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Bikkuri Donkey is wild, wild, western style cooking!

By: KC

Date Posted: 2001-08-30

Long gone are the days when the local kids and youngsters craved after their favorite snacks of "hirayachi" (vegetable crape with miso inside) and "somen champuru" (thin buckweat noodles). If you ask now, most school age children will name "Hamburger Steak" as one of their favorites, both at school and at home. Many adults have also acquired a taste for the hamburger or meat loaf as the nation's tastes and dietary habits have been moving towards western ways, for better or for worse.

Bikkuri Donkey is a restaurant franchise that has recently take the nation by storm. Based in Tokyo, the chain opened its first outlet on Okinawa in Ameku, Naha City, a few months ago, and a second shop opened a few weeks ago in Hamby, Chatan on Hwy 58.

Bikkuri Donkey’s building is easy to recognize. Its imitated wooden dark brown walls and somehow out of place “Wild West” look easily catches the attention of passing drivers. The restaurant is actually a place for families to eat. It is not a hamburger joint but a real restaurant with service and an extensive menu of minced meat steaks and other dishes.

The restaurant looks like a wooden hideout shack for cowboys and drifters of America's old west, so it's no wonder Bikkuri Donkey became a favorite fun spot for families, couples, and groups of friends to eat dinner or lunch.

However, there is more to Bikkuri Donkey than just looks. Many people enjoy its atmosphere, reasonable prices, and healthy dishes. Once a customer steps inside, the first thing he or she notices is that the wooden interior appears to be handmade. The lamps at each table are all unique and different, casting warm, yellow light on the tables to create an intimate atmosphere. In many places inside, there are old-style decorative items such as buckets, old documents, and toys.

Bikkuri Donkey’s reasonable prices delight families who are on a tight budget. The menu consists of “Burg Dishes” (hamburger steak with a topping such as egg or cheese) that cost from ¥790 yen to ¥890 and include rice and salad. Drinks are also low-priced; house blend coffee and teas costs only ¥90.

The basis for all the dishes is a hamburger steak. To better retain the beef's natural flavor, no artificial food additives and preservatives are used in preparing the meals. Even the cheese and milk used as ingredients are made at the parent company's plant.

The menu also contains seasonal items that change a few times a year. This summer’s special is “Kimchi (Korean Pickles) Hamburger Steak.”

Bikkuri Donkey, Chatan, is located on Highway 58, about a quarter mile north from Camp Foster’s Kitamae Gate. The Chatan branch is the 249th restaurant in the chain that covers Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Free parking is available in front. Payment is accepted in yen only. For more information, call 098-936-4129.

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