Do-it-yourself restaurants are popular here in Japan. Many menus include options that allow the customer to take part in or see parts of their meal’s preparation. Pepper Lunch is no exception to this – actually, this DIY theme is the basis of the franchise.
One of my favorite places to eat, Pepper Lunch is cheap, fast, and close to base. After choosing your meal from a machine that dispenses tickets, your meal is usually in front of you in five minutes or less. Most meals include corn, rice, spices, and a meat of some sort. They also offer really yummy potato salad, but I don’t think they consider that to be one of their specialties.
What makes Pepper Lunch interesting is that it is served to you on a special iron hotplate. The meat is uncooked when it’s served, and the spices are in a butter chunk in the center of the rice. In order to cook the meal, the meat must be moved onto the hot plate and the rice and corn needs to be mixed. This can be a very risky task as the food is really, really hot. A piece once fell on my wrist from the hotplate and immediately left a blister.
Even though the name is in English, there is only one in the United States and it’s all the way in California. It’s very popular across Asia and in Australia, though.
I don’t think everyone here is as passionate about Pepper Lunch as I am, but it’s pretty awesome. Really, I’m happy anytime I can get a meal here and not have to worry about Tuna being mixed in.