If you’re hungry and quick enough, this eating challenge in Tokyo’s liveliest student neighborhood can make a tidy profit.

Here at SoraNews24, we never back down from a challenge…as long as that challenge involves trying to eat a ridiculous amount of food. So no sooner had we walked away from the table after ordering a triple-decker wagyu beef hamburger steak in Akihabara, we were already looking for our next edible adversary, and boy did we find one.

Right now, the branch of the Stamina Taro Next restaurant chain in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba neighborhood is offering what it calls the Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan Spaghetti, “mega-mori” being the Japanese phrase for “mega-sized” food. The restaurant is in no way kidding around with that descriptor, either, as the entree weighs a mind-blowing 3.7 kilograms (8.14 pounds).

▼ It’s a two-kilogram pile of spaghetti topped with a 500-gram hamburger steak, four strips of bacon, and no fewer than four pork cutlets. Oh, and it also comes with tonkatsu and cheese sauces on the side.

Stamina Taro Next is a pretty casual restaurant, but still, all that chow doesn’t come cheap, as the Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan is priced at 10,800 yen (US$98). Still, the last time we went out and paid 10,000 yen for spaghetti, we only got 2.3 kilograms of food. Plus, when you order the Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan, it’s actually an investment, since you can profit from eating it.

▼ Deep-fried gold!

See, if you, all by yourself, can finish the entire Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan in 30 minutes or less, not only will Stamina Taro Next waive your bill, they’ll also give you 50,000 yen (US$455) gift certificate as a prize!

Intrigued by this opportunity to indulge both his avaricious and gluttonous tendencies, our Japanese-language reporter Ahiru Neko volunteered to take on the challenge, boldly telling us “I’ve been waiting for something like this. Leave it to me. I’ll finish it off in a flash. How can I do that? You doubt me, the Dekamori Assasin? Hahaha!”

▼ Ahiru Neko can be a pretty intense dude under the right conditions.

Though his confidence didn’t waver, Ahiru Neko’s vocal boisterousness changed to quiet resolve once the Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan was placed before him. While he’d been waiting for the server to bring him his food, he’d been mentally calculating his battle plan, giving himself eight minutes to eat the pork cutlets, another eight for the pasta, three minutes for the hamburger steak, and finally three more for the bacon, which would leave him with eight minutes to lean back and contentedly pat his stomach before his 30 minutes were up.

Stamina Taro Next is kind enough to provide challengers with a timer, and we kept one eye on it and the other on Ahiru Neko’s display of eating prowess. Occasionally he’d mumble his impressions, such as “Wow, these cutlets taste great” or “You know, this bacon is really high-quality,” but for the most part he only sounds we heard were from his constantly moving fork and jaws.

Ahiru Neko’s original target time of 22 minutes came and went, and still he wasn’t finished. But while he never stopped eating, neither did time stop flowing, and before long, the timer’s chime went off, letting us know the 30 minutes were up…

…despite a huge amount of pasta and meat being left over.

“Starting with the cutlets was a mistake on my part,” Ahiru Neko said, immediately launching into a post-loss self-revue of his tactics. “It really threw off mu pace. Pork cutlets must be like my Achilles’ heel,” he continued. Really, we think “kryptonite” is the term he was looking for, but we weren’t entirely sure his ears weren’t filled with pasta by this point, so we didn’t bother correcting him. “Still, I’d like to congratulate Stamina Taro Next on its victory,” he announced, graciously admitting defeat

▼ When you’re beat, you’re beat.

With the one-on-one portion of this battle finished, fellow reporter P.K. Sanjun and SoraNews24 owner Yoshio, who’d accompanied Ahiru Neko to the restaurant, started in on the leftovers. and were happy to find that Stamina Taro Next’s Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan is incredibly tasty.

And lest you think the restaurant is only offering the 50,000-yen prize because they know they’ve set the bar impossibly high, the staff told us that Ahiru Neko is the third person to attempt the challenge, and that both of his predecessors succeeded. So incredible as it sounds, soloing the Meaty Mega-mori Stamina Taro Napolitan is within the capabilities of humanity, and if you’d like to try your hand/stomach, the challenge is in effect until March 14.

Restaurant information
Stamina Taro Next (Big Box Takadanobaba branch)/ すたみな太郎NEXT BIGBOX高田馬場店
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Takadanoababa 1-35-3, Big Box 9th floor
東京都新宿区高田馬場 1-35-3 BIGB OX 9階
Open 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he thinks it’s awfully brave of Stamina Taro Next to offer this deal with all those hungry and/or drunk Waseda college kids wandering about the neighborhood.

[ Read in Japanese ]