Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Yakiniku That Won’t Break The Bank

Yakiniku That Won’t Break The Bank

Travis Sullivan

Delicious slices of grilled beef (and sometimes pork), cooked to perfection every time. Well, whatever you consider perfect since you’re the one cooking it. Yakiniku is a must while visiting Japan and a staple for those who already live here. You can really get a sense of Japanese culture while sitting around a table with friends, enjoying a beer and grilling meat. Or you can just get drunk and full on delicious meat. Either way, you’ll be happy afterwards.



But, it can get rather pricey. And some places don’t open till after six. What if you want some juicy meat in the afternoon? Or you’re on a budget? Well, I’ve got the perfect place for you.

Anrakutei is one of the best places to grill your meat. Not only do they open at eleven thirty in the morning and stay open all day, but they have a lunch menu. That right. Cheap yakiniku for lunch.



This is one of the basic combos. It’s 750 yen (about 7 bucks). 160 grams of meat. A medium bowl of rice. Wakame soup. Salad or kimchi. And a desert. (It’s anindofu with pineapples on top at most of their shops; though, I never eat it since it tastes like Robitussin to me. It’s the same reason they don’t drink root beer, but that’s a different story.) Some shops will even give you a drink or the drink bar (A drink bar is basically an all you can drink buffet with selections ranging from sodas, juices and coffee to hot chocolate and earl gray tea.) with this meal, but not always.


This is the big boy plate. Well, one of three. It’s a bit more expensive at 1,200 yen (about 10 bucks). 200 grams of meat. (100 grams of beef and 100 grams of pork)


You can ask for the oomori rice (a big bowl), or you can stick with the medium bowl. Depends on if you’re a heavy rice eater or not. You get the same wakame soup and choice of salad or kimchi as well as the same desert. (Some people love anindofu. Just not me. I always feed it to my guests. Here, take this Robitussin-like desert while I filch some of your meat.) This meal always comes with a drink, and at some restaurants, you get the drink bar. This is probably the best bang for your buck if you like variety and thick meat.

But what if you wake up late? No worries. Their lunch prices last until five pm. As long as you can get there and in a seat by 4:55, you’re safe. Cheap yakiniku for an early dinner if that’s your thing. And after that, the prices aren’t bad either. Beer prices are standard, and they don’t give you much of a choice. Though, most restaurants don’t.



This is the lunch menu, and everything on it’s delicious; though, I like to have a bit of pork (豚肉) with my meal. The pictures with the menus help if you don’t do the random point method.



Now, I have a little secret I want to share. When they bring your food out, most of the time, the meat has little to no sauce on it. (And sometimes it’s frozen, but this trick helps with that as well. But at most other yakiniku restaurants, you probably shouldn’t do this since they do marinate the meat their own way.) First, you fill your saucer (A dipping dish) up with the regular tare (which is the basic Japanese sauce) and pass it around because you’re about to burn through it. After everyone has a bit in their dipping dish, soak your meat in it. Sometimes, if you have more than three people, you might not have enough sauce to soak all the plates. This is when you share meat. You designate one plate as the tare plate and create a sauce soup. Let the meat soak in it (or thaw in it if that’s the case) for a little bit before throwing your first chunks on. Then enjoy.


You can find this restaurant all around Tokyo and Saitama, but the easiest to get to is the one in Ikebukuro. It’s on the west side of the station. Head up at the west exit (it’s by the Tobu Store) and take a right. Pass KFC and travel two blocks (Three blocks if you count the small alley on your right that you’ll pass). Then take another right and go two more blocks (The second block is really just another small alley, but you’ll stop at a ‘bigish’ road for this area.) Take a left after that, and it’s on the corner of the next block, second floor.

For more information check, here.

Next chance you get, check this place out. You won’t regret it.