Yakiniku buffet catered to tour groups equals cheap food for all04 April, 2013 by Chad
With almost all of its branches being located in remote rest stops in the Kansai, it was only through sheer luck that we managed to come across an outlet of this yakiniku buffet chain called Sakon in Osaka Port. By being located in obscure locations and catering primarily to large tour groups, Sakon manages to offer mindbogglingly cheap prices and surprisingly awesome cuts.
Sakon is a “viking”, which is just Wasei-eigo for buffet. If judging by the rest of our traveler’s keenness to give it another visit, it was unanimously one of the best dining experiences this past trip. Sakon offers an impressive selection of yakiniku, sides and desserts. Most of the outlets also offer a “healthy” menu which includes a selection of sushi as well. Let’s have one of Sakon’s lovely staff introduce the menu.
The is a fair variety of each, sufficient to cover all the usual faves. Perhaps the chief attraction at Sakon however are the almost ridiculous prices. The yakiniku lunch buffet costs just 1,200 yen (SGD$16) on weekdays and 1,480 yen (SGD$20) on weekends, while dinner is a flat 1,600 yen (SGD$21). This is a bit cheaper than many other buffets in Japan, and a whole lot cheaper than yakiniku restaurants.
Most amazingly though is the level of quality at Sakon, which has not been the least compromised. Of course the best of cuts are served at Sakon’s deluxe “Shimofuri An” restaurant at Izumi, but the ones served at the buffet are still pretty darn good. Sakon’s main audience is of course, fussy tourists. It is perhaps this maximizing of quality and value, that has allowed Sakon to stay in business for close to 50 years. Hopefully, they continue to endure, since we definitely see ourselves paying them another visit.
There is a certain old world charm to Osaka, and Sakon especially follows this trend. I would never had imagine finding such a great buffet experience for such prices in this day and age. Unfortunately, the remoteness of their branches makes a visit to any of their outlets rather difficult to plan into a trip, though you may be brought over to one if visiting Osaka by tour.
Looking at the list of available branches, the ones at Izumi are most accessible if you’re coming by the Kansai International Airport alternatively, the one we visited at Osaka Port would be the most convenient, even though there is nothing else of interest in the vicinity.
Sakon Viking (Original)
Asia and Pacific Trade Center (ATC) Building, O’s South Wing 2F
Nankokita, Suminoe Ward
Osaka, Japan 559-0034
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