go go curry

Usually when people think of curry, the first country that springs to mind is India. But even in the land of sushi, ramen and okonomiyaki, curry and rice (or kare raisu” as it is known here) often tops people’s lists of food favourites.

On Feb. 25, Japanese curry chain Go! Go! Curry launched its annual speed eating championship, which challenges famished food fans to consume two servings of their regular house curry and rice as quickly as possible. Unlike many eating contests where participants must simply force down as much food as possible, Go! Go! Curry’s challenge focuses entirely on how quickly diners can shovel food into their respective shout holes.

Always ready for a challenge, RocketNews24‘s eternally hungry reporter Mr. Sato grabbed his younger coworker Tashiro-kun and marched over to the branch of Go! Go! Curry nearest to Shinjuku station’s east exit to take part. Suffice to say, Tashiro-kun learned a lot during their visit. They say that every apprentice eventually becomes the master, but it’s clear that this young Jedi still has a long way to go.

The full video of the pair’s frantic face stuffing after the jump.

With the contest beginning after the lunchtime rush, our reporters rolled up just before 3 p.m. only to find that they were first in line. Clearly the everyday folks of Shinjuku have better things to do on a Monday afternoon than gorge on tasty brown goo and rice. After filling in their entry forms, the pair were seated and given a moment to compose themselves and centre their speed-eating chi. Although Japanese curry is usually quite mild compared to the traditional Indian variety, six glasses of water were placed on the table to help our men stay lubricated during the event and ensure that they could maintain a steady pace.

With the curry placed in front of the duo, the Go! Go! Curry staff readied their stopwatches and gave the signal to start. Let’s see how the boys did:

Mr. Sato, you, sir, are a machine. Storming ahead right from the very start, the bespectacled wonder brought his dish close to his mouth (a vital time-saving technique) and was already a quarter of the way through his second serving while prodigy Tashiro was still struggling with his first. With his last spoonful of curry ladled into his mouth, Mr. Sato raised a fist in triumph.

a winner is you

The Go! Go! Curry staff stepped forward to reveal his time: 02:43!

After that, Mr. Sato was left with little more to do than sip on water and cleanse his palate and admire the scenery. As you can see in the above video, young Tashiro-kun still has a lot to learn about being an eating machine, eventually finishing after four minutes and 29 seconds.

Go! Go! Curry’s eating championship is being held every day from now until 15 March at participating restaurants. If you think you’ve got what it takes to beat Mr. Sato’s best time, by all means give it a go. I’m sure our man would be more than happy to retake the challenge should any of you manage to smash his record.

After all that eating, Tashiro-kun was left with about as much energy as an empty pillow case and slumped back in his seat. Mr. Sato, meanwhile, ordered up a plate of curry with a  juicy fried pork cutlet, just to fill the remaining spaces in his cavernous gut. Once again: the man’s a machine.

sato cutlet

[ Read in Japanese ]