Japan 2012 - Dinner at Torikizoku Kyoto
In Japan there are many chain restaurants that have appropriated traditional cuisines and turn them into fast service concepts. The Kaiten Shushi shop is probably the most famous example, but there are also shops that sell fast ramen, soba noodles, donburi - rice bowls, and of course - teriyaki.
I came across this teriyaki restaurant - Torikizoku, while strolling along Shijo-dori. It is located in the basement - which piqued my interest even more as I wanted to see what it was like to dine in a restaurant without views. As it turned out - it wasn't as unusual as I have thought. It was basically laid out like a fast-food restaurant with a service counter on one side and dining cubicles on the other side. The high walls which separated the cubicles did away with the need for views anyway - clever design!
The big attraction in this chain is that everything is 280 yen. It may seem cheap at first, but you need to order at least 3 to 4 items to make a meal. Add in the drink and you will end up paying up to 1,500 yen per person - around RM 50. Definitely not fast-food price.
The food though - is really good! I ordered a cuttlefish starter which was marinated in some wasabi, mirin and served with some seaweed on the side. It packed a punch and was a very satisfying appetizer.
The chicken teriyaki and teriyaki rice bowl were both great - tender and tasty chunks of chicken grilled to perfection.
The expert griller in action.
I must say that Torikizoku surprised me. I was expecting an average meal, but the quality of the food is exceptional for a fast service restaurant. You wouldn't find this in Malaysia that's for sure!