My first beef bowl (牛丼 gyuudon) was from Yoshinoya in Singapore. It’s terrible, trust me. Over the years, they have tried to improve and right now, I will say it is edible. BUT if any of my friends are to visit Japan, I’ll definitely recommend Yoshinoya (or Matsuya and Sukiya) in Japan. These are all fast food chains serving beef bowl and they have become one of my to-go places should I need cheap and comforting food without too much hassle.
Last Sunday, a bunch of friends came to visit and it’s not easy to feed 5 guys. You take them for some roadside snacks and it is only appetiser. Despite having a late lunch, it’s time for dinner in 3 hours. So I took them to Red Rock, one of the rising stars in new age Japanese cuisine. It has apparently gained popularity and appeared on both the internet and local TV programmes. The queues are always long and winding. If the queues do not die, we’ve got to give it a try!
A picture is worth a thousand words so judge with your own eyes.
This is a normal size beef bowl, priced at 788 yen before taxes (850 yen tax incl.). This is just right for the average women but we’re feeding 5 guys so it’s a bowl each + steak (in the background) to share.
*You can also opt for a L size beef bowl that gives you more beef.
For below 1000 yen, you get a bowl filled of yummy rice with slices of roasted beef stacked beautifully on top. The beef is so well-cooked and thinly sliced that they are soft and tender. Great for me because I don’t like rubbery meat that takes forever for me to chew. But why do I say it’s the best in Japan? The toppings.
Red Rock gives you a mind blowing experience by topping the red mountain with yoghurt, a raw egg yolk, vegetables, a dash of black pepper and their special homemade sauce. Sounds like a really odd combination, doesn’t it? But you won’t regret it.
A few notes on the steak. You can specify how well you want your steak cooked. We didn’t know about it so we had the default which was again, just right for me.
Unlike most steaks, they served it bite-sized, a common practise in Japan. Eat daintily, guys.
Today, after a week of moving, packing and unpacking, I decided that I need an energy boost so I went there again for lunch. Unfortunately, the queues were long and I was rushing for time so I opted for the usual beef bowl at one of the fast food chains and… I felt so unfortunate after my meal. It’s still an okay beef bowl but after having tried Red Rock, one does not go back to the usual beef bowl. That’s how good Red Rock is.
I had to have it so I came back again at dinner time.
Oh, look at my little mountain of beef as they reach for the sun~ I’m going to call it the Mt. Beef Fuji.
Red Rock has 3 branches in Kobe (Sannomiya Hankyuu West Exit, JR East Exit and Motomachi station) and 1 in Tokyo (Takadanobaba).
*Update: 4th Sep 2017
Red Rock has been expanding ever since and currently has more stores than ever and even opened up in USA!!!