Our reporter tests a popular Japanese chain store against a machine.

Many Japanese vending machines only contain drinks, but they can also contain anything from oysters to who knows what, and one day our Japanese-language reporter Yuichiro Wasai happened upon one from vendor Active Deli that sells frozen yakiniku beef bowls.

▼ It’s made with beef from Japan’s Kyushu region.

He could have just eaten it by himself, but he realized it’d be more interesting to pit it against a rival. That’s when he thought of Yoshinoya, the popular Japanese chain restaurant known for their delicious and affordable beef bowls.

▼ Left: vending machine, right: Yoshinoya

Yoshinoya just happened to be selling yakiniku beef bowls for a limited time for 624 yen (US$4.47) each, and the vending machine bowl was priced at 900 yen.

In terms of price, Yoshinoya already won, but what about portion size?

As you can see, Yoshinoya also wins in terms of volume. The vending machine version has more vegetables. It’s a feast for the eyes, but Yuichiro wasn’t sure if it could fill satisfy his stomach. He checked under the beef to make sure there wasn’t a hidden second layer, but alas.

▼ He also found that the size of each piece was rather small.

And what about taste, arguably the most important factor? Well, Yuichiro found the vending machine bowl’s sauce to be rather sweet, while Yoshinoya’s had the perfect amount of sweet and savory.

▼ The green onions give it great flavor, too.

So, you guessed it, Yoshinoya wins this round again. Yuichiro did have to admit Active Deli’s sauce’s sweetness paired well with the rice, though.

▼ If you love sweeter marinades, this would be perfect for you.

And so Yoshinoya took home the crown across the board. Yuichiro was a bit disappointed with the vending machine version overall, but it’s still an interesting find for vending machine buffs. You can’t go wrong with Yoshinoya, though, especially if it’s one of their wagyu bowls!

Photos © SoraNews24
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