Big Retailer Aeon May Have Won Japan’s Best Senbero Award


However, it was only a temporary victory.

For longer than he remembers Mr. Sato tirelessly searched for the best domestic senbero in Japan. “Senbero” is the Japanese term for a set of food and alcohol that will only cost you around 1,000 yen ($ 9.13) before tax, but still get you buzzing.

From Costco to IKEA, our Senbero Meister has been on this mission for at least nine or maybe ten days now. Like we said, he doesn’t remember… He’s been drinking a lot lately.

This time, his quest led him to none other than the large Japanese chain store Aeon. Although extremely famous, it is not known to be excessively cheap compared to ABS Wholesale Center.

However, for four fleeting days, Mr. Sato’s local Aeon store held an American meat sale. During this time he could buy marinated prime rib strips for 138 yen (US $ 1.26) per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).

Fearing that such an offer would sell out, he gave up on opening with his choice of drink this time around so he could get a pack. Luckily, our reporter caught 182 grams (6.4 ounces) for 251 yen ($ 2.29), a perfect serving for a good senbero.

Back to drinks, Mr. Sato selected a Aeon brand beer called Barreal, which was 50% less sugar for 110 yen ($ 1). However, we use the term “beer” loosely, as the fine print on the can describes it as an “alcoholic beverage similar to low-carb beer”.

This still left plenty of room for supportive foods to accompany his beer and beef. Thinking a Korean-style barbecue would make a good senbero party, he had some Store brand sangchu lettuce first for 98 yen ($ 0.89).

Then he has a pot of kimchi from leading brand Jongga for 128 yen ($ 1.17).

And you can’t have a good Korean senbero without a good bundle of namul assorted. This one was 20% off and only came in at 178 yen ($ 1.62) because its expiration date was approaching.

This should cover the heart of Mr. Sato’s senbero, but he still had money left for other side dishes, so he grabbed a packet of store-brand eggplant and vegetable miso soup for 65 yen ($ 0.59).

A simple salted rice ball would help balance the food groups in this meal, so he had one for only 63 yen ($ 0.57).

Speaking of salt, there was a packet of store brand instant salt broth ramen for just 40 yen ($ 0.37) so our reporter caught one too.

And there is always room for a popcorn stick Umaibo, especially since they only cost 10 yen ($ 0.09) each.

To complete this senbero, Mr. Sato also purchased a packet of medium spicy store-brand curry for 54 yen ($ 0.49).

These ten items together amounted to 1,087 yen ($ 9.92) after tax (997 yen before tax), which makes it an almost perfect senbero in terms of price.

And it was certainly one of the most impressive ranges of dishes from our Senbero Meister. The package of fresh beef really upped the ante.

Plus, since the beef was already flavored, Mr. Sato just needed to get his griddle ready and lay those strips on it.

The advantage of cooking at your desk is that you can really hear the appetizing sizzle of the meat and absorb all the aroma.

On the other hand, the terrible part of a kitchen at your desk is that tiny droplets of boiling oil are splashing around you all the time.

But that’s nothing that half a liter (17 ounces) of beer won’t solve.

In fact, this beer was pretty low in alcohol at just four percent, but as we’ve seen in the past, Mr. Sato’s tolerance for alcohol isn’t great, so this should keep him from eat garlic paste.

When the beef was ready, our reporter watched in wonder.

It looked so good he couldn’t wait and dove in.

He then remembered all the other foods he had bought and started making a nice wrap with beef, kimchi, namul and lettuce.

This combination of fresh foods totally exceeded his past experiences as a senbero. Everything was so tasty.

But it was also quite spicy, so Mr. Sato needed frequent sips of the beer-like alcoholic beverage to cool himself off.

One look on his face and it was clear, it was the best home senbero Mr. Sato had ever experienced.

And there was still plenty of food! Then he took a relaxing sip of his vegetable soup.

Even though the rice ball was simple, it was the perfect accompaniment to this meal.

It was now ramen time. The pack simply had to be boiled with its powdered seasoning added.

Then he added the namul and kimchi for an extra boost.

As it was a bit warm that day, Mr. Sato decided to enjoy his fresh noodles and added some ice cubes as well.

It was perfect! The chilled noodles were just the right counterbalance to the grilled meat he had just eaten and made for the ultimate in satisfaction.

Yes, there was nothing missing from this senbero – Mr. Sato wanted nothing at all!

Oh, and what is it ?! There was still a hidden Umaibo to complete this fantastic drinking meal.

There really is no such pure pleasure as popcorn covered in cheese dust and the bottom of a can of diet beer-like alcoholic beverage.

Mr. Sato was basking in the warm glow of a perfect senbero, when suddenly reality struck him like lightning in his heart. “Didn’t I buy curry too?” “ he says to him.
It was buzzing a bit, but still pretty sure the curry couldn’t get up and go on its own.

Maybe he was feeling the Mandela effect and just imagining buying curry among all these other good foods. Regardless, his senbero was still an incredible hit, so he left the mystery of his missing curry and went back to work.

?? Mr. Sato: “Hey, isn’t that my curry ?!”

?? Mr. Sato: “My curry!

?? Mr. Sato: “Hey, Masanuki! I think it’s my curry you’re drinking.

?? Mr. Sato: “MY CURRRRRRRRY!”

?? Mr. Sato: “my … curry …”

While these two sort out their differences, we have to remind you that this senbero was only made possible through a limited time sale at Aeon. While it’s possible that another sale like this could happen again in the future, the window of opportunity has closed for now, which means that the search for the best Senbero house in Japan continues!

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