Picture this: A generous amount of A5 wagyu beef lightly grilled with a proprietary tare sauce. Next, it’s wrapped up inside the leaves of fragrant sangchu (Korean lettuce), along with kimchi and spicy mayonnaise. Finally, it’s rolled up in white rice, coated with a generous helping of sesame seeds and sealed inside a crinkly brown bamboo sheath, ready to serve.
That’s the Yakiniku Champion Roll, and it’s worth going out of your way for. But you won’t find it at the restaurant’s main branch in Ebisu. Instead you need to head to Haneda Airport’s International Terminal, to the cluster of eateries known as Edo Koji (Edo Alley) one floor above the departures lobby — before going through immigration.
Of course, you can stop in for a full yakiniku meal, with soup, rice and pickles. But if time is not your friend, the combination of flavors in the roll makes it more than a second-best solution. And each take-out pack is precut into eight slices, making it a perfect meal or snack (if you’re sharing) for the plane, or even once you get back home.
Those lucky enough to be visiting Fukuoka Prefecture may also find the roll at the Yakiniku Champion outlet in JR Hakata Station. Perfect as provisions for a long shinkansen journey.
Edo Koji, Tokyo International Terminal 4F, Haneda Airport 2-6-5, Ota-ku, Tokyo 144-0041; 03-5708-0529; www.yakiniku-champion.com/en/haneda/menu; open 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. (L.O.); set meals from ¥1,100; yakiniku roll (8 pieces) ¥1,400; nearest station Haneda Airport International Terminal; nonsmoking; major credit cards; Japanese menu; some English spoken