Hakuna matata, right?

We’ve been hearing a lot recently that eating bugs is the way of the future. Bugs are a great source of protein, grow fast, and are much better for the environment than raising traditional livestock. They only have one small downside: their appearance.

But we don’t want a silly little thing like antennae and exoskeletons getting in the way of our future! So to get a taste of things to come, we decided to check out the restaurant “Rice and Circus” in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

They’re running a special until March 6 where they serve bugs prepared using Japanese-style cooking techniques, so we headed on down to see what all the buzz was about.

▼ The outside of “Rice and Circus.” We don’t see any critters escaping outside, so that’s probably a good sign. Or maybe a bad one?


▼ Hmm, still no sign of bugs anywhere. Is this really the right place?


▼ Opening the menu reveals that they do serve exotic meats, with kangaroo, camel, deer, and bear on the menu. According to the staff, “crocodile tempura” is one of their most popular items.


▼ Ah ha! Here’s what we came for: the bug menu. (Translation below.)


· Boiled grasshoppers in soy sauce – 470 yen (US$4.15)
· Silkworm chawanmushi (steamed in egg custard, vegetables, etc.) – 480 yen ($4.25)
· Candied wasp larvae – 500 yen ($4.40)
· Scorpion with onion – 500 yen ($4.40)
· Ant egg omelet – 700 yen ($6.20)
· Ant friend rice – 900 yen ($8.00)
· Six insect variety platter (grasshoppers, silkworms, scorpions, grubs, scarab beetles, diving beetles) – 1200 yen ($10.65)

▼ To work up our courage for the squishier bug varieties,
we decided to start with some scorpion and onion.

▼ “Does it count if I just eat the onion?”
“How about if I just rub the onion on the scorpion?


▼ Finally diving in! The scorpion was crunchy and had a shrimp-like texture, with an almost herbal medicine flavor. It was so good, we had another.


▼ Up next: silkworm chawanmushi.


▼ Mmm… the silkworms look especially juicy today.

▼ Mr. Sato is unaffected by the steamed silkworms.
To be fair, it’s hardly the strangest thing he’s ever eaten.


▼ “Does it count if I just eat the mushrooms and greens?”
“For the last time, no!”


▼ And down the hatch it goes! It actually wasn’t that bad. We ate all four of them in the bowl, and despite their somewhat disturbing appearance, if you ate the bowl blind, you might just mistake them for chicken.


▼ And finally, the platter of grasshoppers, silkworms, scorpions…


▼ …and grubs, scarab beetles, and diving beetles. We’re in for a treat.


▼ Even the staff admitted that the diving beetles were too much for most people. Looking at them up close, it’s pretty easy to see why.

▼ But we had a job to do! No time for scruples!


▼ It’s time for hard-hitting taste-testing journalism!


▼ The diving beetles were slippery, hard, and their crunchy wings and bodies burst into pieces inside our mouth, making it an eating experience we will never forget… not matter how hard we try.


▼ “Does it count if I just-”
“I ate it and now you have to too, Sato!”


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, or just want to see what extremely eco-friendly eating looks like, then head down to Rice and Circus to do some insect-igative journalism of your own. They’re only serving these delicacies until March 6, so use all six of your legs to get there as soon as you can!

Rice and Circus (Kome to Sakasu)
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Takadanobaba 2-19-8
Hours: 5:00pm-5:00am (the following day)
Days: Open every day

Photos © RocketNews24
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