February 8, 2023

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Specialists Travel & Tours

Secret staff cafeteria in Tokyo is a hidden gem you won’t find in travel guides

Rub shoulders with governing administration officers at this low-cost eatery that feeds the ministry.

We have been having off the overwhelmed route just lately, savoring a style of staff meals at cafeterias that serve employees but are also open to the community.

These concealed gems are ordinarily only known by individuals who operate and eat there, but we’ve been sharing our key finds with you and now we have a further fantastic discovery, in excess of at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Tokyo.

As the administrative agency that oversees every little thing food-related in Japan, we experienced significant hopes that this personnel cafeteria would be a single of our greatest finds nonetheless, so we sent our reporter Mr Sato above to the ministry in Kasumigaseki to check out it out.

Restraining the urge to scream “Give me all your delectable meals!” as he walked through the entrance to the creating, Mr Sato set on his greatest manners, quietly telling the stability guard “Shokudo ni ikitain desu kedo” (“I’d like to go to the cafeteria“).

The guard advised him to head above to the reception desk, exactly where Mr Sato stuffed out a form with his identify and contact information and showed personnel his license as a sort of photo I.D.

He was then handed a move (pictured underneath), which reads: “Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Non permanent Pass (Cafeteria)“, with guidance in smaller print to only use the employees cafeteria and return the go in the returns box in the lobby when leaving.

The cafeteria, named “Afu Shokudo” is found on the to start with basement floor of the building, so Mr Sato headed downstairs, where he was greeted by this humble entrance.

▼ Seeking at the signboard, Mr Sato could listen to his stomach start off to rumble at all the superb meal choices.

In accordance to the restaurant’s formal web-site, the foods right here use domestically sourced components as a lot as feasible, with a emphasis on develop from Fukushima Prefecture. Two forms of day-to-day set foods are provided through the performing 7 days, from Monday to Friday, and the menu includes noodles, rice bowls, curries, and specials that improve weekly.

▼ The rice at present applied in the foods has been freshly harvested from Fukushima Prefecture.

As generally with staff members cafeterias, it’s greatest to go to exterior of peak lunchtime hours to stay clear of very long queues of employees, so Mr Sato suggests stopping by either just before 12 p.m. or soon after 1 p.m. Mr Sato visited ahead of midday and didn’t have to wait to be served the Specific Afu Established Food that he selected and compensated for at the vending equipment.

▼ As soon as you pick out and fork out for your food at the machine, you are going to get this meal ticket, which you are going to need to have to hand to workers at the kitchen area counter.

Mr Sato’s Exclusive Afu Established Food was priced at 1,200 yen and constrained to only 30 servings per day. When he frequented, the set food was the Fukushima Hayama Plateau Butadon, which will come with butadon (pork rice bowl), alongside with two compact sides of your decision and soup.

Hayama Plateau Pork is a Fukushima brand name of pork manufactured completely by designated farms in the prefecture. Raised with cautiously selected, purely plant-based mostly feed, which is reported to suppress the odour of the meat, this is a premium brand name that is attaining a track record for currently being notably delicious.

When Mr Sato tried out the meat, he was amazed by its soft texture, and amazed at the entire absence of any pork odour. Despite staying odourless, it had a sturdy and tasty flavour, and was properly complemented by the sweet soy-based sauce and mild seasoning.

The overall meal was nicely-well balanced and left Mr Sato feeling recharged in a wholesome way. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries definitely has a track record to uphold as the protectors and promoters of regional deliver, and Mr Sato could feel that perception of delight and commitment in the thoroughly created foods available at the team cafeteria.

Just after ending his food, Mr Sato stumbled across a retailer close to the cafeteria, and he could not resist buying a T-Shirt for 2,900 yen as a memento of his take a look at to the ministry.

▼ “No rice no life” was printed on the front of the T-Shirt, and on the back …

▼ …the kanji for “rice”!

It is a entertaining and uncommon shirt that’ll definitely change heads on the street, but Mr Sato plans to wear it when he next visits the cafeteria to insert an added sprint of exciting to his food. With lunch sets starting up at just 650 yen, Mr Sato would consume below each individual day if he was in the neighbourhood, but for now he’ll have to make do with the faculty cafeteria for older people in Shinjuku.

Cafeteria Info

Afu Shokudo / あふ食堂
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kasumigaseki 1-2-1, Tokyo Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Main Developing B1F
東京都千代田区霞が関1-2-1 農林水産省本館B1F
Several hours: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, and community holidays
Site (Instagram)

Photos © SoraNews24
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