Yayoiken Ginza 1chomei (Tokyo)

My lil bro and I accidentally stumbled on Yayoiken in Ginza purely by coincidence after a short exploratory stroll from our hotel. (Our choice was limited to a ratty looking Indian restaurant and a 7-11). It overlooks a main road in a not so remarkable downtown area of Ginza, we didn’t care as we were hungry and jet-lagged. It follows the format of a lot of restaurants we came across in Tokyo with the external vending machine ticketing system. The entire menus are displayed on the machines and you can order by clicking on the food picture, put your money into a slot and it spits out your ticket. It’s really that simple – seating is self-service too along with unlimited helpings of rice and tea.

Fried white bait with mayonnaise were on point.   

The food came in these set-meal type servings with a little bit of everything including salads, miso soups and in this case a Japanese take on burgers which tasted like the one’s you used to have a school in the best way possible! The bi fry breaded prawn wasn’t too bad either and I loved the Japanese sticky short grain rice.

My brother’s set-meal was a bit more interesting with tofu, pork with onions, salad, potato korokke (croquette), mackerel with grated daikon, fishballs and seaweed. It all tasted fresh with good seasoning.

During our second visit it disappoint either – this time I went for a different set-meal which came with an omelette, grilled mackerel, tofu, miso soup and the most delectable umami-laden sauce coating the aubergine with sweet green peppers. This was a real treat to eat and it became my go-to meal every time I cam here.

My brother decided to go for the fried pork cutlet on rice with katsuobushi (bonito flakes) which went down well.

The verdict:

When did I go? April 2014.
The damage: Expect to pay ¥500 – ¥850 for a set meal (£3.50-£6).
The good: The food arrived fast and smelt great as it was cooking through the kitchen doors and at this price point you really can’t go wrong with the quality level you get, it really was really cheap and really cheerful. I’d recommend it highly if you’re in the area and need quality munch which is served 24hrs a day.
The bad: Considering the price there was little to complain about!
Rating: 3.5/5
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 1-19-16 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture
+81 3-5159-9701

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