Simply Delicious! 3 Must-Try Home-Cooked Japanese Dishes
Last updated: 30 January 2019
From ramen to sushi, Japanese food has a worldwide reputation and everyone who comes to Japan wants to enjoy their own gourmet experience! Today, we’d like to tickle your taste buds with dishes that you might not have heard or thought of – welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese home cooking! Hamburger steaks, omelets, ginger-grilled pork, be prepared to be spoiled by the Japanese grandma that you never had!
Rakeru: Savor Fluffy Omurice and Juicy Hamburger Steak in a Retro Atmosphere
Rakeru Miyamasuzaka is a famous omurice (omelet rice) restaurant founded in the late Shōwa period - meaning the 60s. It’s nestled in a quiet corner right next to the busy street connecting Shibuya and Omotesando. In its 55-year long history, Rakeru opened several branches and the location in Miyamasuzaka, close to Shibuya Station’s Exit 11, was one of the first ones. The atmospheric brick walls and wooden beams are remnants of the shop’s past, kept intact to preserve the restaurant as it looked during its first day of business. You won’t only get to taste delectable food here but also savor the shop's rich history.
Rakeru’s most popular dish on the menu is “flu~ffy egg demiglace hamburger steak omurice.” The omelet on top of the rice is indeed wonderfully fluffy, tasting like a cloud made of egg with a core of healthy multigrain rice. The hamburger steak is 100% beef, boasting a juicy deliciousness that we just can’t get enough of.
Multigrain rice can have an image of being somewhat tough, but the kind that Rakeru uses is made with 10 different kinds of grains, including wheat, barley, Job's tears (adlay), and more. That makes for a wonderfully exciting mix of textures and flavors while still letting you taste and feel every grain individually. Especially the rice left over at the end, the grains that stick to the hot iron plate and are crisply fried, are exquisitely delicious!
Australian beef is used for the juicy hamburger steak that is so large, you won’t need a second serving. It’s made with Rakeru’s own, secret technique and the tender result is positively addicting. Every bite seems to melt on your tongue while still being wonderfully firm to the bite – and it’s so juicy, too!
If you’re not a beef fan, we also recommend the “KUKU Choice Sakurahime Chicken Steak and Omurice” (1,280 yen). One plate of this amazing dish doesn’t only get you an incredibly juicy and soft chicken steak from a Hokkaido breed, but also domestic vegetables, and Rakeru’s special bread. The rich menu also offers you three different choices of rice for your omelet: multigrain, curry, and Sakurahime chicken, along with numerous toppings to fancy up your order!
Rakeru Miyamasuzaka is a restaurant popular not only among the locals, but international travelers also love both the food and the atmosphere. To accommodate to their traveling guests, the restaurant offers free Wi-Fi at the Miyamasuzaka location, as well as Shinjuku West Exit, Ikebukuro East Exit, and Central Shinjuku West Exit stores. The menu features simple English descriptions, so don’t worry about that either.
Rakeru also prides itself on its “1-minute speed,” serving you pretty much right after you ordered! If you’re exhausted from sightseeing and your stomach grumbles impatiently, this is definitely the place to go!
All prices are without tax.
- Address Toho Estate Building B1F, 1-12-9 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0002
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Closed: always open
Hishidaya: Discover the Traditional Taste of Century-Old Recipes
Hishidaya is close to the University of Tokyo’s Komaba campus and boasts a history of over 100 years. The current shopkeeper is the fifth generation! Its location naturally attracts plenty of students and faculty staff, but also locals living in the area. The shop may be a century old, but it looks fancy and modern, perfectly hitting the pulse of the time. The wooden furniture creates a cozy atmosphere and you’ll feel right at home!
You’ll find Hishidaya a mere 2-minute walk away from Komaba-tōdaimae Station on the Keio Inokashira Line. While the nearby campus is lively and busy, the restaurant itself is wonderfully quiet and relaxed, making it a favorite dinner spot for various folks. During peak hours, you’ll usually have to deal with a queue outside of the store – lunchtime alone tends to attract a hundred people on average. Said lunchtime is until 2:00 p.m., but Hishidaya is busy up until 1:50 p.m., the store’s last order.
If you stop by Hishidaya, we urge you to try the “ginger-grilled pork set” (1,050). The serving of savory pork is satisfyingly large, the meat is cut into thick, juicy slices and coated with a mouthwatering ginger soy sauce. Lettuce and spaghetti with a subtly sour sauce make for the perfect side dishes and a wonderful combination of flavors. A lot of Hishidaya’s guests say that this is the best ginger dish they’ve ever eaten - the highest praise a restaurant can get. The set meals are served with a large serving of rice, pickles, and miso soup, satiating even the largest appetite.
The ginger-grilled pork also boasts a mouthwatering aroma and the mean itself is a carefully chosen, high-grade pork. The cooking technique makes it even more tender and flavorful. The secret sauce isn’t just made with soy sauce and ginger, but also plenty of garlic to round the flavors and take your taste buds on a wild ride! In this sauce, both pork and onions are grilled to perfection and once you’ve started eating, you won’t be able to stop until everything is gone.
The ginger sauce unites sweetness and spiciness in the best way possible, creating a delicious balance that’s simply addictive. Especially the garlic aroma is what will make your mouth water, to the point where plain rice and this amazing sauce would be enough to make for a great meal. All ingredients of the ginger-grilled pork are homemade by Hishidaya – the restaurant doesn’t even use machines or appliances for its pickles. This diligence can be tasted with every bite.
The lettuce and spaghetti balance the savory pork with a hint of sourness, further adding to the sheer perfection of Hishidaya’s iconic dish. The miso soup and pickles that are part of the set meal offer a gentle respite from the rich flavor of the main dish, allowing you to savor every bite to its fullest.
Besides the ginger pork, there are plenty of other dishes on the menu as well, such as fried chicken, sashimi, hamburger steak, and more. The choice is wonderfully diverse and yours to make! Dive into the authentic taste of a hundred years ago!
All prices are without tax.
- Address 1-27-12 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0041
Monday to Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. / 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Closed: Sundays, national holidays
Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō: Curry from the Japanese Grandma You Never Had
Last but not least, we head over to Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō, a small, cozy restaurant that was opened 17 years ago in Tokyo’s Shinagawa. A warm, nostalgic atmosphere engulfs you as soon as you set foot inside the shop – after having fawned a bit over the fairytale-like exterior. Its interior is inspired by trees, so warm, wooden colors welcome you inside and make you feel like you’ve returned to a place dear to your heart.
Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō is located in an office area, so a lot of the regulars are employees of the nearby companies. Word of mouth is what makes this little place so famous and about 60 to 70 people want to taste its dishes every lunch break. That makes for a lively, friendly atmosphere inside the shop while a long queue patiently waits outside. The 21 seats offer space for everyone, even if you have to wait a bit.
Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō’s most iconic dish is “Omu-ebi Curry,” or omelet rice shrimp curry. The fluffy omelet rice sits like an island in the middle of an aromatic sea of curry, a dish so generous, it’ll easily get you through a long day of sightseeing or working. The lunchtime set includes a soybean sprout salad for some crunchy green sensation.
At the time of the shop’s opening, Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō offered vegetable curry and shrimp curry. The veggie version felt a bit scarce in protein, while the shrimp version seemed a bit lacking by itself as well. That’s how the restaurant came up with the idea to add omurice!
Compared to regular Japanese-style curry, this one has a much spicier aroma and a richer taste. The omelet rice is made with fresh eggs from Tsukiji Market and the chef’s skills transform them into a wonderfully fluffy delicacy. It seems like a humble dish, but the taste is heavenly.
The curry itself is made by stewing numerous ingredients, including carrots, potatoes, apples, yogurt, and red wine, while the skillful use of fragrant spices adds the extra curry kick. This complex mix creates a taste so rich, it takes a moment or two to fully unfold in your mouth – and then it’s like tasting a piece of curry paradise. This taste has especially become famous among visitors from Korea who put the omu-ebi curry of Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō on top of their must-try list! The sprout salad served with the lunch set complements the taste with a hint of sourness.
Here’s something to note: Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō serves its male guests a bigger portion of rice than its female guests. If you’re a woman with a proper appetite, don’t hesitate to ask for a bigger serving as well! The price doesn’t change unless you order the extra-large. That’s 200 yen extra but be warned: that is A LOT of rice.
Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō’s curry is rather spicy, so if you’re not a fan of that, have a look at the rest of the menu. Number two on the popularity ranking is “soy sauce omurice,” available during lunch on only Wednesdays – irregularly. If you crave this particular dish, we recommend coming for dinner. Generally, omelet rice means ketchup-flavored rice with chicken, so a soy sauce version is rare to come by. That’s why this dish has so many fans.
The lunch prices at Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō are very reasonable, but it’s important to note that the area’s office workers will flock to the restaurant like bees to honey. If you don’t want to wait and generally enjoy quieter meals, we highly recommend visiting during dinner time. The restaurant also has different holidays, being open throughout during the week but closed on weekends and national holidays.
All lunch sets are 1,000 yen, extra-large rice is 200 yen extra.
All prices include tax.
Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudōめぐろ三ツ星食堂
- Address 3-4-6 Kamiōsaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tōkyō-to 141-0021
- Nearest Station JR Meguro Station
Mondays: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesdays to Fridays: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. / 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays
It doesn’t always have to be fish in Japan, there are plenty of delicious dishes with pork, beef, veggies, and eggs. Dive head-first into delectable retro tastes and brace yourself for a whole new world of Japanese cuisine!
The information given in this article is of February 2018.
Product prices and details are as stated by the restaurants.
Spots showcased in the article
- Rakeru Miyamasuzaka
- Meguro Mitsuboshi Shokudō
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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.