 JPY) and Gyutoji-sara (plate of beef with egg) (440 JPY), which both use this shop’s special eggs.
Choose and buy the choinomi dish that you want from the touch-type ticket vending machine!
■ Quick Drink Menu: Pirikara Teba (spicy chicken wings) (280 JPY), Gyu-sara (plate of beef) (280 JPY), French Fries (190 JPY), Beer (280 JPY), Lemon Sour (280 JPY), and so on.
Other Shops: Umeda Taiyuji Shop, Nansan-dori Shop, Higobashi Shop, Kyomachibori Shop, Sakaisuji Bakuromachi Shop, Kawaramachi Gojo Shop, Karasuma Ebisugawa Shop, Sannomiya Gokodori Shop
■ Nakau Sakaisuji Suo-cho Shop
＜Address: 2-13-25 Shimanouchi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka/Phone: 0120-29-5770 (Customer Service)/Hours: Open 24 hours a day, with the Nomiu service available from 5:00 pm – 2:00 am the next day/Closed: None, but the Nomiu service is not available on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays/Seating capacity: 38 seats/Smoking: Non-smoking/Access: 3-minute walk from subway’s Nagahoribashi Station＞
Sukiya – Offering an Extensive Menu of Filling Dishes!
When you visit Sukiya, make sure to grab a drink through their Nomisuki service that offers a selection of a wide range of snacks. This shop takes pride in the variety of dishes that it serves, including chorizo (something normally seen in full-fledged bars) and yakitori (chunks of chicken grilled on skewers) that is perfect when paired with beer. There are also two Nomisuki sets that will let you choose your favorite drinks from the menu.
■ Quick Drink Menu: Kaku Highball (250 JPY), Umesshu (290 JPY), Tako-wasabi (octopus with wasabi) (180 JPY), Nasu no Mizore-ae (eggplant in a miso glaze) (200 JPY), Tsukimi Tsukune (chicken meatballs) (230 JPY), Edamame (green soybeans) (150 JPY), and so on.
Other Shops: Senba Chuo Shop, Minami-Horie Shop, Juso-eki Nishiguchi Shop, Minami-Senba Shop, Hankyu Ibaraki-shi Ekimae Shop, Nagaoka-Tenjin Ekimae Shop, Kawaramachi Sanjo Shop
■ Sukiya Keihan Temmabashi-eki Nishi Shop
＜Address: 2-18 Kitahama-higashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka/Phone: 0120-498-007 (Customer Service)/Hours: Open 24 hours a day, with the Nomisuki service available from 5:00 pm – 5:00 am the next day/Closed: None/Seating capacity: 36 seats/Smoking: Non-smoking/Access: 3-minute walk from subway’s Temmabashi Station＞
Matsuya – Get Slightly Drunk With Meat and Draft Beer
Matsuya, a shop that is famous for its Premium Gyu-meshi (rice topped with beef), is getting rave reviews for making it easy for customers to drink draft beer, which has always been on its menu. Try a small glass of draft beer with meat snacks, such as a plate of juicy and richly-flavored galbi (barbecued ribs), as well as grilled pork ribs!
■ Quick Drink Menu: Bottled Beer (480 JPY), Premium Gyu-sara (Nami) (regular serving of premium beef plate) (300 JPY), Buta Bara Yakiniku Teishoku (Ala Carte) (grilled pork ribs set meal) (350 JPY), Plus Sausage Hanjuku Tamago (sausage and soft-boiled egg) (110 JPY), Potatoes (50 JPY), Kimchi (80 JPY), Oshinko (pickled vegetables) (80 JPY), and so on.
Other Shops: Umeda Shop, Shinsaibashi Shop, Osaka Honmachi Shop, Kyoto Sanjo Shop, Sannomiya Higashi Shop, Kobe Motomachi Shop
■ Matsuya Umeda Kakuda-cho Shop
＜Address: 6-5 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka/Phone: 06-4709-5361/Hours: Open 24 hours a day/Closed: None/Seating capacity: 19 seats/Smoking: Non-smoking/Access: 5-minute walk from Hanshin Umeda Station＞
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 03.07.2018]
*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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