YOSHINOYA is the oldest and largest chain of beef bowl restaurants with over 1200 outlets around the world. It was founded by Mr Eikichi Matsuda and named after his hometown in Yoshino-Cho, Osaka. The story of Yoshinoya began in 1899 with a small shop in Nihonbashi Fish Market selling Beef Bowl (or Gyūdon in Japanese). Its secret recipe broth seasoned with savoury herbs and spices together with large, sweet onions, served on a bowl of fluffy Japanese rice, presented a healthy and tasty meal to the fishermen and fish market mongers. Due to their busy and hectic schedules, the fishermen and fish market mongers barely had time to eat. At Yoshinoya, they could step into a bar-like area, place their order at the centre of the bar and receive their bowl soon after. Eating the beef bowl was very convenient as it could also be held in one hand and eaten whilst standing up. The word soon spread about Yoshinoya's beef bowl and it gained huge popularity among the working class for its "cheap, fast and delicious" food. Over the years, Yoshinoya has rapidly expanded around the world, to various countries including Japan, USA, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore. Yoshinoya Singapore was started in 1997 and has since grown from one outlet at Ngee Ann City to 16 outlets island-wide.
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Editor rating summary from: 2 user(s)
Yoshinoya is a great place for relatively cheap and good Japanese food especially for students as they have a student offer.
I love the teriyaki chicken bowl best and always end up ordering the same thing every time I go back. They are very generous with the proportions of meat and rice and it tastes wonderful for the most part. My main complain is that they are slightly stingy with the sauce so towards the end the rice is just dry and flavourless! The vegetables are also only lightly boiled thus does not have much taste and not very delectable. The positive side is that it is healthier since there is no seasoning at all.
The ambience at each location is also very spritely and bright and overall makes you feel a cheerful atmosphere all around. They even have smiley potatoes as a side for your meal if you want even more cheer for the day. These are cooked to crisp perfection and the taste is just right, not too salty! There also used to be criss-crossed fries on the menu sometime back and I believe this was also a hot favourite. It would be great if they brought back this item!
Worth visiting only for it's beef bowl
To be honest, Yoshinoya is a joint worth visiting only for it's beef bowl - without the vegetables. I have not been to Yoshinoya that many times in my life, simply because there's nothing much that attracts me there, except when I have a craving for their beef bowl. Yet the beef bowl in itself is disappointing - they are generous with their serving of rice, but stingy with the beef. And the vegetables, to me, are almost always inedible.
The only reason why I gave a 3-star rating is because it is pretty much value for money. For a price like this, it's virtually impossible to find any other place that sells a tasty bowl of beef rice. The other dishes on the menu are not impressive either - I've tried a couple other dishes and they all fell below my expectations. So don't expect too much from a, well, Japanese fast food joint, if I could call them that.
Service wise, Yoshinoya has always been average. The staff aren't too friendly, but at least they don't serve me with a frown on their face. Conclusion? Yoshinoya is just somewhere you can settle a quick meal, but definitely not a place you would revisit because of the quality of its food.
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User rating summary from: 17 user(s)
Healthy and tasty beef bowl.
I’m a huge fan of Japanese food, but sometimes the price of Japanese cuisine makes me want to pull my hair out and cry bucketful of tears. Thankfully, Yoshinoya is an option that gives me good
The thinly sliced beef is cooked to just the right texture. Enough to tear apart easily without much effort, but not too long that it becomes mushy and tasteless. Taste-wise, it is exquisite as the broth is savoury but naturally sweetened with onions at the same time. Paired with rice, every mouthful is satisfying. For chilli-lovers, try sprinkling some of the chilli powder provided at the side on your beef for a spicy kick.
With an option to change your white rice to brown rice at a minimal fee, you can also ensure that your meal keeps as healthy as possible. Have no fear, the taste isn’t compromised! Indeed, Yoshinoya is “happiness in a bowl”.
Unlike your usual fast food
Yoshinoya – one of the fewer fast food joints that do not serve burgers but rice. It is suitable for those who need to have rice or noodles for their meals, supposedly Japanese. I do not really find Yoshinoya Japanese but if using Japanese rice counts, then it is.
I will usually go for the rice bowls – beef or teriyaki chicken. All rice bowls come with vegetables which I find it a little bland. You can let the counter staff know if you do not want the vegetables. The beef with onions would be one of my favourite followed by the teriyaki chicken rice bowl.
They usually have sauce on top which is rather salty, depending on the outlet you go to actually as some might give more sauce. On top of that, you can choose to add extra ingredients from braised tofu to mushrooms or chili flakes and their chili flakes can be quite spicy. They have delivery service but unless you are having a major craving, otherwise, no. Yoshinoya is unlike your usual fast food, maybe and at most, a try?
It's relatively good... for a fast food joint.
First off, if you really want to settle those Japanese food cravings, go to an actual Japanese restaurant. If you're just looking to get a quick meal and would rather you have a "fuller" meal (rice, noodles, etc.), then Yoshinoya is the place to go.
Their rice dishes are pretty nice, not anything too spectacular though. Vegetables and meat are okay but the meat can be overly chewy sometimes. Their ramen dishes are bland but still decent and bearable. The noodles have a bit of a wiry feel to it and their soup can taste really diluted at times, but all is not lost for they provide soy sauce to give your meal a stronger taste.
Overall, it's quite good for a fast food joint. But I suggest avoiding Yoshinoya if you are seeking some quality Japanese food.
To cut a long story short, Yoshinoya sells great beef bowls. Hands down. However, having said that, the intensity of the seasoning varies with different outlets. The miso soup tends to get a tat too salty. Same goes for their beef bowl.
Other than the beef bowl, other choices such as the teriyaki chicken and the salmon patty are nothing special, which brings me to the point of them being slightly overpriced. They rely too much on sauces and seasoning, so make sure you have a bottle of water at hand.
As for the service…. Functional I would say, nothing particularly bad or great. I would probably head down for a meal when I’m sick of hawker food. Would give it a pass given the choice.
Fast food that is actually healthy??
Yoshinoya has always been one of my favourite places to eat because their food is delicious and rather healthy compared to other fast food such as KFC, McDonalds', etc. I never really knew they were a Japanese fast food chain because the food there was of a food court standard, or perhaps even better.
What I like about Yoshinoya is that they have a healthy menu for health-conscious people like me. Not only that, their food are well-cooked, not too oily nor slathered with condiments. The only pity is that the food is slightly overpriced. However, it still remains a favourite place of mine to dine at whenever I'm out.
Yoshinoya is affordable amongst the string of Japanese chains around. But you'd have to forsake a little on taste here.
I've been to the branches quite a couple of times. And to be really honest, their prices are beginning to feel that tad too exorbitant or what I'm getting, in terms of taste especially. And is it just me, or has their prices rose? Anyway, I'm a huge fan of salmon, but I think the salmon rice bowl does no justice to those poor slaughtered fishes. It's slathered with mayonnaise and with a few stems of broccoli, and a bowl of plain rice. That's about it. It doesn't taste incorrigible, but it just comes across disappointing too. Definitely does not feed any Japanese cravings.
But their beef bowls do appear a lot more promising, and a little mouth does prove to be so too from my experience, albeit not being to much of a beef-lover. I'd say it passes, though not too gloriously.
Mouth watering japanese food at an affordable price
Yoshinoya is DEFINITELY one of my favourite places to dine at. It often offers student meals which are really affordable for a student like me. Example the student offer may include a bowl of Teriyaki beef rice bowl with a drink and pan fried gyoza. I absolutely love the beef at Yoshinoya's as it is not only delicious, tender and extremely juicy. Vegetables like carrots, cabbage and cauliflowers that are decorated with patterns can also be found within the rice bowl. Of course, not to forget, the japanese rice that is super chewy.
Overall, i strongly recommend Yoshinoya as it is very affordable, worth it and healthy, also not forgetting that it is absolutely delicious!
Not worth the price
Each Yoshinoya meal consist of a bowl of rice mixed with either Chicken Teriyaki, Beef or its Filet Patty, together with a small cup of soft drink. For me personally, I don't find it quite worth the price. If you are a student, you will be getting this at around 5 bucks, just like me. Though the price is affordable, I personally disagree with what I'm getting. In addition, I find the sauce for the Chicken Teriyaki can get quite salty at times, while the chicken itself can be quite hard. As for beef bowl, I'm not sure because I personally don't take beef. But 1 thing straight, I dislike the filet patty they provide. A filet patty together with some veggies, are all you get in a bowl and together with a small cup of soft drink, it cost you $5, to me NO! NO!.
Pathetic portion yet at higher price
I seldom visit Yoshinoya nowadays, but in the past I love the Beef Bowl so much until I can have it everyday. The beef broth goes very well with the rice as I find it dry if there's no gravy or soup to go along with it. Although the vegetables on the side is bland, it is not overcooked and I love the crunch. Last time adding beef broth is free of charge, but after charging us it was given small amount, not worth it at all. Plus the rice is not authentic sushi rice.
Student meal is my all time favourite since I'm always on budget. Right now even student meal does not attract me anymore since the pathetic portion and higher price have turned off my appetite. So far the service crews I've met at the counter are polite and nice, probably will return once in a blue moon to see if any improvement is made. Of couse I will be delighted if they are willing to provide free addition of beef broth to keep the customer's heart.
Healthy modern Japanese food
Yoshinoya is good for their set meals with a homemade feel for those too busy to cook and yet do not want the oiliness and unhealthiness of eating out.
The beef with vegetables bowl is definitely a healthy choice with almost no oil. Just a good amount of beef in their special broth and soft boiled vegetable. The beef goes well with the paprika, so sprinkle a dash of it like I always do which gives it a little spice.
I have always relied on Yoshinoya to provide me with good filling lunches whenever this get busy. The rice is usually nice and soft which is a major plus point. They do use Japanese rice but don't expect the high quality ones. The sides are decent as well. I like the pan fried gyoza served with vinegar and ginger although it may tend to be a little too oily at times.
The also have students prices which are quite a good deal. Service is generally good and the outlets are all pretty clean and comfortable to dine in. It's also great for a casual family dinner out as the place is comfortable enough to sit and chat. Yoshinoya is definitely one of favourite casual dining restaurants.