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Cheap restaurant / eat-in fastfood chain - rating/opinion

Cheap restaurant / eat-in fastfood chain - rating/opinion

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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:04 pm
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Cheap restaurant / eat-in fastfood chain - rating/opinion

What places do you like/dislike?

Here's my breakdown...

GOOD
Hidakaya
MOS - marginally good
Ringer Hut's myChanpon locations
Gyoza no Oushou - oily and most things mediocre, but great gyoza
Gindaco (more of a food court place)
Kamakura Pasta

OKAY
Lotteria
Ringer Hut (but quality varies by location)
KFC
Coco's
Royal Host - expensive; maybe does not belong on this list.
GoGo Curry
Denny's
Tokyo Soup Stock - not a bad choice if you want something light, but nothing inspiring about their soup

POOR
Saizeriya
Sukiya
Coco Ichibanya
McDonald
Gusto - or maybe lower end of 'okay'

DON'T KNOW / HAVE NOT BEEN IN A WHILE
Gyoza no Manshu
Burger King
Matsuya
Jonathan
Subway
Jolly Pasta
Capricciosa

(I did not include ramen chains.)
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Old Jan 19, 19, 5:20 am
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Guilty pleasures
MOS
Tokyo Soup Stock
Coco Ichibanya
Royal Host
Jonathan's
Denny's

Bouche-trous
McDonald's
Burger King

Retch
Everything else on your list, and standing within 50 meters of a First Kitchen.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 5:45 am
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Gindaco is always good value for the type. If you're not into noodle dishes, Ringer Hut is just OK. Coco Ichibanya is good for reliable/hot curry, along with Matsuya for the same, plus good meat bowls (Yoshinoya is merely OK here) I like some Denny's branches for the ambience, their coffee pot special is good. I've been to an Ootoya once and although the food is good for the price, it can get more hectic than Denny's.

McDonalds did have a great egg-burger, so I'd rate them OK if it becomes a regular item.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 6:24 am
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CoCoIchi is by far the best. Critics likely eat sushiin the US.

One can quickly discern from affinity for MOS burger what one expects from a burger.

Soup Stock is quote reasonable if not slightly irritating with a customer fed register.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 8:58 am
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I once stayed in a hotel that had a Soup Stock next door. It was a handy place for a light supper after a long day of walking around Tokyo.
The Tokyu Stay in Gotanda (and a couple of others, I think) uses Jonathan's as its breakfast place, and in that sense, it was OK, especially with the all-you-can-drink coffee bar.
I've never tried Primo's pastas, but they have a wide selection of pastries and decent coffee for a Continental breakfast.
I ate at a Saizeriya for the first time this past summer when a friend in Tsukuba insisted on meeting there for dinner. I was not impressed.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 11:56 am
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Saizeriya is proof positive that it's possible to find awful food in Tokyo.

I forgot about Primo. Haven't had it in a while. Maybe I will try it when I go back next month.

I still can't decide on Gusto. I've come out of there at times thinking it was okay for what it is. Few times I remember thinking never again.

Royal Host is like 50% pricier than other famiresu, yet maybe only 10% better in taste. Oddly, I gravitate to them over other famiresu's because their price is higher, which must condition my mind to think it's a more appealing choice. Yet every time I go, I feel ripped off. A small kid's set plus beverage is 1000yen. You do get 10% off with Richmond Hotel membership (free), though.

I just think famiresu generally just sucks. As a kid, going to famiresu was some kind of a special treat. That thrill is certainly long gone. For me, the only reason to go to famiresu is if I need a place to eat at 10.30pm or 7.30a out in the burbs. And why do famiresu drink bar beverages all have to taste so bad? Do all famiresu purposely install cheap beverage dispensing machines, or do they water down the concentrates? The same beverages that come out of machines at ANA lounge taste so much better. Anyways, other than Royal Host, Denny's and Coco's are alright.

The gyoza / fried rice / ramen genre seems to have high bar in Jpn. Everything at Hidakaya is pretty tasty. Their ramen is surprisingly satisfying, their gyoza almost on par with Oushou's. I'd hate to find out how much sodium is in there.

I forgot about mjm's devotion to Cocoichi (he probably works for them). I guess we'll never agree on that one.

I guess Tokyo Soup Stock gets high marks here. To me, they're alright. You go there for the soup and I'm not really a rice person, but somehow it's their rice that ends up impressing more than their soup.

Gindaco never fails. People talk about Osaka having great takoyaki, but I've had none better than Gindaco. Their onion one with the daikon-oroshi dip really hits the spot without the heavy after-taste. Last month I had something I'd not seen before at Gindaco... one with shrimp and mayo sauce poured on it. I tried it, was excellent. But the thing had a heavy after-taste, and I didn't feel great afterwards.

I see more and more people eating ramen at Mister Donuts. Must be alright if everyone's ordering it.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 1:16 pm
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Does Hageten qualify as a chain? I like the Kohageten branch in Ginza, but havenít been to any of the others as the Ginza Kohageten is so gosh darn convenient. A visit there is definitely lighter on the purse than going to MosBurger.

Tonkatsu Wako is fine for us when trying to find a place to eat full of uninspiring options (like Odaiba)

When I didnít eat meat, Hanamaru for Udon was a dependable option. Better than some places that charge more (like the udon restaurant at the Sanuki Club in Azabu Jubba)

evergrn, Iíve seen lots of people eating at Ginza Lion Halls (not just in Ginza, I end up at different locations for this ďbeer hallĒ every now and again). Doesnít mean the food is alright - another nominee for the ďretchĒ category.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
I see more and more people eating ramen at Mister Donuts. Must be alright if everyone's ordering it.
Not necessarily. They might be the same people who eat at Saizeriya.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:11 pm
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Did KFC actaully improve their fried chicken? I just remember having it a decade ago (in Shinjuku) and the not so crispy, way too much breading fried chicken made me never want to try it again, or that's just how Japanese like their fried chicken. I don't like KFC in the US, but KFC in Japan was another level of terrible.

I think all those gyudon places are all right, or maybe my standards are just not that high LOL. I like Saizeriya for some of their dishes.

In any case, Japanese cheap restaurants and fast food chains are still way better than what's available in the US, minus In-And-Out for those do eat burgers on the west coast. I mean, can you even find cheap restaurants or fast food chains that are remotely decent in the US? Japan and other parts of Asia have it good.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by mjm View Post
One can quickly discern from affinity for MOS burger what one expects from a burger.
I think they're in different categories - like Japanese curry rice and Indian food. Liking one doesn't preclude you from appreciating the other.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by LCUF View Post
Did KFC actaully improve their fried chicken? I just remember having it a decade ago (in Shinjuku) and the not so crispy, way too much breading fried chicken made me never want to try it again, or that's just how Japanese like their fried chicken. I don't like KFC in the US, but KFC in Japan was another level of terrible.

I think all those gyudon places are all right, or maybe my standards are just not that high LOL. I like Saizeriya for some of their dishes.

In any case, Japanese cheap restaurants and fast food chains are still way better than what's available in the US, minus In-And-Out for those do eat burgers on the west coast. I mean, can you even find cheap restaurants or fast food chains that are remotely decent in the US? Japan and other parts of Asia have it good.
For late-night Tokyo wanderings, when I donít want mayonnaise kinpira gobou or spaghetti Š la butter mayonnaise from a konbini, ya, Matsuya. MOS Burger for a nuanced 季節限定 burger, and a newfangled taiyaki chain from the Kansai area.

If weíre bringing other countries into the mix (for whatever reason), letís perpetuate and say Culverís is good, and Wagamama sucks.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
Does Hageten qualify as a chain? I like the Kohageten branch in Ginza, but havenít been to any of the others as the Ginza Kohageten is so gosh darn convenient. A visit there is definitely lighter on the purse than going to MosBurger.

Tonkatsu Wako is fine for us when trying to find a place to eat full of uninspiring options (like Odaiba)
.
Iíve actually never heard of Hageten, but then again thereíre certainly many chains out there that Iím not familiar with. I guess what weíre discussing here is a recognizable budget dining brand that would have maybe have 50+ locations.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by LCUF View Post
Did KFC actaully improve their fried chicken? I just remember having it a decade ago (in Shinjuku) and the not so crispy, way too much breading fried chicken made me never want to try it again, or that's just how Japanese like their fried chicken. I don't like KFC in the US, but KFC in Japan was another level of terrible.
.
I actually think KFC in Jpn is Pretty good. In US, itís hit or miss. In Jpn, I find that most of the time the quality is sort of like US KFC at its best.

Did you get the Original or Crispy?
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Old Jan 19, 19, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
letís perpetuate
Color me perplexuated.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
I actually think KFC in Jpn is Pretty good. In US, itís hit or miss. In Jpn, I find that most of the time the quality is sort of like US KFC at its best.

Did you get the Original or Crispy?
Too long ago to remember what I got exactly but it was totally not what I expectd. I guess I will have to give KFC in Japan a try again.
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