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Japan’s mountainous topography means that real estate is always at a premium. The towering skyscrapers of major cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka are a natural response to this, as often there’s no direction left to build but up.

We couldn’t help but wonder if the chefs at Denny’s in Japan were inspired by the country’s urban architecture when they created the newest indulgence on their menu, the Tower Pancake, which, especially for a country not exactly known for its gargantuan servings, is quite the gastro challenge.

Technically, that should be Tower Pancakes, since your order gets you a stack of six of them. As linguists, we were tempted to point this out when the waiter brought ours to the table. As gluttons, though, we realized any time we spent debating semantics would be time we weren’t eating, so we decided to let Denny’s off the hook this time.

▼ No matter the situation, you can always employ a stack of pancakes to distract others from your mistakes and shortcomings.

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The Tower Pancake is priced at 690 yen (US$6.75). While you could get two or three convenience store pastries for the same amount, that’s not an unreasonable price for a dessert at a sit-down restaurant in Japan, especially one that’s 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) tall.

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While we’re going through the Tower Pancake’s numerical specs, there’s one other figure we should take a look at, even if we don’t really want to. Like a lot of casual restaurants in Japan, Denny’s prints the calorie count for their items right on the menu, and, well, let’s just say the Tower Pancake isn’t exactly diet-friendly. Although in Denny’s defense, the menu does suggest that two or three people enjoy the dish together.

1,092 calories….of deliciousness!

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All those calories have a good reason for being there, as the stack is covered with a maple-favored cream sauce, with further justification coming from the honey poured over it. There’s also crushed almonds, so if you’re looking for a way to pack more vitamin E and magnesium into your diet, you could even make the argument that the Tower Pancake qualifies as health food.

▼ You’d be wrong, of course, but if you’re going to be wrong, you may as well be wrong….with deliciousness!

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We suppose you could eat the Tower Pancake by taking one layer at a time off the top, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, we sliced through the whole thing, taking care that the stack didn’t topple over.

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The cross-section really shows off how thick and fluffy the pancakes are, with proportions almost like English muffins.

As for the flavor, it’s every bit as sweet and tasty as you’d expect. We were totally satisfied, but if you’re looking for subtlety or complexity, you won’t find much here.

▼ Although if either of those two is high on your list of priorities, you might need to rethink your strategy of walking into a Denny’s and saying, “Gimme your biggest stack of pancakes!”

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We left happy and full, and on our way back to the station, as we admired the always impressive Tokyo skyline, we realized for the first time how all those skyscrapers would be even better covered with maple cream and honey.

Photos: RocketNews24
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