April 22, 2018
by Maya Kondo, Shiori Iwawaki & Eri Inaba
In Japan, we call hamburgers ‘hamburgers’, but there is no good English word for hanba-gu, unless you include ‘Hamberg Steak’ or ‘Salisbury Steak’. Hanba-gu is made from minced meat, onions, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Actually, the word hanba-gu is not English, but rather came from the name of a city in Germany: Hamberg. In Japan, the hanba-gu is a very popular food for people of all ages and there are many shops serving it in Japan. However, the most delicious hanba-gu shop in Kyoto is called, Touyotei. Touyotei is loved by many Japanese people because it has a long history and offer its customers a wide variety of delicious food. The head restaurant/office is a 4-minute walk from Kitayama subway station.
In the 30th year of the Meiji Period (1897), Takahashi Ginjiro served western cuisine at the restaurant of a hotel in the Kawaramachi district of Kyoto city. At that time, western foods were too expensive for the average citizen to afford, so he wanted them to know how wonderful foods these were. On the 21st of December, 1966, he opened his own restaurant, called Kyapitaru Touyoutei in the Kitayama district of Kyoto. When he ran the restaurant in Kitayama, there were no buildings around it. A few years later, however, because of the new subway line reaching Kitayama, many buildings were constructed and many people come to the area. Touyoutei then became one of the most popular restaurants in Kyoto. In 1996, 100 years had passed since Mr. Ginjiro had opened the restaurant. Therefore, he decided to open his second restaurant near Kyoto station in 1997. In 1998, he started serving Tsutsumiyaki hanba-gu (see image below), which has been the most popular dish in the restaurant. In 1999, concerned that the restaurant was a fire hazard, he decided to renovate the restaurant. From 2008 to present, he wanted everyone to know how delicious his meals were, so he opened 7 more restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka. Nowadays, people come to Touyoutei, not only for eating meals, but also for using it as a meeting place. Every location is easy to visit. Furthermore, their aim is to become the number one restaurant serving delicious hanba-gu so that every customer can be satisfied with not only the food but also the atmosphere inside the restaurant.
In Touyotei, there are many good employees because the recruiter for this restaurant chooses the staff carefully. When they choose the employees, they prefer people who like to eat food and talk to people. Moreover, one of the representatives of the company that we spoke with, named Takahashi, said that even if they never held a dish or used a knife, it is fine. More important things are being honest, cheerful, bright, and not being afraid to take on new challenges. Therefore, in Touyotei, every staff member is always doing their best when they work. Moreover, the staff is always thinking of the customer satisfaction first. Mr. Takahashi explained that he wants the employee to grow on a personal level. Touyotei is the place where both the customer and employee can smile and become happy. This is because the behavioral guidelines are to be an employee who is always trying their best. To be this kind employee, they should always reflect on their actions and appreciate everything. Moreover, it is important to identify their strong points and make use of their good points. One more important point about Touyoutei is to make a fashionable and fun space for the customer. Moreover, Touyotei always thinks about the ingreditents of the food, its taste and good service for the customer. Touyoutei’s goal from now on is to have more fans and to create a lively, fun and delicious experience for them.At Touyoutei, the hamburger steak is the most popular dish. It is said that if you come this restaurant, you must order this dish. This hamburger steak is like Salisbury steak. When we order it, the chef grills ground beef and pork. After that, beef stew sauce, hamburger steak, and stewed beef are wrapped in aluminium foil. When the dish is brought to us, the aluminium foil collapses with tasty smell. The moment we open the aluminium foil by ourselves, the smell will hit us strongly. Be careful though! When opening the aluminum foil, some customers risk being splattered with beef stew sauce, so don’t go there with your favorite white clothes. Not only hamburg, but also a side of grilled potato is popular for some customers.
Also, we recommend the whole tomato salad because it is very popular as well. When we entered the restaurant, we saw many boxes of lots of tomatoes. Of course, these tomatoes are used to make tomato salad, and the tomatoes change with each season. This restaurant always uses the most tasty tomatoes, regardless of the area of production. In this way, we can eat tasty tomato salad any time of the year. In fact, this tomoto salad is served as a whole tomato, literally. Normally, we don’t have opportunity of eating a whole tomato, but in this restaurant, we can. This tomato is submerged in hot water for 5 minutes and then placed in cold water. The tomato with peeling skin is arranged on a tuna and onion salad. Finally, on top of it all, a special dressing is placed. This dressing is made by the chef for the tomato, so the name of dressing is ‘dressing for only tomato’. This dressing is said to not fit with vegetables without tomatoes. It tastes a little vinegary and oily. We can buy this dressing in the restaurant for about 610 yen.
Finally, one more popular item on the menu is a sweet called ‘one hundred puddings’. This pudding was created by the first founder of the restaurant and made with simple ingredients. For this reason, many guests feel nostalgic and like it. When we order ‘one hundred puddings’, the staff brings a cup of pudding and a plate, and then they turn the cup of pudding upside down on th eplate. When we visit this restaurant, we can enjoy this performance.
In conclusion, Hanba-gu is made from minced meat, onions, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. It is very popular food in Japan. In 1998, Takahashi Ginjiro started serving hamba-gu for the first time in Japan, and it became popular. We want you to try touyoutei hanba-gu when you go to the restaurant.