Food, Japan, Tokyo, Travel

Gyudon Restaurants in Japan

July 19, 2016
In my hand holds a bowl of warm rice topped with wavy beef slices and onions, simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi (fish and seaweed stock), soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine).  This is what the Japanese called gyudon (牛丼),  “gyu” (beef)and “don” for donburi, literally means beef bowl. Fast, simple, and delicious, this satisfying dish is popular among the Japanese, and foreigners like me who are on a tight budget (250-400yen for a regular bowl).
As for the famous ones, it has to be Yoshinoya (吉野家), Matsuya (松屋) and Sukiya (すき家), the top 3 best gyudon (Beef Bowl) restaurants in Japan. Their menus mainly revolve around gyudon with a twist on the toppings like cheese, okra (lady’s finger), half-boiled egg, kimchi, and my favourite Japanese Negi (welsh onions) with raw egg. These gyudons also come in different sizes to cater for small eaters as well as those with bigger appetite; ミニ(mini), 並盛 “namimori” (regular) , 大盛 “omori” (large) and 特盛 “tokumori” (extra large).

For those who prefer to have white rice and everything else on the side,  定食 “Teishoku” is also available as an option. What’s more, they also offer traditional Japanese curry with choices of topping. Throughout the years the menus also expands to pork don and the latest addition of unagi don.
There are two systems when it comes to ordering; a standard one where a waiter ask for your order, or pay for the meal in advance through a vending machine near the entrance then pass the ticket to the staff to proceed. You may also opt for dine in or take out.
The best part? These restaurants normally open 24-hours 7 days a week depending on location so anyone can satisfy their cravings at any time of the day. Oh and did I tell you that the cold water is refillable yet free of charge?