Tokyo’s newest gourmet bento shop is open, and our stomachs (and wallet) are ready.

When you see him chowing down on a 7.3-pound (3.3-kilogram) tempura rice bowl or a sweet bean bun the size of his head, you might get the mistaken impression that SoraNews24’s crack reporter Mr. Sato is firmly in the “quantity over quality” camp when it comes to food. That’s not true, though, as Mr. Sato enjoys fine flavor every bit as much as he does prodigious portions.

Of course, sometimes Mr. Sato is feeling both fancy and hungry. So when he found out that gourmet beef butcher Meat Yazawa was opening up a new takeout-only bento boxed lunch shop in Tokyo’s Ebisu neighborhood, just a few train stops away from SoraNews24 headquarters, he knew it was his professional duty to pick one up and eat it.

Mr. Sato rolled up a little before noon on Tuesday, the new Meat Yazawa’s opening day. Considering the company’s sterling reputation for ultra-high-quality beef, he figured there’d be a huge crowd, but surprisingly, there was no line at all.

As it turned out, though, this wasn’t because no customers had come, but because so many of them had already bought their bento and left. Meat Yazawa opens at 10 a.m., and the pent-up demand for its wares was so strong that before noon, they’d already sold out of their top-of-the-line 10,000-yen (US89) bento.

This threw a monkey wrench into Mr. Sato’s cow-based lunch plans, as he’d fully intended to buy the most expensive boxed lunch (and, naturally, to bill our boss for it). Still, his spirits picked up and his stomach growled as the staff informed him that they still had the second-most expensive bento, the 8,500-yen (US$76) Luxury Demi Glace Sauce Sirloin Yazawa Hamburger Steak Bento, in stock, so that’s what he brought back to the office.

▼ Mr. Sato doesn’t ordinarily stage sophisticated photo shoots for his take-out lunches, but this was definitely a special occasion.

The meal is packaged in a large, glossy black box, and the clerk included both Japanese and Western-style utensils, making this perhaps the most expensive meal in the world that it’s apparently OK to eat with a spork.

Mr. Sato lifted off the lid, and could immediately see why the box needed to be so big. Spread out before him was a world of beef, and he felt like a benevolent, but hungry, god looking down on his beautiful dominion.

You actually get no fewer than three types of beef in the Luxury Demi Glace Sauce Sirloin Yazawa Hamburger Steak Bento (and also rice, vegetables, and pickles). Starting things off is a thigh steak…

…and there’s also a mouthwatering sirloin steak.

These were both delicious, bursting with the freshness and flavor you’d expect from a company that’s first and foremost a premium beef wholesaler.

However, the best part of all, to Mr. Sato’s palate, is the hamburger steak.

As he cut into the tender patty with his chopsticks, Mr. Sato could see the meat was eminently juicy. Once these juices blend with the demi glace sauce, the mixture becomes doubly delicious, and even a single bite is enough to remove any irritation, frustration, or other negative emotions you might be feeling, leaving only blissful culinary rapture behind.

Mr. Sato came away completely satisfied, and more determined than ever to continue finding ways to eat Meat Yazawa’s gourmet bento at least once a year, which isn’t an entirely unreasonable ambition when you consider that its less expensive boxed lunches start at 1,900 yen (US$17).

Shop information
Meat Yazawa (Ebisu branch) / ミート矢澤(恵比寿店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Ebisu 2-11-9, Toko Building 1st floor
東京都渋谷区恵比寿西2-11-9 東光ホワイトビル1F
Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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