Home Food & Travel Conveyor Belt Solo Hotpot Restaurant Opens in Tokyo, Becomes a Hotspot for Raw Meat “Revolution” [Video]

Conveyor Belt Solo Hotpot Restaurant Opens in Tokyo, Becomes a Hotspot for Raw Meat “Revolution” [Video]

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Who needs revolving raw fish, when you can have revolving raw meat?

A restaurant in Tokyo has opened that has combined the conveyor belt part of conveyor belt sushi with the raw meat part of hotpot.

Called Ichi (full name: Hitori Shabu-shabu Ichi, or Solo Shabu-shabu Ichi), this interesting new restaurant opened on October 23 in the busy Shinjuku area of Tokyo. Just like a kaiten-zushi (revolving sushi) place, the shop features functioning conveyor belts with plates of food on top, but instead of sushi, on the plates you’ll find pieces of raw meat. This is because Ichi is not a sushi joint, it’s a shabu-shabu shop.

Watch that raw meat go!

In case you’re unaware, shabu-shabu is a classic Japanese hotpot dish. It’s usually eaten with family and/or friends and involves each person cooking their own pieces of thinly sliced meat and vegetables in a large communal boiling pot located at the center of the dinner table. While shabu-shabu is a delicious and beloved dish, it does have a downside. It’s a bit of a hassle to eat it by yourself. Shabu-shabu restaurants don’t typically cater to solo customers. And eating shabu-shabu by yourself at home tends to be more trouble than it’s worth for most people. However, this is where Ichi comes in.

Ichi has spicy broth too.

The idea behind Ichi (literally meaning “one”) is that each customer gets their own personal hotpot. Just like in a “revolving sushi” place each plate that passes by on the conveyor belt has a price assigned to it depending on what is on the plate. Once a customer takes a plate, they can then cook whatever was on the plate in their personal hotpot at their own pace and without having to worry about someone else waiting to cook their own food in the same pot.

Individual dishes reasonably priced with a plate of chicken tenderloin (sasami) coasting 150 yen (~$1.50 USD) and a plate of Japanese Black wagyu 350 yen (~$3.50 USD). And if you get three of the same dish, you even get a 10 percent discount of those dishes.

If you’re a big eater it may still make more sense to go to an all-you-can-eat shabhu-shabu place since those tend to be around 3,000 yen but, again, it’s always a bit tricky to go to these places if you’re not there with at least one other person.

Aside from getting to pick what you cook in your pot, each customer also gets to pick their own broth. Actually they get to pick two different broths from a selection of five, among which you’ll find Ichi’s own original broth and an additive-free natural salt broth.

Another interesting feature of Ichi is that just like many conveyor belt sushi places, there is a touch screen you use to order more meat.

And to accompany your meat, there’s also rice and noodles. These are supposed to be free (at least for the time being) if you go for during lunch hours (11 am – 4 pm).

If you’re worried how Ichi keeps the meat from going bad as it goes round and round the restaurant, don’t. They have an interesting way of doing this. Much like you might see at some conveyor belt sushi places the plates have a dome-shaped cover over them. This acts much like a buffet line sneeze-guard while at the same time helping to prevent the ingredients from drying out so quickly. However, Ichi goes one step further. The dome cover has a compartment with dry ice in it. This helps keep temperatures down and thus the meat fresher for longer.

With their free rice and noodles lunch deals, it seems pretty clear that Ichi is trying to attract the army of office workers that spend their days in Shinjuku.

So is this just another sign that people in Japan are gradually becoming more anti-social? Perhaps. However, it may also be a sign that sometimes people just want shabu-shabu without having to go to a party or buying a whole bunch of ingredients.

If you’d like to see what revolving dishes of raw meat look like, check out the ANN News report below.

Here is another video that takes you inside Ichi. The person in the video has a meal of four dishes with free rice and it costs him 1,512 yen.

Hitori Shabu-shabu Ichi (ひとりしゃぶしゃぶいち) Location Information

7-10-18 Otakibashi Pacifica Building 2F, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
東京都新宿区西新宿7-10-18 小滝橋パシフィカビル 2F

How to get there
About a one minute walk via from the Toei Oedo Line/Shinjuku Nishiguchi Station exit (D5)

Source: ANN News, Gadget News, Ichi Official Website
Image: お一人さま“回転しゃぶしゃぶ” 一皿150円から(19/10/30) (ANN News)

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