A beautifully arranged, blissfully huge order of one of Japan’s favorite summertime foods.

For generations, Japanese folk wisdom has held that eating unagi (eel) is supposed to help prevent heat exhaustion. So with this summer bringing record-breaking temperatures to Japan, we figured the only medically responsible thing to do was to eat 10,000 yen’s (US$90) worth.

Thankfully, Kappa Sushi, the same sushi chain that provided us with our 10,000-yen otoro (extra-fatty tuna) sushi cake, is once again happy to oblige our ambitious gluttony. In addition to its all-you-can-eat deal, Kappa Sushi is also offering a 10,000-yen Unagi Sushi Cake, or, as it’s also called, the Shigoku no Ooke Series Natsu Unaju (“Extreme Tub Summer Series Unagi on Rice”).

As with many monstrously large entrees, the Unagi Sushi Cake requires prior notice, with three days necessary for Kappa Sushi’s chefs to put it together. Once ours was ready, we headed to our nearest Kappa Sushi branch to pick it up, then brought the hefty round container back to SoraNews24 headquarters.

The premium-priced Unagi Sushi Cake comes swaddled in a furoshiki wrapping cloth bearing the Kappa Sushi logo. We untied the bundle and opened the lid of the tub-like container, then feasted our eyes on the sushi feast inside, eliciting gasps of excitement from everyone in the office at the thick slices of carefully arranged unagi.

Unagi is already an expensive sushi ingredient, but Kappa Sushi has paired it with another decadent element by heaping a generous portion of ikura (salmon roe) at the center of the spiral of unagi slices.

▼ Speaking of locations, the unagi is sourced from Kagoshima, on Japan’s southeastern island of Kyushi, while the ikura is from Hokkaido, the northernmost of the country’s main islands.

As another classy touch, the Unagi Sushi Cake comes with a wooden shamoji (rice scoop), which we used to dish ourselves up a serving.

We weren’t sure how unagi and ikura were going to taste together, since they’re usually eaten separately when served as block-like nigiri sushi. There turned out to be no reason to worry, though, as the sweetness of the unagi and the saltiness of the ikura blended into a luxurious harmony. Meanwhile, the vinegared sushi rice acts as a refreshing palate cleanser.

Everything tasted so good that we didn’t want to stop eating, and with so much food, we didn’t really have to. Still, we managed to slow our chopsticks enough to taste the condiments that come with the Unagi Sushi Cake.

First, we tried adding sweet sauce and sansho (a slightly bitter, pepper-like spice). While these are the standard flavorings for unagi, they sort of overpowered the ikura. Wasabi and soy sauce, sometimes used as unagi accompaniments in the Nagoya area, worked a little better, but still masked much of the ikura’s inherent deliciousness. So really, we recommend eating the Unagi Sushi Cake just as it comes, allowing the unagi and ikura to both reach their full potential for your taste buds.

At 10,000 yen, the Unagi Sushi Cake is a high-ticket item for the ordinarily inexpensive Kappa Sushi. Then again, since the chain says it’s big enough to feed eight people, it’s not a prohibitively pricy extravagance, at least on a per-person basis.

The Unagi Sushi Cake is available for take-out only, and can be ordered online here. It’s on sale until August 1, at which point you’ll have to settle for other ways to blow 10,000 yen on a single boxed meal.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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