Saturday, 2 May 2015

Fancy Ordering a Meal from a Ticketing Machine?

Nearby to where the apartment we stayed in, we found a gem of a soba shop. It is one of those ticketing machine type outlet. They are called "One Coin" outlets as one can get a decent meal for 500 Yen which is one coin.

We had seen some of these ticketing machine restaurants where one orders their meal from a ticketing machine and hands over the tickets to the kitchen - saves on manpower I guess. But all the ticketing machines are in Japanese so for the first few days, we did not dare of venture in - just watching from the outside. But one day, we were walking out for breakfast when we chanced upon Komoro Soba, just minutes walk from our apartment.

We walked in to a rather empty restaurant and the timing was good…

The ticketing machine is right by the entrance but alas, it was all in Japanese. But the owner/chef was nice enough to come from behind the counter to help us order.

He gave us some English menu and helped us pick from the machine.

Not only soba but also some rice bowls.

The kitchen is at the back and visible from the entrance. The restaurant is made up of standing room as well as sit down tables.

Slaving behind the kitchen is the owner and another chef.

While the owner chef prepares the soba where the boiling pots are…

The other younger chef fries the tempura.

Every table has a set of condiments…

The left one with sliced leeks.

And the right container with some pickled onion - I understand it to be onions pickled in vinegar. Not something I would like to try though.

Then the food came! The kitsune soba - fried bean curd. Comes with a quails egg on the side and crispy tempura too. The bean curd was fried to perfection, soft to the bite and slightly sweet.

Timothy orders the karaage soba - deep fried chicken. Good chef fry the chicken just nice - moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. This was good! The soba is firm to the bite and we all had to do it the Japanese way... slurping of course!

I had the sliced pork soba. We call it sam cham bak - three layer pork. The broth was rich and the addition of the leek made it even more fragrant.

Justin ordered two bowls - the tempura soba...

And the tonkatsu-don - deep fried pork cutlet with rice. The tonkatsu is as authentic as it gets - juicy pieces of pork cutlets expertly fried.

I had mine with extra leeks - I love the leeks and the soba soup base with plenty of child flakes. As we were eating, more diners came in and had to content to standing room. But we were lucky to be seated for our meal.

The family here waiting for their food...

We made it back there again - I really like the soba.

Despite the grim look on his face, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Komoro Soba. When we told the owner we wanted 5 orders, he was rather surprised. 4 persons ordering 5 orders - this was the case in several restaurants with Justin eating double the portions.

P.S. - Thanks to my friend Lionel who pointed out that these ticketing machines serve another purpose on top of improving productivity and mitigating manpower shortages, they are also used to account for sales and to tally daily sales.

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