It’s not every day that you get to travel somewhere. You might want to take this chance to see and eat lots of things. So, you may end up spending more than you should. But don’t worry! There are places where you can eat delicious food without having to spend a lot of money, and where they serve you very quickly.
Udon is a noodle made from wheat and is familiar among Japanese people as the soul food of Japan. Hanamaru Udon is a store that uses Sanuki Udon from Kagawa prefecture. It is a self-service store and is low priced. They opened their first store outside of Japan in Shanghai in 2011. They never use chemicals or artificial coloring. Also at Hanamaru Udon, together with the Udon, you can enjoy Tempura, one of the most popular Japanese food and which is usually expensive to eat at other restaurants.
How to order?
First, you take a tray. Second, take a plate and select the type of topping you want such as Tempura. Third, you select the type of Udon, either hot or cold. Finally, you pay at the cashier.
Official site in English
Official site in Chinese
At Hanamaru restaurant in Shibuya Center gai
At first, you might hesitate to enter the restaurant because it is on the basement level. However, you don’t need to worry because there are many seats and the seat turnover is quick. When I entered the restaurant, it was before 12:00 pm on a weekday, so it was not so crowded, but it began to be filled with customers after 12:00.
The udon noodles at this restaurant has a chewy texture and the soup is a bit sweet. I ordered the popular “bukkake” udon (¥300 for a small portion) with a tempura prawn for ¥140. By adding lemon, the taste of the Udon noodle becomes a bit sour but is also refreshing taste.The tempura is soft, and the prawn is tender and tasty. I don’t recommend the mixed vegetable tempura, because although it tastes good, it is difficult to eat with chopsticks. You can get toppings such as Tenkasu (crunchy bits of deep-fried tempura batter) and sesame seeds for free near the cashier.
Shibuya Center Street
B1 New Shibuya Bldg, 28-2 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Shinjyuku West Exit
B1 Takakura Daiichi Bldg, 1-12-1 Nishishinjyuku , Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo
Open hour:7:30-23:00 (Every second Sunday of the month closed 22:00)
Yoshinoya is a chain store that mainly sells beef bowl. Beef bowl is the rice bowl topped with beef and onion that are boiled with sweet sauce. It is very unique that customers at Yoshinoya order from their seat at the counter. They serve your beef bowl within 1 minute. Isn’t it amazing?
Official site in English
At Yoshinoya restaurant in Yukigaya-Otsuka
The interior of the restaurant is a simple setup. There are two automatic doors, so you can see the inside very easily. That way you can feel comfortable entering the restaurant even if you are alone. There is a total of 14 seats; 6 counter seats and 4 tables that seat 2 customers per table. It is delightful that they serve both hot tea and water at the same time.
Although it was already 1 p.m. on Sunday, there was a continuous flow of customers. Yoshinoya has a quick seat turnover, so it does not take long to get a seat. The table seats are more comfortable as they are at a more secluded area within the restaurant. I would recommended Yoshinoya for people who want to go to their next destination quickly as soon as finishing their meal.
Beef Bowl ￥380
Beef that is thinly sliced is very tasty. The meat is so soft, it can be cut with chopsticks. The onion that goes with the meat is sweet tasting and matches well with the beef. They serve not only chopsticks but also spoons. So you don’t have to struggle with chopsticks. By adding red pickled ginger on top of the beef bowl, because it is little bit sour, it tastes even more delicious.
Beef Bowl (Beef L)￥480
There is more beef and onions added to the normal Beef Bowl amount with only a 100 yen price increase. You can see the difference between normal one and the large portion.
Beef Sukiyaki Hot-Pot (Set menu)￥690
You can enjoy Sukiyaki, which is the one of the popular food among Japanese people. They serve you Beef Sukiyaki Hot-Pot with the smell that makes you hungry. This menu seems very popular especially during the winter. Cooked beef meat is dipped in a beaten raw egg before eating. If you don’t want to eat with raw eggs, you can put it into the hot-pot while the hot-pot is boiling, which turns the egg into a soft egg-drop. The soup is very rich! The udon noodles are cut to bite-size, to avoid the soup from spilling on your shirt. Also, the tofu in the hot-pot is very soft and easy to eat.
Shibuya store in front of Shibuya 109
2-5-7 Dougenzaka, Shubuya-ku, Tokyo
Shinjyuku South Exit
2-8-5 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
When you think of curry, Indian curry is very famous. However, the curry in Japan is very unique to Japan. Japanese curry is one of the three most popular dishes in Japan. You can customize the level of hotness by changing amount of spice. Moreover, they serve curry for vegetarians and is also recognized as a Halal friendly shop. (look-out for the green sign board)
At Coco Ichibanya restaurant Kaminoge
At Coco Ichibanya in Kaminoge, you can read manga while waiting to get a seat. There is a total of 25 seats; 7 counter seats and 3 tables that seat 6 customers per table. The restaurant interior is colored in white and brown, and is clean and tidy. There are many customers that come alone, but there are also male customers that come together with their children and use the sofa table. Customers spend an average of about 15-20 minutes in the restaurant. Meals are served within around 5 minutes.
Shrimp and Asari clam curry (Mild Flavor)￥679
By adding natural cheese, the taste becomes rich and full-bodied. Delicious. Maybe 300g rice was too much for a person with a small appetite.
Vegetable soup curry (limited edition until 2/28/2019) (Spice Level 1) ￥948
The soup warms your body. It was too spicy, but there were a lot of vegetables and was filling.
Pork cutlet curry (Regular spice)￥774
This is the most popular menu at Coco Ichibanya. The pork cutlet is little bit sweet and matches well with the spicy curry base. The pork cutlet is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Adding a bit of honey to the curry also made it taste very good. This dish is recommended for first time customers.
Coco Ichibanya is famous for being able select how hot and spicy you want your curry to be. If you like your curry to be very hot and spicy, you can select the highest level, which is 10. You should try it out.
Official site in English
Address: 1F Yokota Bldg, 24-10 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(18seats /vegetarian curry /kids menu)
Shinjyuku Kabukicho（not halal store）
1F Yoshikawa Bldg, 1-18-10 Kabukicho, Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo
(24seats /vegetarian curry)
1F Uchio Matsunaga Bldg, 16 Kanda Matsunaga-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Open hour 11:00-22:00
10seats (only counter seat)
Halal Shinjyuku Kabukicho
B1, 1-19-3, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan, Tokyo 160-0021