Many travelers visit Japan only to enjoy the food. In this feature, we talk about one of the most popular stores in Tokyo.
Hikiniku To Come (挽肉と米) serves freshly grilled patties with steamed rice. Although a simple concept, this restaurant has become very popular for its delicious food so much so that many enthusiasts queue early in the morning.
The restaurant has a branch at Kichijoji in Tokyo. People have been waiting in line since 6 in the morning for almost a year since opening. In 2021, another branch opened in Shibuya but the queues seemed to be more or less the same. If you don’t queue early in the morning, it might be difficult to get a meal here.
We chose to visit the Shibuya branch and arrived at 7:50 but there was already a long queue stretching from the store to the main road. Aren’t you curious to know why it’s so popular? At around 9:00, a staff member started giving out reservation tickets. You can choose what time you wish to eat. The person in front of the queue gets the most choice for time slots. So basically, you have to first get a ticket and then come back to enjoy your meal at the designated time, which means you probably need half a day.
The back of the ticket mentions the following:
● If you wish to cancel, notify the staff.
● Groups of four or more might have to sit separately.
● For those who want to order a set to eat with children, there is a fee of 500 yen (the set includes steamed rice, miso soup, and condiments).
● Those who do not wish to eat, those who have children who cannot sit on their own, we ask for your cooperation to avoid entering the restaurant.
● You cannot sit with your child on the lap.
● For those with a baby stroller, there is a dedicated seat available however, it may take longer for you to be seated.
The entrance of the restaurant has a sign like this at various spots on the floor. We got a time slot for 11:45, which meant we had to wait for about three hours before we could finally enter.
There is a kiosk to buy your food ticket. The kiosk area was quite crowded, so we couldn’t take any photographs.
The prices at the Shibuya branch are as follows:
Three 90g patties set + steamed rice + miso soup + condiments = 1500 yen
Order an extra patty at a cost of 400 yen each.
* One raw egg per person permitted.
The seats are designed such that you sit around a circular counter. The chef places a freshly grilled patty onto your grill. Each piece is served hot.
The seats are not very spacious but cutlery can be procured from under the counter of the seat.
Each patty is made using 100% Japanese beef and is freshly grilled. The rice is also cooked just before service and is piping hot straight from the pot. You can eat unlimited rice.
A description of the condiments, side dishes and how to use them is provided in Japanese. Since foreigners are not yet allowed to visit Japan, unfortunately, there aren’t any English descriptions available. Hopefully this will change.
While waiting, you see the talented chefs grill your meat. The aroma is intoxicating.
Finally, we’ve been served. The meat is juicy and delicious.
Put the meat on top of the rice, break the egg into it, and add your favorite condiment.
The meat is soft, juicy, fresh, and simply delicious. It goes well with hot steamed rice. The combination works really well and is extremely moorish. Our favorite condiment was garlic flakes which added an even more intense flavor to the patty. Raw egg topped with this restaurant’s special soy sauce is also a favorite amongst visitors. The simplicity of this meal shines through and it is definitely worth the wait.
Right now, coming to Japan can be difficult. If you have an opportunity in the future, try visiting this restaurant for a unique experience. We bet you won’t be disappointed!
Shibuya: 11:00-15:00; 17:00-21:00（closes when sold out）
Kichijoji: 11:00-15:00; 17:00-21:00（closes when sold out）
Since Jan 2021, the closing time has been brought forward to 20:00 due to emergencies.
A numbered ticket will be handed out starting at 9:00.
*In the event that there are many customers, there may be a ticket distribution earlier than 9:00.
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