Matsuya – eating on a budget


I have always preached that “eating out in Japan can be very affordable” and this can be achieved by dining in Japanese fast food restaurant. Well, I’m not referring to the Western meal of burgers and fries but our typical “Asian” meal of rice and soup.

With over 800 restaurants in Japan, Matsuya (松屋) is highly regarded as the No 2 player in the convenient food restaurant market (the no 1 being Yoshinoya) and specialises in Gyūdon (beef bowl), various donburi and curry. It is my favourite Japanese fast food chain because it serves warm, filling, sumptuous and most importantly very affordable meals! A regular beef bowl cost as low as 29o yen with complimentary serving of miso soup (note: their miso soup comes with wakame and tofu, unlike the usual bland clear water served at our Kopitiam.) Most importantly, I’m always impressed by how efficient they are to serve your meal. Your complimentary iced water and salad arrive within 7 seconds after seated and your food usually doesn’t take more than 5 minutes.

I also personally prefer Matsuya’s menu to Yoshinoya’s and my all-time favourite is the Brown Sauce Hamburg with Egg Set Meal. Oh! And there is a wide selection of dressing and free flow of pickled ginger available for their generous serving of salad, which I always have fun customising my salad of the day.

Drool along with me as you browse through their menu online:

Address: Found almost after every 3 streets! Search for the outlet near you:


  • Orders are made via the food menu machine usually located at the entrance of the restaurant. Select the English menu and it works similar to how you would buy a train ticket at our MRT station. Both coins and notes are accepted.
  • Note that the seating set-up in Matsuya are usually a hollow square style so patrons sit next to each other in a row. Some restaurants do have table seating.
  • The culture in Japanese Fast Food Chain especially with such hollow square style do not usually encourage long dining session. You order; eat; finish; go. As such, it is very popular among single diners who will typically leave right after they finish their meal.