frebar1Freshness Burger is a well-known fast food burger chain in Japan. A lesser-known fact would be that they’ve gone a little gourmet and also have a chain of cheap tapas-like wine bars called FreBar, which offers arguably even better value than Freshness Burger.

For just 500 yen (US$4) you can have as much cured ham (prosciutto) as you like in an hour courtesy of their current promotion, called nama hamu tabehodai in Japanese. Mr Sato, RocketNews24 Japan writer and food adventurer, couldn’t pass up this offer, but just how many plates could he get through?

Freshness Burger’s foray into the bar industry is part of a rising trend in Japan for fast food restaurants to branch out and offer alcohol. Other fast food chains such Fuji Soba and beef bowl outfit Yoshinoya also serve alcohol and various snacks. FreBar quietly entered into this market back in January and has a number of branches nationwide, offering one of the best-value wine bars around.

We love a food bargain and Mr. Sato is always on the look out for venues that offer value for our yen, particularly if they involve all-you-can-eat deals, so off he went.


What 1,000 yen will get you
The catch to the one-hour limit on the ham feast is that you must order an alcoholic beverage. Thankfully the drinks are also really cheap, wine by the glass starting at just 300 yen (US$2.40)! FreBar also has three kinds of high balls ranging from between 370 to 420 yen. In fact, the most expensive drink on the menu is the large-size beer at 480 yen, and given that the ham special is only 500 yen, you still won’t pay much more than 1,000 yen (US$8), after tax, for a filling appetizer, provided you don’t order more than one alcoholic beverage. How they make a profit, we don’t know.

Man vs. Ham
Mr. Sato decided to put his stomach capacity to the test anyway, because how could you not for that price? On this particular occasion, he actually only had 30 minutes to spare, but even so, he still put in  good effort and managed to get through five plates! Imagine if he had made use of the full 60 minutes!

Round 1

Round 2


Round 3


Are you full yet?

Round 4


Is it just us, but is each plate of prosciutto  also getting paler in colour?

▼ Round 5


Each plate must be finished before you can order another, and customers ordering the 60-minute unlimited prosciutto are given a tag to take up the counter to place your refill. Even at 30 minutes with five plates under his belt, Mr. Sato really got his money’s worth.

Mr. Sato warns that if the prosciutto is the only thing you’re eating, then you’re going to get pretty darn thirsty, especially after having  easily consumed five plates’ worth. Perhaps that’s their ploy to get you to order more drinks?

But they have a solution for that too! You can also order the all-you-can-drink wine for one hour to match the one-hour ham special. The wine special is 980 yen plus tax, but we’re not sure how many glasses you’ll be able to fit in within the 60-minute limit. Considering one glass of wine is 300 yen, you’d need to gulp down four glasses in one hour to get your money’s worth.

Still, for a total of about 2,000 yen, you can have your fill of ham and wine, which is not a bad way to spend 60 minutes. Just have plenty of water on hand for afterwards to stave off dehydration.

If you’re looking for a CURE for your ham craving, consider FreBar your remedy that’s easy on the wallet.

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