Raw meat sushi bar in Tokyo attracting female meat-lovers

Tokyo, Feb 4 (Kyodo) A new kind of sushi bar in Tokyo hasbeen proving popular with customers, especially younger womenwho have a liking for raw meat.

Instead of raw fish, slices and cuts of uncooked beef,chicken, pork, deer and horse meat are used as toppings onhand-pressed rice at ''''Nikuzushi'''' (meat sushi), which openedlast May in the trendy Ebisu district in Shibuya Ward.

At least 60 per cent of the customers are women, many ofthem around 30 years old, according to the restaurant''soperator Spice Works.

''''Customers can try various types and cuts of meat, and Ithink this stimulates the appetites of carnivorous women,''''Akira Ito, an employee at the company, said in reference to arecent buzzword which suggests women are more aggressive inpursuing romance and sex than ''''herbivorous men'''' who arelargely inactive.

After seeing monthly sales at the Ebisu restaurant chalkup an impressive 5 million yen, the company opened four moreNikuzushi outlets in Tokyo in the six months following theopening of the first restaurant, and is now looking to openfranchise stores outside the capital.

When the restaurant opened one recent evening, its 15 orso seats were quickly filled by office workers and couples.

''''It''s a luxury to be able to enjoy meat and sushi at thesame time,'''' a female customer who ordered ox tongue sushiand beer with her two female friends said.

''''I love raw meat, so when I saw this place on televisionI just had to come,'''' one of her friends said.

Sushi covered by a huge sheet of raw beef loin, about 10by 20 centimeters in size, called ''''sashitoro,'''' is a hotseller on the restaurant''s menu, which has more than 15 items.

Horse meat sushi with spicy miso is also popular.

To have the rice better compliment the meat, therestaurant dresses the rice with balsamic vinegar, rather thanregular vinegar for ordinary sushi.

Dining at the restaurant costs on average around 3,000yen (36).(Kyodo)

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