November 5, 2015

Enjoy the Taste of Kin no Kura! All You Can Eat for ¥1,980 (120 Minutes), Experience Report

Enjoy the Taste of Kin no Kura! All You Can Eat for ¥1,980 (120 Minutes), Experience Report

Izakaya, or Japanese-style drinking spots, are loved by many Japanese as a place to stop off for a “quick drink” on the way home from work or to get together for a drinking session with friends.
Particularly popular are izakaya offering all-you-can eat plans, which allow you to enjoy many types of food inexpensively. Recently, these establishments have become popular with foreign travelers, as well.
Here, three foreign students talk about their experience visiting Kin no Kura, a popular Japanese izakaya chain, taking advantage of the all-you-can eat course, which costs \1,980 for 120 minutes. Our extensive all-you-can-eat izakaya report covers questions like how many items are on the Kin no Kura menu and the flavor and quantity of food.

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A Quick Look Over an Extensive Menu with Nearly 40 Items. Now to Order!

  • The izakaya staff greet the three with an enthusiastic irasshaimase (welcome) and show them to their seats.
    Seating is a sunken kotatsu, a low table with flooring section beneath removed to provide room for guests’ feet. Guests can stretch out their legs-much like sitting on a chair.
  • “I’m surprised at how big the place is, and the Japanese atmosphere is comforting” comments Yan Tang. Although bustling with customers and activity, the lighting is subdued, the theme Japanese and the interior spacious.
    As they sit down, they reach for the touch screen above the table. The menu is available in various languages and has photos, which makes ordering easier.
  • One attraction of Kin no Kura’s all-you-can-eat menu is the extensive number of items. The food covers a wide range of genres-everything from typically Japanese foods like sushi and takoyaki to fried potatoes, fried chicken and pizza. After a quick glance to see what looks particularly tasty, they excitedly make a move to order. But there’s no rush to order many things at once. After all, they have two hours. There’s still lots of time.
    The first to arrive at the table are the drinks. From the 60-some items on the drinks menu*, the three have decided to order their favorite flavors of sours. Next to toast.
    (* The all-you-can-drink option is available with all-you-can-eat courses priced from \2,980.)
  • Litong Yang: In my home country, there were many popular izakaya that were run by Japanese people, but they were all expensive. The price here is reasonable, and I look forward to enjoying many types of food.

Food Lined up on the Table and Looking Good

  • The dishes they ordered are brought to the table, which is now full of plates. You only see a spectacle like this at an all-you-can-eat place.
  • All: Itadakimasu. (Let’s eat.)
  • “Itadakimasu” is something Japanese people say before the meal. Although it can be translated “Let’s eat,” it actually means something closer to “I offer thanks to the provider of this food.” The corresponding phrase at the end of a meal is “gochisosama.”
  • Two foods that all three of them had their eyes on were sushi and sashimi. Four types of rolled sushi are available. Particularly popular are the “three-piece negitoro warship rolls.”
  • Zijun Zhao: Sushi and sashimi are very expensive in China, so I plan to take advantage while I’m in Japan.
  • Yan Tang: I’m interested in this dished called “jagamochi.” It looks tasty.
  • Jagamochi is a popular item on the Kin no Kura menu. A little sticky and slightly sweet, jagamochi is best eaten hot.
  • It’s fine to eat a bit of this…a bit of that… or eat just the things you like. This is all-you-can eat, so you can be as greedy as you want.
    They keep on ordering additional items.
  • Litong Yang: I’m happy to see that the amount of food on each dish is perfect for an all-you-can-eat experience.
  • Dishes they ordered: pizza margherita, fried chicken, kushiyaki, takoyaki, chilled tofu, edamame, three-piece albacore sushi, three-piece seared salmon sushi, jagamochi, Jeon with pieces of octopus and Chinese chives

The Final Touch: Izakaya Sweets

  • Now that they are full, they decide to have a little dessert. As the Japanese saying goes, even if your stomach is full, there’s still room in that “separate stomach” for dessert. The all-you-can-eat menu offers three dessert options. They order all three-one for each.
  • The food is a great deal, and even comes with dessert!
    Ice sherbet, chocolate cake and the dessert of the day
  • The food and drink offerings are extensive, so izakaya are a fun place to go even if you don’t drink alcohol. You should definitely give an all-you-can-eat izakaya a try.

Reflecting on Their Experience

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