The last few posts I did make seemed to have totally bombed, so today I have decided to post on something that everyone can relate with, GOOD FOOD! I present 焼肉 Yakiniku, best enjoyed in groups! If you ever find yourself in Japan, do make sure you try this at least once.
Technically, yakiniku is not really Japanese food. It’s more along the lines of a Japanese variation of Korean BBQ. They have this where I’m from too, but the beef, pork, and chicken is so god awful there, it cannot be compared to the Japanese version at all :). The Japanese also have better dipping sauces!
For the uninitiated, a yakiniku house in Japan looks like this! Make sure you recognize the kanji 焼 and 肉 which literally means roast meat and you’ll probably land yourself at one. Unfortunately, for the most part these resturants also make no distinction between smoking and non-smoking areas, so I guess you’ll just have to cope :(.
The seats are almost always booth seats with a table in the middle and a circular “frying area”. The eating method is simple, order the meats you wish, roast them, dip in your desired combination of dipping sauces + rice and consume. You can order meats from a variety of different countries Japan, Canada, America, etc. as well as different cuts shoulder, thigh, dark meat, etc. Finally, you can also choose from a number of different way of marinating the meats.
Unfortunately, this also means the menu becomes rather complicated. Fortunately! The menu also poses a huge challenge for Japanese people to read :P. My group of 5 consisting of all native Japanese except me, spent at least 10 minutes trying to figure out the word menu. We didn’t really get it, despite being able to read it :P. So as a result, most restaurants of this type now come with a picture menu! Just find the yummy picture, and match up the characters and you’re good to go. Though it would be best if you went with someone who could read Kanji, so you know what portions you’re getting.
Once it’s all here, it’s time to roast, and consume! Notice the beers, beers are the no. 1 beverage in Japan to go with a meal.
Most people after finishing up with the meats also consume a main dish. This is usually ramen, fried rice or something of that type, but I want to recommend a special one. I was really full so I only got a small portion, but this is known as reimen 冷麺, literally cold noodle. The texture is completely different from any other noodle I’ve tried, the noodles are extremely chewy and smooth and taste great! Definitely give it a shot if you ever find yourself at one of these restaurants.
On average, this will likely set you back between 3000-5000 yen per person depending on what you ordered and where you were, but you will definitely find it to be a filling and satisfactory meal. At least more so than the Kaiten Sushi :D.
Until next time!