Dango deal is a fun cultural experience and a tasty bargain.

Going out to a restaurant in Japan doesn’t always mean you won’t be cooking. Two of the country’s best-loved meals, yakiniku and nabe hot pot, involve grilling or stewing the ingredients yourself so that you can enjoy them as soon as they’re ready to eat.

And now there’s an izakaya pub in Tokyo where you can cook your own dessert right on your table.

The Shinjuku branch of izakaya chain Kita no Kazoku recently introduced a new all-you-can-eat grilled dango mochi dumpling offer, which is great news for Japanese dessert fans since the traditional sweets are way too good to stop at just one. 880 yen (US$8.50) per person gets you all you can eat for 60 minutes, so our ace reporter Mr. Sato went to try it out.

Each serving gets you a plate of eight dango on four skewers, and once you’ve finished them off you can get another plate (with the cut-off for refills coming at the 45-minute mark). You also get a dish of mitarashian, a sweet soy/red bean glaze, to season them with, and, most importantly, a grill placed on your table.

Making the dango dessert is simple and fun. The grilling comes first, and the ideal is to get just a touch of crispness on the mochi’s outer edge, while leaving the inside nice and chewy. You’ll need to rotate the skewer after each side cooks in order to achieve this, but be careful not to pull or twist the stick too strongly or suddenly, since that can cause the dumpling to tear.

▼ Especially for your first batch, when the grill hasn’t reached its absolute hottest temperature yet, you’ll want to use a delicate touch.

Once you’ve achieved a crisp outer layer all around, it’s time to dip the skewer into the mitarashian glaze…

…and dig in, though you’ll probably want to give the dumplings a few moments to cool down, and bite into them instead of swallowing them whole, since the core will be piping hot.

▼ Round 2!

While the standard glaze is great stuff, for an additional 100 yen you can upgrade to extra dango fixings like anko sweet red bean paste and kinako roasted soybean powder, anko and butter, or vanilla ice cream, and 150 yen will also get you a stack of mini pancakes of the kind used in the traditional Japanese dessert called dorayaki.

▼ Anko and butter dango, ready to delight the taste buds

▼ An innovative open-face half dorayaki, made by Kita no Kazoku staff

Two things to note about the all-you-can dango plan: First, it’s only offered for parties of two people or more, and only between noon and 6 p.m. But if you and a buddy are looking to satisfy your late-afternoon sweet tooth, this is a memorable way to do it.

Restaurant information
Kita no Kazoku (Shinjuku Yasuuni-dori branch) / 北の家族(新宿靖国通り店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-16-3, 4th floot
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-16-3 4F
Open noon-8 p.m.

Top image: PR Times
Insert images: SoraNews24, PR Times
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]