Rub shoulders with authorities officers at this low-cost eatery that feeds the ministry.
We’ve been consuming off the overwhelmed path just lately, having fun with a style of staff food at cafeterias that serve employees but are also open to the public.
These hidden gems are often solely identified by individuals who work and eat there, however we’ve been sharing our secret finds with you and now we’ve got one other nice discovery, over on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Tokyo.
As the executive company that oversees every part food-related in Japan, we had excessive hopes that this employees cafeteria can be one in every of our greatest finds but, so we despatched our reporter Mr Sato over to the ministry in Kasumigaseki to test it out.
Restraining the urge to scream “Give me all of your scrumptious meals!” as he walked via the doorway to the constructing, Mr Sato placed on his finest manners, quietly telling the safety guard “Shokudo ni ikitain desu kedo” (“I’d wish to go to the cafeteria“).
The guard informed him to go over to the reception desk, the place Mr Sato crammed out a kind along with his identify and call data and confirmed employees his license as a type of picture I.D.
He was then handed a cross (pictured beneath), which reads: “Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Non permanent Go (Cafeteria)“, with directions in small print to solely use the employees cafeteria and return the cross within the returns field within the lobby when leaving.
The cafeteria, named “Afu Shokudo” is positioned on the primary basement flooring of the constructing, so Mr Sato headed downstairs, the place he was greeted by this humble entrance.
▼ Trying on the signboard, Mr Sato may hear his abdomen start to rumble in any respect the implausible meal choices.
In keeping with the restaurant’s official web site, the meals right here use domestically sourced elements as a lot as attainable, with a deal with produce from Fukushima Prefecture. Two sorts of every day set meals are supplied all through the working week, from Monday to Friday, and the menu contains noodles, rice bowls, curries, and specials that change weekly.
▼ The rice at present used within the meals has been freshly harvested from Fukushima Prefecture.
As at all times with employees cafeterias, it’s finest to go to exterior of peak lunchtime hours to keep away from lengthy queues of staff, so Mr Sato suggests stopping by both earlier than 12 p.m. or after 1 p.m. Mr Sato visited earlier than noon and didn’t have to attend to be served the Particular Afu Set Meal that he chosen and paid for on the merchandising machine.
▼ When you select and pay on your meal on the machine, you’ll obtain this meal ticket, which you’ll want handy to employees on the kitchen counter.
Mr Sato’s Particular Afu Set Meal was priced at 1,200 yen and restricted to solely 30 servings per day. When he visited, the set meal was the Fukushima Hayama Plateau Butadon, which comes with butadon (pork rice bowl), together with two small sides of your alternative and soup.
Hayama Plateau Pork is a Fukushima model of pork produced solely by designated farms inside the prefecture. Raised with fastidiously chosen, purely plant-based feed, which is claimed to suppress the odour of the meat, it is a premium model that’s gaining a popularity for being notably scrumptious.
When Mr Sato tried the meat, he was impressed by its comfortable texture, and amazed on the full absence of any pork odour. Regardless of being odourless, it had a powerful and scrumptious flavour, and was properly complemented by the candy soy-based sauce and delicate seasoning.
Your entire meal was well-balanced and left Mr Sato feeling recharged in a wholesome approach. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries actually has a popularity to uphold because the protectors and promoters of native produce, and Mr Sato may really feel that sense of delight and dedication within the fastidiously designed meals supplied on the employees cafeteria.
After ending his meal, Mr Sato stumbled throughout a retailer close to the cafeteria, and he couldn’t resist shopping for a T-Shirt for two,900 yen as a memento of his go to to the ministry.
▼ “No rice no life” was printed on the entrance of the T-Shirt, and on the again …
▼ …the kanji for “rice”!
It’s a enjoyable and strange shirt that’ll actually flip heads on the road, however Mr Sato plans to put on it when he subsequent visits the cafeteria so as to add an additional sprint of enjoyable to his meal. With lunch units beginning at simply 650 yen, Mr Sato would eat right here day by day if he was within the neighbourhood, however for now he’ll must make do with the school cafeteria for adults in Shinjuku.
Afu Shokudo / あふ食堂
Handle: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kasumigaseki 1-2-1, Tokyo Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Foremost Constructing B1F
Hours: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays