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While most of Akihabara’s fame comes from its anime megastores and maid cafes, there’s one other landmark in the neighborhood that people regularly make pilgrimages to. Wherever you find hordes of young men dropping their paychecks on their hobbies, you can also find cheap, tasty grub, and for years, Mammoth Curry has been the place to get your fill of the spicy stuff in Tokyo’s electronics district.

Unfortunately, much like its wooly namesake, the age of Mammoth Curry is coming to an end in Akihabara, as the eatery is closing its doors for good this month.

Mammoth Curry recently announced that it would be shuttering its Akihabara branch on November 5. This was heartbreaking news for curry fans, and we decided to pay our respects by stopping by the restaurant for one last meal.

Not wanting to cut things too close, on October 31 we headed for Mammoth Curry, timing our arrival for just before 11 a.m., when the restaurant was scheduled to open. So imagine our surprise when we got to the restaurant only to find roughly a dozen people lined up in front of the building, waiting anxiously for the doors to open.

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Surprised by the turnout, we asked some of the people who’d beaten us to the restaurant, and found out that while the original plan was for Mammoth Curry to keep running until November 5, they’d seen a huge surge in traffic from diners coming in to have one last plate of curry for the road. In light of this, the restaurant sent out another announcement through its emailing list, saying that it didn’t look like they’d have enough ingredients to make it all the way to November 5, and that when all the food in the fridge was gone, Mammoth Curry Akihabara would be too.

Of course, this development just added to the stampede of fans, with the wait for a seat being as long as two hours on October 30. We were glad we’d come early, for as soon as the doors opened up, diners streamed into the restaurant, and in a matter of moments the place was filled to capacity, with complete strangers sharing seats at the same table and a line growing outside as it got closer to the noon lunch rush.

Since this was going to be our last meal in the joint, we pondered which menu item to sign off on. While we were tempted by the fried chicken curry, in the end we couldn’t pass up ordering Mammoth Curry’s signature dish, the one kilo curry, one last time.

Oh baby, we’re gonna miss you.

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True to its name, the one kilo curry is composed of 600 grams of rice, 350 grams of curry roux, 100 grams of thin-sliced pork, and a 45-gram raw egg, with the complete package tipping the scales at exactly one kilogram (2.2 pounds). At just 950 yen (US $9.50), it’s either a good deal for one gargantuan meal, or an outstanding deal for two moderate meals.

Of course, no matter how low the price or how generous the portions, if the food doesn’t taste good, you can’t really call it a bargain. Mammoth Curry delivers on flavor and value though, with a roux that’s never runny or overly oily. It goes great with any of the 19 different toppings available, whether you opt for cheese or eggplant.

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Mammoth Curry is so delicious that before we knew it, we’d polished off our kilo of tasty goodness, and we had to reluctantly give up our seat for the next hungry fan. Judging from the length of the line as we left, it really doesn’t look like there’ll be enough to last until November 5, so if you’re planning to go, we recommend calling ahead first to make sure the Akihabara branch is still in business.

We’re hoping that the huge number of people who turned out for one last plate of curry encourages the owners to consider reopening in a new location in Akihabara. In the meantime, you can find us at the only remaining Mammoth Curry branch in west Tokyo’s Meidaimae neighborhood.

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Restaurant information
Mammoth Curry Akihabara / マンモスカレー
Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 3-2-11, Endo Building, 1st floor
東京都千代田区外神田3-2-11 遠藤ビル1F
Telephone: 03-3256-3980

Mammoth Curry Meidaimae
Address: Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Matsubara 1-38-8, Murayama Building 1st floor
東京都世田谷区松原1-38-8 村山ビル1F
Telephone: 03-5300-8185

Photos: RocketNews24
Related: Mammoth Curry
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