How much rice and pasta is too much rice and pasta?

As you well know, we at SoraNews24 do not shy away from a food challenge, and boy are there plenty of them here in Japan. Previously we’ve tucked into seven-pound bowls of tempura and rice, two-foot tall parfaits, two-foot tall shaved ice, and a 6.6-pound red bean bun, and those are only our most recent endeavors.

This time we’ve popped into Nagoya, a city with a particularly strong love for dekamori, or giant servings, where we came across Tenmentabo A-I-U-E-O, an Italian restaurant with a big menu. It’s pretty infamous for its dekamori menu, so we really had no choice but check it out, being the thorough and conscientious journalists that we are.

The restaurant has a much more stylish interior than we’d expected, and the menu was packed with unique pasta dishes from cover to cover. But our reporters didn’t spend much time looking at it, since their goal was to challenge Tenmentabo’s legendary portion sizes, so they skipped over everything else and flipped right to the page with the dekamori. The choices looked pretty intense, and thus they were deemed worthy competitors.

Among the options, one in particular stood out: the mysterious Deramoko. It cost a hefty 3,800 yen (US$35) and is normally restricted to single challengers, but pairs and groups can also take on the challenge if everyone orders a drink for 200 yen each. Two of our reporters were there for the fight: Ahiru Neko, who himself has had much experience in the world of big food, and Yoshio, our boss and company founder. Though both had taken on a pasta challenge before, they were still nervous. In this land where dekamori reigned supreme, what could they expect?

Finally, a waiter appeared like a beacon of light, and placed a large plate in front of our two intrepid reporters. Ahiru Neko and Yoshio’s eyes bugged out of their heads when this huge monstrosity was set before them:

The plate was 40 centimeters (15 inches) in diameter, with four kilograms (8.8 pounds) of food piled on top. It’s called the “Deramoko” because it’s like a loco moco dish, with eggs and meat over rice, and dera is the Nagoya slang term for “amazing” or “incredible.” It’s half covered in loco moco and half in Napolitan spaghetti, which is a spaghetti with tomato sauce.

▼ iPhone for scale

There’s also a 1.5 pound steak, fried eggs, sausages, toast, and salad. It was a formidable foe to our hungry reporters.

This was not the time to mess around with knives, so they used a pair of scissors to cut the steak into bite sized pieces. With that done, it was time to dig in, and our two fighters dove into the ring without a second thought!

The food was actually really good. The Napolitan pasta was so tasty that it was easy to keep eating it until it was gone. Before they knew it, half the plate was empty! Soon it became clear that our reporters would win this battle easily. Nagoya cannot defeat SoraNews24’s reporters! Go, Yoshio! Go, Ahiru Neko!

▼ Yoshio took on the challenge with gusto.

▼ Ahiru Neko fought calmly and rationally.


▼ Dun!

▼ Dun dun!

Until they got to the rice. That enormous serving of rice was not playing around. They managed the eggs and the steak easily, but when they found the mountain hidden underneath, their progress stopped. They could not climb this mountain. The could not win this battle.

They could not conquer Nagoya.

So it was with heavy hearts and tears in their eyes that they raised the white flag in shameful defeat. Well, thankfully, the restaurant allows you to take home what you can’t finish (for an additional fee of 50 yen), so at least the food wasn’t wasted in the end.

With doggy bags in hand, our reporters retreated from Tenmentabo A-I-U-E-O, considerably full and a little bit the worse for wear, wondering how in the world any one person can finish one of those 15-inch plates. Was it even possible? Next time we’ll have to bring Mr. Sato…then maybe Nagoya will finally be conquered.

Restaurant Information
Tenmentabo A-I-U-E-O / 店麺多房 あいうえお
Address: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Tenpaku-ku, Hirabari 3-704
Open: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

Images © SoraNews24
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