Pepper Lunch

Pepper Lunch - Entrance

General Description

Rue

Time to kick it old school and try something a bit different. Well, at least that's the aesthetic of this place. We're at Pepper Lunch! Although it has a western feel, it's a Japanese "fast-steak" chain. They have international locations too, mostly in East Asia, so there's a chance you may have seen this restaurant before in your home country!

The core concept behind Pepper Lunch is delicious, reasonable priced meals served quickly. For this purpose, the food is served on a hot plate. The dish continues to cook after it's served, so the customer can choose how well done they want it.

When I first saw the menu, it reminded me of sizzler dishes. When I checked more about sizzler dishes, I learned that they were inspired teppanyaki style cooking. I thought it was interesting how that all worked out!

Anyways, I love steak, so let's jump in!

Yue

This place is a kinda fast food restaurant. Not expensive, but not special. Not bad, but not impressive.

I'm not familiar with this chain, but I subconsciously had a bad impression toward it as I hazily remembered that I saw news of a food poisoning incident that happened at this chain in the past. I looked up the news again before writing this article, then learnt that they had an E.coli O157 issue in September 2009 and they temporarily closed all of their branches.

Well, that kind of incident surely lowers their reputation in the food industry, but it seems like they have recovered their popularity somehow.

BUT THEY DID IT AGAIN in 2023 which I didn't know.

As there are a lot of food options in Tokyo, I have never dined out at this place. This time, we decided to try it just for a review on this blog.

Should we really try it...? Oh I'm scared now.
But we've opened the door already...

What we ordered

お肉たっぷりベーフペッパーライス Ample Meat Beef Pepper Rice L size - 1100 JPY
Rue

Here's what I ordered.

The steak is yummy, simply flavoured with salt and pepper. It's easy to eat. The sauce you can add has a bbq-yakiniku taste that isn't super sweet.

The corn is sweet but the onions don't stand out and get a bit lost in everything. There is also a strong black pepper taste.

...The black pepper might be a bit too strong overall.

Actually, it seems you're supposed to mix the rice into everything, which is why it's served on the hot plate, but I didn't do so. Oops! I think it would have added to the flavour and made it more crispy.

Yue

The amount is very big!
Maybe because it comes with cones, but I feel that the rice that comes with this one is bigger than one that comes with what I ordered (you can see the picture below).

The meat is tasty, but it is a bit hard to chew. Probably because we cooked it for a long time. It is actually difficult to adjust how much the meat is cooked in this kind of serving style.

Rue

Here's Yue's order.

Similar to the steak, the hamburg is soft and has a nice black pepper taste, as to be expected. There are parts that are crispy and parts which are juicy, which is a nice balance.

Yue

Grilling the meat with the served hot plate is fun!
Both the meat and hamburger are tasty. They come with a lot of black pepper, which makes them very spicy. It is actually too spicy for some people.
Using the mild-taste sauce on the table might help it better.
For the price, it is satisfying and tasty enough. But you should not expect anything special at this kind of place.

Review

Access

https://pepperlunch.com/restaurant

Price


Average Budget for 1 person: 1000 - 1600 JPY

Service & Hospitality


The service is normal. You get a number card while you wait for your order. Our food came within 10 minutes. During our meal, a server heard the sound of ice in my glass as I finished drinking and came over to refill it, which was nice.

Atmosphere


There's a delicious smell in the air as soon as you walk in. You get an instant whiff of pepper and meat cooking. The interior has a western diner feel to it. Hip hop music is playing. The place is well lit. There weren't many seats at the location we visited, but there are both table and counter seats. The customer noise level is normal, not quiet but not loud either.

Food


The food is tasty but nothing particularly special. Being able to cook the meat yourself can let give you some variation, but you also have to be careful. As Yue mentioned above, it can be hard to adjust how much the meat cooks. For a slow eater like me, that means the meat will continue to cook past my preference as I eat. To me, the rice and steak are quite filling. By the end of the meal, I felt the black pepper was a bit too much. It can overwhelm the other flavours and stay in your mouth long after you're finished.

Overall


Overall, Pepper Lunch is a fine restaurant. You can buy sets that come with pre-cut meat, veggies, and flavouring at the grocery store and make a similar meal at home for a bit cheaper. However, you're paying to have a nice hot meal, served quickly for you without clean up. It's not bad by any means, it just won't knock your socks off. It's still a good option if you're looking for somewhere to eat.

Would I come again?

Sure. If I wanted to eat out, and there was a location nearby, I would. However, it wouldn't be my first choice nor would I say it's a place you have to check out. But if you're in Japan for a while and you're interested, please enjoy!

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Who wrote this article?

Rue

Main editor of this website.
Responsible for reviewing food and writing articles.
Canadian, moved to Tokyo in 2019.
Loves eating foods, especially sweets.
Can eat desserts 3 times a day.

Yue

Co-editor of this website.
Responsible for design and translation (🇬🇧 to 🇯🇵).
Native Japanese speaker fluent in English.
Based in Tokyo for more than 20 years.


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