Two kinds of beef, and a surprising amount of veggies, are keeping Tokyo’s otaku and businesspeople full.

One of the great things about Japan is that when you’re here, you’re never far from a tasty meal. Japan is a nation of unabashed foodies, meaning that if you’re in an urban center like downtown Tokyo, a few minutes’ walk will give you dozens of attractive eating options to choose from.

However, the downside is that Japanese portions tend to be smaller than what many Western diners are used to. But that’s not a problem at rice bowl chain Okamuraya.

Okamuraya bills itself as a “niku meshi,” or “meat on rice,” specialist. In contrast to rivals such as Yoshinoya, which call their signature dish gyudon (“beef bowl”), Okamuraya leans pretty heavily on the meatier side of the equation. That brings us to Okamuraya’s oddly named, limited-time Dossari Yasai line of rice bowls, which was added to the menu on April 3. While Dossari Yasai translates to “lots of vegetables,” the photos we’d seen of them instead showed mountains of meat.

Okamuraya has two branches in Tokyo, one in the business district of Shimbashi and the other in pop culture mecca Akihabara, which means customers are likely to be dining surrounded by salarymen or otaku. We stopped by the Shimbashi location and ordered the 890-yen (US$8) Dossari Yasai Aimori Meshi, which gives you both nikomi-style beef stewed in a rich, flavorful broth and shabu shabu-style sesame-seasoned beef with a milder taste (beef bowls with only nikomi or shabu shabu beef are also available for 640 and 790 yen, respectively).

Generally speaking, when you order a beef bowl at a restaurant in Japan you get your food pretty quickly. We had to wait a few minutes more than we’d expected for our Dossari Yasai Aimori Meshi, but we understood why when we finally saw it.

This is a pile of meat so huge that in spots it spills over the bowl’s rim, and has to be carefully arranged by the cook before the server brings it to you. But as our eyes took in the sight and our mouth watered, our brain began to ask, “Where are all those vegetable we were promised by the Dossari Yasai name?”

It turns out they’re hiding underneath.

▼ You can see some of the veggies poking out at the bottom of the photo, as well as some at the very pinnacle of the toppings.

Alternating between bites of nikomi and shabu shabu beef (both of which were equally delicious), we eventually reached the mound of cabbage and bean sprouts below.

But don’t take this to mean that the Dossari Yasai rice bowl is primarily vegetables with a meaningless meat veneer. While there are indeed tons of vegetables underneath, the meat on top of them is multiple layers-thick.

So maybe the better description of the Dossari Yasai Aimori Meshi isn’t a mountain of meat, but a flower of blossoming meat. Either way you lok at it, it’s truly a thing of delicious beauty.

Restaurant information
Okamuraya (Shimbashi branch) 岡村や(新橋店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Shimbashi 2-16-1, New Shimbashi Building 1st floor
東京都港区新橋2-16-1 ニュー新橋ビル1F
Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Okamuraya (Akihabara branch) 岡村や(秋葉原店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 4-2-6, Akiba 246 Building 1st floor
東京都千代田区外神田4-2-6 Akiba426ビル1F
Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Photos ©RocketNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he always recommends bringing your appetite when you come to Akihabara.

[ Read in Japanese ]