Saturday, September 20, 2008

How to's #12: Understand the difference between Tabehodai and Viking♦♠♦

If you have lived in Japan, you are likely to be familiar with that fact that the portions are smaller. However, that does not mean you can not have a full stomach! Believe it or not, there are quite a few of these places all around! Introducing the two forms of all-you can eat in Japan!:

The best translation for "all you can eat". What this means is that you are sitting at a table and you can place as many orders as your would like. At izakayas (drinking places), this usually goes along with nomihodai, which is all you can drink! From a select menu you can call as many plates as you want.

My personal favorites are Shakey's Pizza and Guts Soul. These are two chains, that are scattered around different stations in Tokyo. Shakey's (easily located in Harajuku and Shibuya) is all you can eat pizza! There are different set you can purchase, that allow you to have more of a selection with pizza, sides, and drink! I suggest you avoid the corn and tuna one. Sounds interesting at first...but it's really not that appetizing especially when they provide the entirety of a 12 inch pizza.o_O

Guts Soul how I love thee... This is superiorly cheap korean BBQ. During lunch hours I believe they offer a better deal, but the evening prices are not bad either! The cheapest one is 980yen and it ranges to 1500yen. The difference is only in the selection of meet. The cheapest one is limited only to pork and some lower cut beef. The more expensive ones, give you the option to eat better cuts. Personally, it all goes down good. The ones I ate at was located at yoyogi and nakano. Try to mix in some veggies...for the sake of nutrition.^_^

OH! and for the sushi connoisseur, there is a all you can eat tsukiji tabehodai place at the kinshichyou station! It's amazing! A little bit expensive, I believe it was 2500yen a head but it was worth it! You can eat all ootoro(fatty tuna) the whole night if you so choose.

Alright...this was pretty confusing to me, too. So Viking means buffet...Took me a while to figure that one out. I think its because there is a stereotype that Vikings ate a lot. Also, it is easier to pronounce that "buffet" for Japanese people.

The difference is that you must walk up to get your food. Viking is less tasty in my opinion. It is about the same price as tabehodai more or less. The less enjoyable features is that all the good stuff gets gobbled immediately and the remaining dregs is not very enjoyable. The temperatures of everything is not quite right, and new trays always take a while to come out>_<. I've had indian food Viking, which wasn't half bad. My worse experience was with a Thai Viking in shinjuku that caused me and my friends to have an upset stomach. o_O I will however recommend a place in Harajuku, across from the Daiso called "Dessert Paradise". There is a plethora of amazing cakes and pies to choose from! There is also a very enjoyable pasta/soup bar where you can fill up on actual sustenance before you hovel sweets into your face for 30 minutes.

With all this in mind, enjoy a night out with your friends and your full stomach! Be careful though, you are probably not accustomed to overeating and you will have negative effects. Full stomach = Happy points. Falling asleep from food coma/bloated stomach pains = -Happy points. So consume with caution!