Let me take you on a journey to my favourite buffet restaurant in Japan. It is called Kushiya Monogatari, and it is a deep fry buffet. It’s just as delicious and oily as you would expect from a deep fry buffet restaurant. It is a chain restaurant, and you should be able to find it in various parts of Japan, sometimes in an Aeon mall.
First of all, the word kushiya means skewer, and monogatari means story. So the restaurant is “the story of the skewer.” Sounds like fun. Let’s go.
How to eat at Kushiya Monogatari
1 Get a table
When you get to the restaurant, you are greeted by the server who bring you to your table. Each table has its own individual pot of oil built right into the table. The server will turn on the oil then leave, and you hardly ever see them again. They might just come back to take away your dishes if they are piled too high. There isn’t even a menu on the table.
Around the pot of oil is a metal grate you will use to drain the cooked skewers. And you’ll see a wooden cup-like dish. This will be where you put the used skewers when you are finished.
The server will ask if you would like the drink bar, which means all you can drink sodas, coffee, etc. They’ll also let you know how much time you have. The time limit is usually around 1.5-2 hours, which is definitely enough to make yourself full.
2 Collect skewers
Once you are settled, the first thing you should do is head over to the bar and take your pick of hundreds…ok around 20-30 types of skewers. There are different meats, seafood, vegetables, and doughs and dumplings. Pile as many as you can onto your plate. But don’t worry, you can come back as often as you want.
There is also rice, curry, a few salads and pasta dishes, and a build-you-own-salad section. But the main event is the skewers.
3 Get the flour and bread crumbs
Drop the skewers off at your table, then go pick up the flour mixture and bread crumbs. You’ll put these in two separate dishes. You’re job is to prepare the skewers to be cooked in the oil. Try not to spill the flour mixture all over the floor like I did.
4 Prepare the skewers
Take the flour and bread crumbs back to your table. Dip the skewers in the flour mixture then roll them in bread crumbs.
5 Drop them into the hot oil
Let them cook while you prepare a few more. You don’t want to put too many skewers in at the same time. They might stick together and take longer to cook.
While you’re waiting for them to cook, you can get something from the drink bar if you took that option.
6 Drain the oil
When they skewers are cooked and nice and golden take them out of the oil, and place them on the metal grate next to the oil pot. This will let some of the oil drain off and also let them cool. You don’t want to take a bite right away.
7 Get the dipping sauce
Next, go over to the sauce counter. You can choose from a few different kinds of dipping sauce. My favourite is the cheese sauce, and the spicy one is good too. Ladle a few flavours into the sauce dish, and take it back to your table.
When the cooked skewers are cooled enough to eat, dip them into a sauce and enjoy! Try out different sauces and different skewers and sauce combinations, and see which you like.
9 Repeat until you are stuffed
Get more skewers, more side dishes, more drinks, more sauce, and do the whole thing again! Keep going.
10 Get dessert
When you are almost too full, but not quite too full for dessert, head over to the dessert table. There are bite-sized pieces of cakes, dishes of puddings, and the centre piece – a three-tired chocolate fountain. The chocolate fountain is usually regular milk chocolate, but there are seasonal events throughout the year when it changes. A few I have seen are white chocolate, strawberry chocolate, and green tea chocolate. There are marshmallows, cookie sticks, and cream puffs to dip in the chocolate fountain. There is also a soft serve ice cream machine with different toppings to choose from.
About Kushiya Monogatari
The restaurant is a chain, so it is available in different parts of Japan. It’s not too expensive either. Around 1500 for lunch and 2000 for dinner, and it includes all the food. Drink bar is a couple hundred yen more but also all you can drink. Here is the Japanese website. If you are in Japan, and looking for a fun restaurant, I recommend trying the deep fry buffet in Japan. Kushiya Monogatari is both delicious and a fun experience.
A fun side note: In Japanese, the work ku means the number nine, and the word shi means the number four. Thus, the date September 4, 9/4, sounds like kushi. So on September 4 they have a bit of a promotion.
Does this look like a restaurant you would like to try? Have you been to Kushiya Monogatari before? Let me know what you think of this deep fry buffet restaurant in Japan in the comment section below!
›› Another fun and delicious thing you can eat in Japan in the comfort of your own home is nabe!