May 6, 2018
As I was driving to a festival with my family today, I spotted one of the most beautiful sights that can be seen in the Japanese springtime: the return of the Unagyū bowl at Sukiya!
For the uninitiated, Unagyū is the standard beef bowl that replaces half of the meat with a slice or two of unagi (eel) depending on how much you want to pay. It's my favorite fast food option in Japan, and it is only available from the middle of Spring until the middle of Autumn.
I’ll be honest in saying that I was a Yoshinoya guy for the better part of my life until I walked in one summer day and requested an unagyū ōmori only to be told they don’t sell them. Apparently Sukiya is the only beef bowl fast food joint in Japan that realized it would be best to combine unagi and beef in the same bowl.
Perhaps you’re wondering why eel and beef go so well together. In reality, they don’t. I wouldn’t recommend eating a hunk of meat and eel in the same bite, but the real brilliance of the unagyū lies in two key factors: one, it allows you to enjoy two awesome types of lunches without having to pick one or the other; two, unagi—even the imported unagi used at fast food restaurants—is not cheap, but by supplementing with beef, you can still eat a full meal without breaking the bank.
I’ll be visiting Sukiya soon to grab my year's first Unagyū—I recommend you try it, too!
Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.
Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).