A reminder to eat whatever you love, even if it brands you a dork. 

Gyudon, or beef bowls, are hugely popular in Japan, with a number of chains like Yoshinoya, Matsuya and Sukiya specialising in them. Our own reporter Seiji Nakazawa is a huge fan of them, and he remembers when Sukiya made the revolutionary decision to add cheese to one of their beef bowls, making it the only chain to serve Cheese Gyudon, or “Chigyu“, to use its locally abbreviated name.

Seiji quickly became a huge fan of Chigyu, eating it whenever he could. However, back in 2017, his beloved choice of beef bowl became the subject of controversy, when Sega CCO Toshihiro Nagoshi publicly commented that Puyo Puyo game players “look like they eat cheese beef bowls. It’d already been a bit of a thing online to label dorky looking men as “Chigyu“, due to their supposed beef bowl preference, but this comment from a high-profile Sega exec made the derogatory stereotype even more widely known, leading Seiji to feel too self-conscious to order it.

It’s been a while now since Seiji last ate Chigyu, but the other week, when someone told him life was short so he should do what he wants and ignore those who might not like it, he decided to head down to Sukiya once again.

Scanning the menu, there it was, the Melty Three-Cheese Beef Bowl, only now it was more expensive than when he’d last seen it, priced at 580 yen (US$4.04).

It still looked as good as ever, though, so he boldly ordered it, and when he received it he found there’d been another change since his last visit, as the beef bowl came with a bottle of  Tabasco sauce.

“Is it possible for Tabasco to taste good in a Chigyu?” Seiji wondered, as he didn’t think the sauce would go well with something containing Japanese-style soup stock. Still, he was now a brave new man facing his fears, so decided to try it anyway.

It was a decision he didn’t regret, as the combination of cheesy beef and Tabasco turned out to be super delicious. The taste of the Japanese-style soup stock had been dialled down beneath the cheese so there was no problem with this pairing, and he ended up splashing dollops of Tabasco over the rest of the bowl.

Feeling as if he’d unlocked another level of deliciousness to the already delicious Chigyu, it didn’t take long for Seiji to gobble up the entire thing.

It tasted even better than he’d remembered, and after finishing the bowl, he couldn’t help but wonder why a dish this good became such a derogatory slur against dorky looking men.

Beef and cheese on rice is a cheap meal that has wide-ranging appeal, regardless of how you look or whatever labels members of society want to place on you. If he’s branded a Chigyu by the haters just for liking a delicious dish, then so be it. In the end, that’s their problem, not his, and he encourages everyone to be bold and embrace the Chigyu. You’ll be glad you did.

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 ]