Japanese Restaurant Offers Discount to Bald Men
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A bald customer enjoys his beverage (and discount!) at Otasuke in Tokyo.
Leave your hairpiece at home when visiting Tokyo’s new restaurant Otasuke. Otasuke, which roughly translates to “helping hands”, is trying to honor the demographic of the hardworking, middle-aged man, by offering a discount to any male customer with a receding hairline, or a completely bald head. The restaurant features casual pub fare that would most appeal to middle-aged men like chicken skewers for low prices.
"Baldness is a very delicate issue in Japan, but in Hollywood there are a number of stars who completely ignore their hairless state and proudly carry out their work," owner Yoshiko Toyoda told Reuters. "I thought it would be nice to foster that spirit here."
Each bald customer gets a 500 yen ($4.92 US) discount, with increased discounts for more than one balding customer in your party. And if five bald guys go out together, one will drink for free. The restaurant’s walls also feature bald trivia, like “which nation has the highest rate of baldness?” (In case you were wondering, the answer is the Czech Republic).
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi
The Ryokan Collection Offers The Best In Traditional Japanese Inns
The Japanese proverb: “Go ni itte wa go ni shitagae” (“When in a village, do as the villagers do”) is the best advice for a visit to the land of the rising sun. With that in mind, a trip to Japan would not be complete without at least one night in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. The first ryokan opened in 718 AD so they are a central part of Japanese culture. They are usually family-run and there are 50,000 ryokans across Japan to choose from. Here you can experience Japanese culture and customs when you stay in a room with tatami (straw mat flooring), wear a typical yukata (unlined cotton robe) after taking an onsen (a bath fed by hot springs) and sleep on a futon usually put down directly on the tatami floor. The idea of a ryokan is that the visitors should feel that they're visiting a friend's home. Most ryokans don't have restaurants but on-site chefs create meals, created from seasonal, local ingredients that are served in the guest rooms. The second important aspect is that ryokans have baths that are fed by an onsen (hot spring), known for their restorative properties.
A bath fed by an onsen, a hot spring is a key feature of a ryokan
While traditional inns of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, have long been known for their high quality, three Kyoto ryokans that are members of The Ryokan Collection really stand out. The Ryokan Collection is a collection of 32 luxury ryokan traditional Japanese inns and Japanese small luxury hotels that are carefully selected from all over Japan, including several in Kyoto.
Hiiragiya ryokan in Kyoto
"When I'm staying at Hiiragiya. I feel the serenity of old Japan." Yasunari Kawabata (1899 - 1972), Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, 1968
Kawabata may have said this 50 years ago but it definitely still applies to Hiiragiya today. Hiiragiya has been in the same family since 1818 when a relative of the current owners established the inn. The name of the inn translates as "House of Holly" from the Hiiragiya Shrine where wild holly (hiiragi) grows. As holly is a symbol of holiness and good fortune, the owners of the ryokan have always aimed to create a peaceful, relaxing time for their guests. For six generations, Hiiragiya has been host to famous men and women-writers, artists, politicians, scientists and members of the imperial family. Both Nobel Prize winning novelist, Yasunari Kawabata, and noted author, Junichiro Tanizaki, considered Hiiragiya to be their home away from home.
A Nakai-san (room attendant) at one of the Ryokan Collection properties
The Hiiragiya ryokan offers 28 rooms, each one uniquely decorated in Japanese traditional style with all the modern amenities. A delicious scent of aromatic fir trees wafts through the rooms from the en suite Japanese wooden baths. All rooms are traditional Japanese style, with tatami mats, papered shoji window, and sliding fusuma doors. Polished wooden beams and reed ceilings are in all the rooms at Hiiragiya, as well as lovely antique lacquered writing boxes. The inn is incredibly quiet inside despite being located near a busy main street. Just down the road are boutiques and a large covered market selling food, clothing and traditional Japanese products.
Meals are the traditional Kyoto Kaiseki cuisine Kyoto-style Kaiseki cuisine, carefully prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients, and elegantly presented on handcrafted Kiyomizu ceramics and the finest lacquer ware. When we stayed there late last fall, the seasonal Kaiseki menu included 10 items ranging from pickles and rice to sashimi of sea bream,tuna and octopus to aubergine with herrings. The featured dish (Hassun) was dressed salmon roe, Yamaimo taro, rice with tiger prawn, smoked salmon and eel. Dessert at the end of any Kaiseki meal is always fresh fruit.
Rates at Hiiragiya are from 55,080 Japanese yen per person/per night based on double occupancy, including breakfast and dinner. Nakahakusancho, Fuyacho Anekoji-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 604-8094 T: +81-(0)75-221-1136
The discreet exterior of Sumiya ryokan, Kyoto
Sumiya is around the corner from Hiiragiya so it made sense to stay one night in each inn. Located near the heart of the main sightseeing areas, Sumiya has been in business for 100 years with three generations of owners during that time. Upon entering you immediately feel as though you are visiting an old traditional Japanese home. Lovely Japanese antiques can be seen throughout the residence. Sumiya has Japanese Western style beds in many of the 15 rooms, with futons on platforms rather than directly on the floor.
Featuring terraces with garden views, the serene rooms have tatami floors, futons and chabudai dining tables. Tastefully blending the old with the modern, each room offers Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms with traditional wooden tubs filled by spring water. Sumiya also serves kyo-kaiseki, the traditional Kyoto style multi-course dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. And on the 7th and 17th of each month, guests are invited to an after-dinner tea ceremony.
Rates at Sumiya for a Japanese-Western style room start from 64,800 yen per person/per night including breakfast and dinner. Fuya-cho Sanjo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan T: +81 (0)75-221-2188
The entrance to Gion-Hatanaka, a ryokan in Kyoto
Gion-Hatanaka in the Gion area of Kyoto has the Yasaka shrine right on its doorstep yet it is so secluded that you forget where you are. Unlike many ryokan in Kyoto, Hatanaka offers en suite bathtubs in every room. And the rooms are significantly more spacious than comparable rooms in other ryokan and most luxury hotels in Kyoto. There's also a great communal bath on the property.
One of the suites at Gion-Hatanaka, a ryokan in Kyoto
Despite being fairly large, this 21-room inn manages to retain an intimate and private feeling. And like the other two inns we stayed in, it offers in-room Japanese kaiseki multi-course dinner with seasonal local dishes including fresh seafood. Gion-Hatanaka describes itself as "an oasis of the mountains respite, nestled in the midst of a city." We certainly felt well-rested after our stay there.
Rates at Gion-Hatanaka are from 33, 480 yen per person/per night based on double occupancy, 505 Gion Minamigawa Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City 605-0074 T: +81 (0)75-541-5315
Queens Japanese Restaurant Offers a New Take On Traditional American Diners
As the weather gets colder, al fresco season is slowly coming to an end. The guys behind The Izakaya opened their second Japanese resturant Diner by The Izakaya at the indoor bar Nowadays in Ridgewood, Queens.
Yudai Kanayama and Keisuke Kasagi, the owners of The Izakaya in the Lower East Side, approached their second outpost as a “family-restaurant” concept known as famiresu in Japanese. The diner comes as a mixture of previous projects from the past five years.
“We always loved the diner atmosphere and a wide variety of dishes, but at the same time wished the quality of the food to be higher. So Diner by The Izakaya is a diner with Japanese influences, menu produced Japanese chef,” said Kanayama.
The food honors their heritage with a spin, one of the diner dishes includes their take on burgers and fries. A thinly sliced and grilled lamb burger topped with a brioche bun ($12) is inspired from a classic Japanese barbecue dish produced by experienced Japanese Chef Munetake Ogata from Hokkaido. The option to add French fries are an extra $4, but it’s dusted with aonori seaweed powder giving it a memorable taste.
Diner by Izakaya also serve up traditional ramen dishes like the black garlic syoyu chicken ramen ($15). It's perfect for a cold evening, it’a mix of ramen noodles, chicken charsiu, nori and scallions in a garlicy broth.
Their ramen comes from a partnership with Keizo Shimamoto and their udon noodle comes from working with another local Brooklyn resturant, Hanon, that Kanayama has helped open.
Japanese Restaurant Offers Discount to Bald Men - Recipes
Until March 21, Japanese fans will be treated to special Attack on Titan meals at the restaurant chain Dohtonbori Okonomiyaki. It’s part of the celebration and rollout of the final season.
Okonomiyaki is a type of pancake that includes cabbage in it. The Attack on Titan meals are themed to characters, with Levi’s meals being either chicken okonomiyaki or sweet black tea pancake, while Eren’s meal is a hamburger and cheese okonomiyaki. Mikasa gets a strip of bacon on her meal (meant to be symbolic for her scarf) and Jean gets omelette rice. There’s also the pork butatama okonomiyaki that’s meant to symbolize Wall Maria.
People who buy one of these meals get a free file of the characters. But instead of brandishing weapons, they have okonomiyaki spatulas!
Springfield's newest Japanese restaurant offers ramen — and soul
Omo Japanese Soul Food is now open in Chesterfield Village. (Photo: Andrew Jansen/News-Leader) Buy Photo
Clad in an outfit including a T-shirt covered in pale blue Japanese anemone flowers, Stephanie Liu said she was excited Monday.
It was thirty minutes before for the soft opening of her new restaurant, Omo Japanese Soul Food.
Omo will focus on ramen, Liu said, a classic soup consisting of long Chinese-style noodles swimming in rich broth flavored with pork, miso, soy or other ingredients.
The soup includes items like sliced meats or seafood, hard-cooked egg, Asian sprouts and other vegetables. Vegetarians, take note: Liu recommends miso ramen.
Ramen at Omo costs between $8.99 and $10.99, a price point she hopes is slightly cheaper than Chesterfield Village neighbors such as Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes, while providing a similar level of quality.
The name of the restaurant means "main," "chief" or "principal," and it has a soulful connotation that's hard to translate into English.
"In their culture, their food is like their soul," Liu explained. "There’s a (Japanese letter) that means 'soul'."
All of Omo's ramen varieties have "deep taste," Liu said.
That deep taste is one that has captivated Liu for years.
When she was younger and living in China, her family took her on a trip to Japan.
She had her first ramen — not the dried-up supermarket kind.
"After that, I was very interested in their culture," she said.
Omo Japanese Soul Food owner Stephanie Liu and head chef Daniel Camanggo pose for a portrait a few minutes before their restaurant opened for the first time, June 26, 2017. (Photo: Greg Holman/News-Leader)
She added that many of her co-workers at both restaurants are chefs with Japanese backgrounds or interest in Japanese food who bring enthusiasm and passion to their work.
Along with ramen, Omo will have bento boxes, the Japanese meals that include several small portions arranged in a multi-compartment tray.
Omo is Liu's second restaurant in Springfield. She co-owns Hula Hawaiian Kitchen, which she and a business partner opened in December 2016.
Liu co-owns Omo with her boyfriend, whose name she declined to reveal.
She said her new restaurant seats about 52 people in a 1,300-square foot space. Her landlord is Dearborn Development Inc., the developer of Chesterfield Village.
In two to three weeks, Omo will celebrate its grand opening, Liu said.
Ramen is a dish that got big in Japan in recent decades, arriving in the United States in the mid- to late 2000s and soaring in popularity last year.
Omo is just the latest restaurant to serve it in Springfield. Ramen is available at Golden Girl Rum Club, Skully's food truck and Koriya, among other places.
Japanese Restaurant Offers Discount to Bald Men - Recipes
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It’s Our Turn to Eat: Japanese Restaurant Offers Deep-Fried Piranha
A Makah fisherman in Paraguay eats a roasted piranha
There are few fish with as vicious a reputation as the Piranha — those toothy, Amazonian killing machines that, legend has it, can strip a cow to the bone in a matter of minutes. Now, a Japanese restaurant is turning the tables.
A restaurant called Heaven at the Japanese spa resort Nara Kenko Land is holding a two-month exhibition of “big Amazon mysterious fish,” reports the website RocketNews24, at which visitors can partake of what’s called Pirania No Amazonesu. The ominous-looking piranha is “lightly sprinkled with flour and fried,” reports RocketNews24 — and is served whole, its mouth agape, showing off its jagged teeth.
If only the ferocious piranha tasted a bit better. The fish, when sliced into, reportedly gives off a “foul odor” that makes it difficult to tell what the flesh itself tastes like. Still, a restaurant worker told RocketNews24 that the dish was “pretty popular” and is ordered at least once a day.
Frying the piranha is not the only way to eat it. In the fish’s native Amazon-basin region, local fishermen reportedly grill them in banana leaves or boil them with tomatoes, making a soup that they believe has aphrodisiac effects. According to National Geographic, fishermen occasionally bear scars from close encounters with those creatures, which usually don’t resort to human flesh unless they are provoked or starved. Still, if you have an open wound it’s unwise to take a dip in the Amazon — as Animal Planet host Jeremy Wade once did — or go on a piranha-fishing tour (yes, it apparently exists) the fish can smell blood from miles away. Wade told Smithsonian that he too had cooked them. According to Wade, the flesh is bony, like “steel wool mixed with needles.”
If that deters you from ordering the piranha, there are other choices on offer. According to RocketNews24, Heaven also serves an Amazon kyatfisshu burger, made from an Amazonian catfish, which can be washed down with a cup of Brazilian Forest Smoothie, made with umbu, a Brazilian plum rich in vitamin C and minerals.
”You can reduce your food costs to zero for the rest of your life” says popular iekei-style ramen restaurant.
At this point in time, ramen has largely outgrown its image as a food only loved by the lazy and/or penniless. Yes, its unpretentious aura and bold flavors will always have a strong appeal to young diners, but being a ramen fan is now pretty much a lifelong gastronomic lifestyle choice.
So if you’re going to be eating ramen for your whole life, that means you’re going to be paying for it for your whole life too, right? Not necessarily, thanks to an unbelievably attractive offer from this ramen restaurant.
The Nishi Chiba branch of ramen chain Musashiya, located in Chiba City, recently announced a special offer: for a one-time flat fee, you can eat there for free for your entire life.
Granted, at a price of 100,000 yen (US$935) it’s not exactly pocket change, and there’s the additional requirement that you have to be a student when you sign up for the eternal ramen plan. But the red text superimposed over the photo in the above announcement tweet promises that those who do sign up “Can eat for free until graduation” and also “Can eat for free after graduation.”
Getting back to the cost, once the sticker shock passes, is 100,000 yen really all that expensive for what Musashiya is offering? According to Japanese restaurant site Tabelog, a bowl of Musashiya’s standard ramen (which is the iekei style popularized in Yokohama, a pork stock broth seasoned with sesame and garlic) costs 600 yen. That means you pass the break-even point at your 167th bowl.
It’s a safe assumption that anyone who likes ramen enough to purchase a lifetime supply contract is particularly fond of the stuff, and probably craves it at least twice a week. At that pace, it’d take you a little under one year and eight months to start coming out ahead. Even if you’re only eating at Musashiya once a week, you’d still break even in three years and four months, so if you signed up as a college freshmen you’d be getting your money’s worth even before graduation.
And though 100,000 yen is a lot of money for a college kid to scrounge up under normal circumstances, Musashiya chose that price because it matches the standard stimulus payment the Japanese government is making to individuals as part of its coronavirus pandemic countermeasures.
It’s worth noting that the announcement tweet is sort of sparse on specifics, such as whether the deal is only good for the restaurant’s least expensive ramen, or whether deluxe options are also covered. There also aren’t any details on the frequency with which you have access to your free ramen, which is another thing you’ll want to confirm with Musashiya before making any payment. However, a follow-up tweet from the restaurant trumpets “At the moment you purchase this plan, you can reduce your food costs to zero for the rest of your life,” so it really does sound like you can stop by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and if so, with Musashiya open seven days a week, you really could eat every meal there for free for the rest of your days.
Musashiya (Nishi Chiba branch) / 武蔵家（西千葉店）
Address: Chiba-ken, Chiba-shi, Chuo-ku, Kasuga 2-19-9
Open 11 a.m.-midnight
Follow Casey on Twitter, where iekei is one of his very favorite ramen styles.
Japanese Restaurant Offers Discount to Bald Men - Recipes
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