Friday, 17 December 2010

Food We Ate : An Affordable Meal At Yayoi-Ken

Time for me to start on posts of places and food we enjoyed while in Japan and I'll start with a place that is affordable and can be easily found in most cities; Yayoi-ken. Do check out their site to see what food they're offering, if you want to give it a try.
Ordering food here is simple. Buy your food ticket at this machine (don't worry if you can't read Japanese; there are photos of the items on each button); wait to be shown to a table and the staff will collect your food ticket. They'll read out your order upon collecting the food ticket, so just nod to confirm even if you don't understand what they're saying.

A word of advice. Don't hog the machine and only decide what to eat there and cause inconvenience to other diners who are queuing behind you. I've seen this happen when a gaggle of fellow (very noisy) tourists just blocked the machine and can't decide what to order; going back and forth to the rest of the members talking and poring at menus. When in doubt, ask for assistance.

Fellow diners behind you will wait patiently to purchase their food ticket but they'll be annoyed for sure. There is a menu outside and also plastic food display for you to see. Also, have manners and wait till a staff show you to a table and don't pointedly wait at a table where diners are still  finishing their meal. The food here might be cheap, but don't act cheap too! It's  not a food court, so don't fight for seats!
These two items happen to be our favourite when dining at Yayoi-ken. Grilled saba & shima hokke. The portions are big and they're yummy too! A set with fish, rice, tofu and miso soup cost less than 700yen. And oh! You can get free refills of rice too here.Not to mention, free tea.
Zaini sometimes likes to eat this saba misoni and I like the grilled sanma.
We also tried this assorted seafood platter one or two times. But I still like my grilled fish better.
Our favourite side dish. Yummy and chewy.


  1. everything looks divine. Now you're making me hungry.

  2. Ordering through the machine is a great idea. Only problem is people hogging the line.

  3. @LR,
    Haha I'm making myself hungry too! XD

  4. @Mei Teng,
    Ordering through machine is GREAT! Usually there were no long lines or diners hogging the ticket machines as most that we observed seemed to already know what they want to eat. The few times there were "jam" at the machine were when groups of tourists came and caused "havoc" in the restaurant.

    The waitress and waiter were visibly flustered by those groups.

  5. I seem to remember these when I was in Tokyo, but I've always been more partial to Ootoya.

  6. @sixmats,
    the menu at Ootoya looks nice,too. :)

    I can't recall seeing them much while in Tokyo, though. Do they have a lot of branches around?

  7. Nice idea to be able order from machine. Is the food warm? The food looks great now it's time for dinner : )

  8. @Ask Me Recipe,
    Yup, the food is actually piping hot when they arrived as they are made to order. Just the food ticket is automated, the rest are done manually. ;)

  9. When my son told me about the automated machines for ordering food in Japan, I found it incredible. There was one restaurant he didn't even get to see the faces of the cooks or service staff behind the restaurant. Food and beverages were sent to diners conveyor belt style.

  10. @ECL,
    Whoa! I never tried a place where everything is faceless like that. Where did Jaymes found the place? I wanna try too! :D

  11. It's in Fukuoka, Kyūshū. One interesting feature of that restaurant is : If a diner slots 5 empty plates into an opening on the table, they can get a souvenir in return. Auto dispensed gift. Wow.

  12. @ECL,
    Wow indeed! Pretty nifty automates system they got there.

    I wonder whether similar type of place exist elsewhere? I bet there are. Have to go find one (or a dozen)next time! :D

  13. When my American friend who works in Japan told me about these machines, I didn't know what to expect, but the food looks delicious.

  14. @AVCr8teur,
    They were. Taste better than a lot of more expensive eateries we tried in Tokyo.

    Ramen places have this type of ticket vending machine too.

  15. i am getting hungry, misising those seafood delights!

  16. @Ayie,
    Planning to have any soon? :)


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