Yoshinoya's new eel dish to be its most expensive ever

Yoshinoya Una-ju
PHOTO: Yoshinoya Una-ju

Japan's inflation slipped to zero in April and consumer spending remained weak, data showed Friday, but an unlikely player is stepping up to buck the trend.

Beef bowl chain Yoshinoya Co. said it will start offering its most expensive menu item ever, the 'una-ju' eel set, starting next month.

The meal, which comes with strips of grilled 'unagi' freshwater eel on top of rice, will be served with 'tsukemono' pickles and miso soup. The sanmai-mori set with three eel strips will go for ¥1,720 (S$18.70), tax included.

Yoshinoya's low-priced beef bowls have symbolized Japan's deflation. Despite raising the price of its signature menu in December by more than 25 per cent, a regular-size portion is still available for only ¥380 (S$4.13) at the chain.

So why did they come up with a dish that's more than four times as expensive than their signature item?

"Our una-ju is pricier than it was last summer, but that's because it has more volume. We had requests from customers saying that they'd prefer more unagi on it," a spokeswoman told Japan Real Time.

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