We impulse buy a meal that you’d usually have to plan years in advance.

In Tokyo, it’s not uncommon to see lines of people waiting to get into the most popular restaurants. So you might think that Hiromiya, a yakiniku restaurant in the Akebonobashi neighborhood, doesn’t have such a great reputation, since it doesn’t have a line.

The reason Hiromiya is line-less, though, is because it’s so popular that you need a reservation to get in…and the reservation backlog is currently about two years long.

▼ Hiromiya

But it turns out there’s a way to eat Hiromiya yakiniku with almost no waiting at all. Instead of Akebonobashi, you’ll need to head to Tokyo’s Shinjuku district…

…where there’s a Hiromiya vending machine!

The machine is stocked with the same cuts of meat, and from the same suppliers, as Hiromiya uses at its restaurant. Since customers grill their own meat at their table at yakiniku restaurants, getting meat from Hiromiya’s vending machine and then cooking it at home should provide you with the same delicious flavor as you’d get if you waited two years for a table at the restaurant.

Looking over the options, we saw buttons for wagyu beef short ribs and tenderloin, but what really grabbed our attention was the random Meat Gacha for 2,000 yen (US$15)!

▼ ミートガチャ = Meat Gacha

Much like a gacha capsule toy vending machine, you don’t know exactly what kind of meat you’ll get with the Meat Gacha. The machine does promise, though, that it’ll be something that’s ordinarily priced at at least 2,000 yen. This was a deal too good to pass up, so we tried our luck.

Our single Meat Gacha purchase turned out to be a two-item combo pack, with 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of Premium Seasoned Wagyu Short Ribs and 100 grams of Salted Beef Tongue.

Ordinarily, these short ribs cost 1,944 yen and the beef tongue 1,080, for a combined 3,024, so we’d come out more than 1,000 yen ahead.

The meat comes out of the vending machine frozen, so after thawing it out in the fridge we set up our grill and started cooking.

As the meat cooked, a delicious aroma rose from the grill, and things only got better when it was ready to eat and we took a bite.

Both the short ribs and beef togue were juicy and flavorful, with their pre-seasoning being all that was needed to excite our taste buds. The texture of the meat was fantastic too, neither too firm nor too soft.

All we needed was a bowl of rice to accompany the Hiromi meat, and we had pretty much a perfect meal, especially since we hadn’t had to wait two years to eat it.

Location information
Yakiniku Hiromiya vending machine / 焼肉ヒロミヤ自販機
Located adjacent to Ekoro Park / エコロパーク parking lot
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 6-22-6

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