Budgeted but uncompromising (500円の美味しいオムライス)


Preparing for my PhD thesis defense took a toll on my self-esteem and emotional health. There were times when I felt like maybe the PhD is not for me. As much as I tried to clear what stressed me by regularly doing my hobbies and consistently being physically active, the lingering shadow of the anxiety that comes with the requirements of a PhD degree was just too powerful. One of those days, I decided to just not come to my laboratory and spend a day out to breathe, relax and eat out.

At a point where the finances were not guaranteed, I opted to avoid eating out. In one of my random walks along the main downtown street of Shijo, I noticed a board full of pictures of omelette rice (termed omuraisu オムライス in Japan). I love omuraisu because of the fluffy egg and sweet, tangy rice seasoned with tomato ketchup and bits of chicken and vegetables. What got my attention more was the 500yen price tag. Seriously, 500 yen meal that does not come in  a styrofoam or plastic tray is uncommon. The name of the restaurant also got my attention so definitely it was a listed as a place to try.

The name of the place is 本日のおすすめ which literally translates to “Today’s recommendation.” Maybe you’re thinking what I am thinking. Weird right (especially for a place that serves ONLY omuraisu)? Apparently, this place is a 居酒屋  drinking place at night that serves sashimi. Now, that name makes sense, I guess. I don’t/rarely drink so I’m not keen on going here at night but for lunch with omuraisu, its a different story.

This place is a no pretense place although the entrance feels really “drinking restaurant-ish” with the waterfall wall and warm lighting inside. You sit, you’re given water and a menu. In a way, I am a purist so I decide to get the omuraisu without toppings. There are two choices of rice: ketchup rice and butter rice. There are 3 main sauces here: demiglace sauce, ketchup sauce, and white sauce. The ketchup sauce offers a sharp tang that emphasizes the tomato rice. The demiglace sauce is tangy but more savory which provides that meatiness to the egg and rice. Lastly, the white sauce is creamy and buttery which provides a background where the ketchup rice can shine.

For this particular order, I had the ketchup rice-medium sized, and 3 sauces. I recommend getting the ketchup rice as it goes really well with all the sauces despite the tomato redundancy. Trust me! To keep with the main theme of saving money, I didn’t order any toppings which included stewed beef and fried pork cutlet, among a few others. Having the 3 sauces could be fun; mixing and matching sauces like playing with your food. The egg is fluffy yet runny but not raw. For 500yen, you might feel like you hit the lottery but for me, I tend to calculate the costing and profit margin of a plate of this. LOL

Price: 500 yen for the basic plate. The sauces come with the price. The toppings, drinks, salads and size upgrades dont.

Location: Heading west from Shijo-Karasuma Street, its a few buildings past the bus stop along the street. The restaurant is in the ground floor of a building and a pop-up board marks the spot. English is not spoken here but finger pointing on the menu will do (I think).

4 comments on “Budgeted but uncompromising (500円の美味しいオムライス)”

  1. I am thinking about applying for my PhD but now I am not quite sure if it’s for me haha
    オムライス is amazing. Wish I could transfer myself to back Japan right now, it’s such a great place.


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