Saturday, April 11, 2015


Location: Yayoiken

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch for 3
Price:  2500 yen
Payment:  Cash Only, Ticket Machine
Dishes:  Kalbi Teishoku, Katsudon, Oyakodon
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:  No

Yayoiken is nice little spot quite close to where we live.  We needed a quick cheap lunch today, so the 3 of us stopped in.  It's kind of like Ootoya, but a step down in terms of quality...but still pretty good.  It's a japanese teishoku restaurant, so most of their dishes include a small salad and miso soup.  Importantly, we know we can always find something everyone will like.

Touch screen ticket machine
A bit unusually, it's a ticket vending machine kind of place, which can be intimidating if there is no English translation.  Luckily, their vending machine is a computerized touch screen, and there is a big English button on the bottom right that allows it to translate everything into English.  First you insert your money (no credit cards here) and then select as many dishes as you want.  Note that there are some "upgrade" tickets you can purchase, such as upgrading your miso to clam miso.  Also, this is one of the few vending machines that will take 10,000 yen notes, very handy if that's all you have, or just want to break one.

My son is fond of Oyakodon (chicken and egg on rice), so that's his standard at a Japanese place.  My wife went for the katsudon (fried pork cutlet with the same egg/onion mixture as oyakodon on rice), which is a safe bet.  She's thinking maybe she'll try the karaage (fried chicken bits) next time.  I decided to try something new.  It may be seasonal as Yayoiken is always advertising specials seasonal dishes that seem to rotate in and out rapidly, but I hadn't seen it there before.  It was translated as "boneless rib meat" but the Japanese word for it is Kalbi meat.  Mine was the only true teishoku meal, but even the others got miso soup.  I upgraded to clam miso.

I was quite pleased with my choice.  The meat was fatty (no worries of it being stolen!) and marinated in a pleasantly sweet sauce.  There was more sauce for dipping the meat, and the meat was placed on a bed of bean sprouts that softened up and contributed more moisture.  All of this was great when poured on the rice at the end.  Speaking of which, you can always get up and get more rice from a rice cooker in the restaurant if you need it.  The clam miso, while not as flavorful as Wako's, is still pretty good, and there are a good number of medium sized clams in it.  The salad is ok, especially with the creamy sesame dressing.

Kalbi Teishoku
Even though Yayoiken is not the best out there, it's good enough, close and relatively cheap, so we end up there as  family quite frequently.

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