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It’s not uncommon to describe a meaty dish by listing how much beef it contains. McDonald’s has had plenty of success with the Quarter Pounder, and some American restaurants will tout their steaks as being 10 ounces or more.

But have you ever stopped to think about how much rice is on your plate? We recently sent one of our reporters to a restaurant in Tokyo to take on a rice omelet, one of Japan’s favorite comfort foods, made with a staggering 600 grams (1.3 pounds) of rice.

Looking around the office, we saw that Mr. Sato, our usual go-to guy for going crazy, was off adventuring in unknown lands. Meanwhile. P.K., another one of our fearless reporters, was present and accounted for, but still digesting his recent attempt to eat a bowl of ramen topped with 100 slices of roast pork.

In the end, we tapped our Japanese-language correspondent Yuichiro for this mission, and sent him off to Tokyo’s Arakawa Ward. Located on the north edge of the capital, Arakawa is a relatively blue-collar district, and we’d heard about a restaurant there, called Koeiken, that serves good honest grub in massive portions.

The restaurant is a hit with the locals, and even when Yuichiro rolled up well past the lunch rush at 3 p.m., he found it packed with customers. Koeiken bills itself as a Chinese restaurant, and the menu does have some of the Chinese food Japan loves best, such as ramen, gyoza (pot stickers), and fried rice. There are plenty of non-Chinese options too, though, like curry rice, oyakadon (a rice bowl with chicken and egg), and rice omelets, called “omu rice” in Japan.

The prices are all reasonable, ranging from 300 to 700 yen (US$2.40 to $5.60). We’d heard that even the normal servings are pretty big, but extra-large portions are available for an additional 200 yen, which meant Yuichiro’s jumbo omu rice came to 850 yen (US$6.80).

It also tipped the scales at a startling 600 grams (1.32 pounds), or four times the standard single-person serving of rice in Japan.

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With ordinary omu rice, the rice, pan-fried with chicken and ketchup, is wrapped in the egg. Because of that, Yuichiro hadn’t been expecting any amount of rice more than the chef could wrap, but Koeiken neatly solves that problem by simply piling the rice onto the plate, then tossing the egg on the peak of the mountain.

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▼ And as if the rice omelet wasn’t enough food by itself, it comes with soup and pickles.

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Still, even the largest meal starts with a single bite, so Yuichiro scooped out a spoonful of rice and egg, and was amazed by how delicious it was. In particular, the seasoning was just right, with the perfect balance of sweetness and tang. As a matter of fact, it was so good that before he realized it, he’d polished off a third of the omelet.

But as his stomach got fuller, his pace got slower, and after finishing roughly one half of his omu rice, Yuichiro hit the wall.

▼ This wall, to be precise.

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Thankfully, even though it’s not commonly done at restaurants in Japan, Koeiken’s staff was happy to give Yuichiro a container to take his leftovers home in, so he got to enjoy another gargantuan helping of omu rice the next day at home.

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Yuichiro’s final take on Koeiken? He says he’d recommend it to anyone who likes their food to be good-tasting, generously portioned, or reasonably priced. So, basically, anyone who likes to eat.

Restaurant information
Koeiken / 光栄軒
Address: Tokyo-to, Arakawa-ku, Arakawa 2-4-3
Open Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Mondays
Website (Tabelog)

Photos ©RocketNews24
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