Cheap Food and a New Izakaya

I’m always amazed at how cheap it is to eat in Japan, despite general perception being the complete opposite from foreigners.

Today we went to an “italian food” chain called Saizeya, it’s kinda like a Little Chef I guess, or some kind of family diner chain. They do pizzas, pasta and Japanese style hamburg (hamburger meat but no bun, etc.). I had an “Italian Hamburg” set which is meat with cheese and tomato on it – like a pizza I guess??, oh and 3 chips and some corn. This was less than 500Y (2.50quid). But the best thing is the drink bar! For 60p you can drink as much as you want, of pepsi (and other soft drinks), tea, cappucino, coffee, etc. etc. Can you imagine a Little Chef having a deal like that???

Marvellous.

Oh, and last night, after the mushroom picking, we went to an new izakaya that’s just opened up in Ashiya (izakaya is like a tapas bar I guess, you buy lots of small dishes, like sashimi, yaki tori, gyoza, salads, chips, etc.). As it’s just opened all the food was half price, and there was a big queue at the door. Still we didn’t have to wait long, and the food was very good (better than the other izakaya near us, so now we have a viable choice for izakayas (one of my favourite kinds of restaurants here) 🙂 ).

They also have this crazy scheme called “my hashi” (my chopsticks). They give you some nice chopsticks (not the usual disposable ones) – think they were free as it was opening night however, and you tell them your name, and they keep them at the restaurant for you to use each time you go! A bit like Pete Beale having a tankard behind the bar at the Queen Vic…oh so many years ago.

Not sure what happens if you never go back again though, wonder how long they keep them, although we also reckon they just give you any old chopstix next time you go and hope you don’t rememebr which was yours (they have different colour material wrapped round the ends). They stamp your card everytime you use them and once you get 10 stamps you get ¥500 off your meal! Nice. It’s to help save the environment you see.


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