Gyushima starts home visit Japanese BBQ in Surabaya

For many Indonesians, hearing the sound of nasi goreng, or fried rice, food carts sauntering around the neighborhood is a typical, everyday experience. But if you happen to live in Surabaya, the capital of East Java, nasi goreng might not be the only food making home visits these days.

To meat-starved Surabayans who’ve been missing the sound of sizzling meat because of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, Gyushima is your salvation. This home visit Japanese BBQ brings the all-you-can-eat (AYCE) dining experience straight to your home, giving families a chance to have their own meat banquets without having to brave the outside world.

All-you-can-eat Japanese BBQ experience at home

gyushima surabaya AYCE BBQ
Diners gathered around Gyushima’s food truck
Image credit: @yosiholic

For foodies like us, AYCE BBQs aren’t just a type of food, they’re a religious experience. Of all the things we’ve had to give up because of COVID-19, it’s one of the most painful so we’re very happy to hear Gyushima and their food trucks are trying to keep the tradition alive.

As of writing, Gyushima offers two packages, Regular (Rp. 150,000, ~USD10.09) with just galbi, or Korean ribs, and Premium (Rp. 195,000, ~USD13.11) with the addition of saikoro steak cubes and sirloin.

meat side dishes gyushima
Selection of meat and side dishes at Gyushima
Image credit: @jackmagnifico

Both packages come with a variety of side dishes, including lettuce, kimchi, Japanese omelette tamagoyaki, and garlic rice as carbs. It’s more of a hybrid between Korean and Japanese BBQ as you can wrap your meat in lettuce together with kimchi just like in your favorite K-dramas.

The usual AYCE rules apply here, with a time limit of 90 minutes and additional charges for leftovers. Don’t worry, Gyushima also has strict health protocols in place with the servers wearing facemasks and disposable gloves and having their temperatures checked beforehand.

gyushima food truck
Gyushima’s food truck just after being set up
Image credit: @candicemichele_s

While there are no additional fees, there’s a minimum order for 4 people if you live in western Surabaya and 6 people for those in other parts of the city. And since you’re going to be eating outdoors, dining service might have to be moved indoors or worse, stopped, if the weather decides to be unfriendly.

All the above limitations are expected, given Gyushima uses customized auto-rickshaws as their food trucks that are provided by Streetbox. With dining in still a big no-no, Streetbox and Gyushima deserve praise for providing a reasonable facsimile of our pre-COVID dining experience.

Unorthodox dining experiences during COVID-19

kedai mie 250 food truck
Kedai Mie 250 food truck also provided by Streetbox
Image credit:

We admit, eating Japanese BBQs in plastic stools like the ones you’d find in roadside chicken noodle stalls isn’t ideal but we are living in a pretty surreal world right now. For months, ready-to-cook meals and frozen snacks have been the norm so home visit all-you-can-eat BBQ seems like the natural next step forward.

Other than Gyushima, Streetbox is also the driving force behind other food truck businesses in Surabaya. For a more contemporary twist on the classic chicken noodles, try out Kedai Mie 250’s spicy Korean fusion chicken noodles, also available for an office visit if you’re having a little get-together at work.

With the situation unlikely to improve until next year, we won’t be surprised if this creative concept starts to spread to more cities in the country.

Gyushima brings the AYCE BBQ experience to Surabaya homes

If you’re currently living in Surabaya and want to have a small AYCE dining party of your own, drop by Gyushima’s Instagram page and make your reservation. Visits are divided into three slots at 12PM, 5PM, and 8PM and reservations have to be made at least 2-3 days beforehand.

We can’t imagine a better way to celebrate a relative’s birthday than surprising them with an AYCE Japanese BBQ at home.

For more things to help you stay sane during COVID-19, check out these stories:

Cover image adapted from @gyushima and @yosiholic

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