We eat an exclusive menu item inside the National Diet Building.

Back in 2013, Japanese beef bowl chain Yoshinoya opened a special branch in a very unusual and exclusive location: inside the National Diet Building.

While the words “Yoshinoya” and “diet” don’t usually go together, in Japan the Diet Building is where the National Diet — both the lower House of Representatives and the upper House of Councillors — meet, making it the centre of Japanese politics. And in honour of this very honourable location, Yoshinoya created a very honourable beef bowl exclusively for its very honourable customers, called the “Wagyu Gyuju”.

Since it first appeared on the menu at the Diet Building branch, Yoshinoya also released it at Haneda Airport, making these the only two locations where you can enjoy the luxury beef rice box. So what does this hard-to-find meal taste like? Well, our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa was able to eat at Yoshinoya’s Diet branch during a tour there (it’s only open to politicians and visitors on guided tours), so he has all the details on the meal, starting with what’s inside it.

Unlike regular Yoshinoya beef bowls, which usually contain imported beef, the meat in this luxury box is locally produced wagyu. This high-quality beef accounts for the meal’s relatively high price of 1,527 yen (US$13.79), but hey — only the best will do when it comes to feeding the country’s jet-setters and highfaluting politicians.

▼ The meal is served with a side of pickles and a generous topping of finely sliced long green onions.

Another noticeable difference is the thickness of the meat, which allows you to enjoy its juicy softness. Rather than tasting beef fat, as you would in a regular Yoshinoya beef bowl, the Wagyu Gyuju allows you to appreciate the sweetness and umami of the beef itself.

▼ It’s like all the regular beef bowl ingredients have been ranked up, including the sauce, which has a sweetness similar to a rich sukiyaki sauce.

The meal was utterly delicious, providing great value for money, and a fun way for commoners like Seiji and Go to get a taste of luxury beef enjoyed by Japanese politicians.

▼ If Go’s not talking, you know it’s goooood.

After tasting Yoshinoya’s luxury menu item, our two reporters are keen to eat it again, and the good news is they’ll soon be able to, as the chain has just announced they’ve released a new version of the Wagyu Gyuju, called the “Kuroge Wagyuju”, at all their outlets across Japan from August 12.

▼ The new “revised” version, priced at 1,419 yen, will be slightly cheaper than the one at the Diet.

Image: Press Release

It’ll only be available in limited quantities, though, so if you’d like a taste of Yoshinoya wagyu, be sure to pop in quick from 12 August. Failing that, you’ll have to wait for the Yoshinoya x Wagyu Mafia collaboration to roll around again, or settle for their ready-to-eat beef bowls in cans!

Photos © SoraNews24 unless otherwise stated
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]