The first Taiwanese outlet of Japanese restaurant chain Sukiya began its four-day trial run yesterday, attracting enthusiastic fans who lined up for its famed curry and beef meals.
Many of the first customers waited in line near the Taipei MRT’s Guting Station an hour before its opening at 9am.
“It tastes the same as what I had in Japan,” said Charles Chang, who ordered a gyudon, a rice and beef meal, after waiting in line for about 40 minutes. “Very well-seasoned. Just the way I like it.”
An official opening is set for Thursday next week, after which it will be open for business 24 hours a day.
Zensho Taiwan Co, the local branch of Japan’s largest operator of restaurant chains, Zensho Holdings Co, reportedly has a goal of opening 20 Sukiya restaurants in the Greater Taipei area over the next two to three years in the run-up to its goal of operating 100 stores.
Zensho Taiwan managing director Hiroshi Nishikawa said the company aims to open a Sukiya at every metro station in the Greater Taipei area, a target it hopes to achieve “as soon as possible.”
Describing Taiwan as a “highly competitive yet important” fast-food market, Nishikawa said the Taiwanese market is part of the Japanese group’s international expansion plan.
“After developing our presence in Mexico, Malaysia, China, Brazil and Thailand, we aim to open outlets in over 200 countries in the future,” he said.
As for the Taiwanese market, Nishikawa also expressed confidence, saying that he aims to duplicate the chain’s success in Japan and become Taiwan’s No. 1 donburi, or rice bowl dish, brand.
Sukiya’s main competition in the Taiwan market will be Japanese chain Yosihnoya, which has more than 40 stores across Taiwan and is the major donburi restaurant in the nation.
Taiwan’s DonMono joined the local donburi market in 2011 and now has 20 stores in northern and central Taiwan.