1. February 2019. It was early evening in Tokyo’s Akihabara Electric Town and Wonderboy and I were starving! Just about the only thing we hadn’t planned out that day was a place to eat, so we wandered about for a bit pontificating on the many options. The city’s infinite delights had been relentless on our wallets, so we agreed that for this dinner we’d be keeping it simple. When we stumbled upon Pepper Lunch, a Japanese beefsteak chain restaurant, it fit the bill perfectly!
2. February 2019. The Akihabara branch of Pepper Lunch we went to, located directly across the road from the Sega 2 Arcade, is a tiny, cheap and cheerful, spit-and-sawdust style place with no more than a dozen seats set around a semicircular bar and kitchen. The clientele was strictly Japanese, excluding our good selves and we were all elbow-to-elbow.
3. February 2019. The dude behind the bar, sporting a signature orange Pepper Lunch uniform, only spoke a few words of English but was friendly, helpful and efficient, as just about everyone in Tokyo seems to be. I was a long way from China, Toto! Immediately handing us the menu, he talked us through our options and the various set menu deals.
4. February 2019. It didn’t take us long to decide what we wanted, with both of us going for the assorted steak plate comprised of two plump, juicy cuts: one pepper steak, one sirloin. They were served topped with garlic butter on a sizzling hot pan with bean sprouts, runner beans, a little carrot and a bowl of piping hot white rice to boot. Washed down with a few glasses of the house draft (Asahi), we destroyed it all in a matter of minutes, ordered a few more beers and toasted to yet another Tokyo triumph.
5. February 2019. Our spontaneous visit to Pepper Lunch was the perfect prelude to an anime-adorned coffee at Akihabara’s landmark Gundam Café. The assorted beefsteak plate is priced at a very reasonable 880JPY (£6/€7/$8), while the little draft beer shots are 180JPY apiece (£1.20/€1.40/$1.60). If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, cheap and cheerful dinner on the hop Pepper Lunch comes highly recommended! They have branches all over the city and open daily from 11:00-23:00.
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