Sukiya – Japanese fast food
Finally, we have arrived in the country of nutritious delights where nobody gives a sea cucumber about kebab with French fries.
Since we arrived the day before yesterday we are terribly jet-lagged and very happy to be able to walk out the house at impossible hours to find many restaurants open in a cosy neighbourhood of Tokyo which is eager to please at any hour.
The true beauty of Japan lies in its exquisite culinary habits and restaurant hospitality.
Even if you happen to have fast food.
So let me show you where we ended up at around 1 am yesterday.
Sukiya (すき家) is the name of a Japanese fast food branch. This one is in Setagaya, close to our home.
Forget everything you know about regular European fast food – the trash and filth on the floor, the penetrating smell of oil and fried food, tables with nothing on them except grease or leftovers from previous customers, staff and service not to be remembered and most of all the chance to get seriously sick or most likely to end up with common stomach upsets.
Sukiya provides the perfect table set with chopsticks, spoons, napkins, toothpicks, seasoning, two varieties of dressing, fresh ginger, menus with pictures of every single dish and a bell to call a waiter. We rang and staff appeared in no time. Service can be so great.
Because we do not eat meat and our Japanese is minimal (at best), it was a challenge to find out if they had a fish choice. Japanese is not easy for non-Japanese-speaking vegetarians but if you eat fish all is dandy.
In case you are at a similarly pitiful Japanese language acquisition level, a good way to ask if they have fish on the menu is like our helpful host proposed:
‘Sakana no menu wa arimasuka‘ – or to make life easier (nothing like me), simply ask for an English menu:
‘Eigo no menu wa arimasuka‘. (BTW I learned that Japanese do not use ?-marks because the suffix -ka already indicates a question.)
Sukiya does have a variety of seafood but mainly serves rice bowl dishes with beef and curry plates.
We ordered salmon tartar on rice, a salad, miso soup, tofu and kimchi (spicy cabbage). Additionally, I got a children’s spoon and fork with a tiny baby bowl. Not sure that is a good sign. I can eat with chopsticks, you know.
We are in a suburb of Tokio (the outskirts) which in Japan doesn’t make a difference in quality. Food will be fresh, hygiene standards top notch and you will have nothing to worry about except the bill. Well actually, not even that, because Sukiya is amazingly cheap – the first post to demystify that eating out in Japan is expensive.
Sukiya’s slogan is ‘ save time and money‘ and does not disappoint. A lot of youngsters were walking in and out.
We paid 2700 JPY and are definitely going to be back. I hav to show Sukiya how gaijin know their chopsticks.