An extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-large order.

Compared to its culinary cousin ramen, Japanese soba noodles are usually a less hearty meal, but that’s primarily due to soba using a lighter, less oily broth. Depending on the toppings you select, you can make a bowl of soba into something very filling, as we’re about to demonstrate.

Right now Fuji Soba, Japan’s favorite casual soba joint, is offering soba topped with strips of bak kut the-style pork, which we thought looked like a good way to satisfy our ever-present craving for meat.

If you know us, you know that the only thing we like more than meat is more meat, and Fuji Soba lets you add on to the regular bak kut the soba by ordering a double-size portion of meat. That got us wondering, though, if we could go even further, and to find out, we contacted Mr. Kudo, a Fuji Soba PR representative.

“Mr. Kudo, can we ask for even more meat?” we asked, to which he cheerfully answered “Sure! How much were you thinking of?” “Well, uh, how about 20 times the normal amount?” we asked, fulling expecting him to shoot the idea down.

Instead, though, he smiled again and said “Sure!”

But while his mouth said “Sure!”, we couldn’t help but feel his eyes saying “Haha very funny SoraNews24. Yes, I am calling your bluff.” We weren’t bluffing, though, and so we headed to a Fuji Soba in Tokyo’s Koenji neighborhood with Mr. Kudo accompanying us. As we entered, Mr. Kudo introduced us to Mr. Takahashi, the Kichijoji branch’s manager.

▼ Mr. Takahashi

“One bak kut the soba with 20 times the meat, please,” we told Mr. Takahashi, who first went to check his reserves. Luckily, there was enough meat in the kitchen for him to accommodate us. “I’ve never had someone order 20 times the regular meat,” he told us as he got to work.

Almost immediately, though, a problem presented itself. While the restaurant had enough meat for our mega-size order it didn’t have any single pot or pan that could fit that much meat in it. The limit for just about any single piece of cookware was roughly a double order of meat, and so Mr. Takahashi and his staff had to simultaneously cook the meat in several different pans.

Eventually, though, they managed to get everything cooked. The next challenge was presentation. They started out normally enough, placing a portion of meat atop the soba noodles lying in a bowl of broth,

But it wasn’t long before each addition of meat was a tense, Jenga-like brain teaser, threatening to topple the entire thing. As a precaution, Mr. Takahashi called out for a plate used to serve curry rice, placing it under the soba bowl should it need to catch any falling meat or splashing broth,

With an expression of intense concentration, Mr. Takahashi continued our meal’s careful construction work. The tower of meat rose closer and closer to the heavens, as either an affront to God or an inspiring example of the creative capabilities imparted to His children.

Finally, with a sprinkling of sliced green onions, it was finished.

Oh, and the total weight of all that meat? 1.2 kilograms (2.64 pounds).

▼ So more than 10 Quarter-Pounder hamburgers’ worth of meat.

For several moments, no one moved, and the only motion inside the restaurant came from the residual swaying of the meat from when it had been carried to our table. Looking around, Mr Takahashi and has staff had the tired but proud expressions of athletes who’d just finished a marathon,

We almost felt bad devouring this monument to their hard work and skill, but then again, this mountain of meat only existed because we’d asked them to make it for us to eat, and so it was time to dig in.

Initial taste-test duties fell to our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa, the biggest soba fan on staff. Seasoned with garlic and black pepper, the bak kut the pork was delicious, and Seiji even managed to eat all his noodles.

However, while we like a good all-you-can-eat gorging as much as the next guy, this was beyond even our expansive idea of what constitutes a single-person serving. Though restaurants in Japan don’t usually have doggy bags, Seiji had planned ahead and brought a Tupperware container with him, into which he placed his uneaten meat to bring back to the office to share with the rest of our staff.

▼ Seiji’s loss is our gluttonous gain.

The total cost of our mega meat soba came to 3,630 yen (US$33.60), broken down as 590 for the regular bak kut the soba and 160 yen for each additional order of meat. That’s a lot to spend on ramen, but in this case it was totally worth it, because the memories will last forever, and the leftovers, because we’ve got so many, almost as long.

Restaurant information
Fuji Soba (Koenji branch) / 富士そば(高円寺店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Koenji Kita 3-22-18
Open 24 hours

Related: Fuji Soba restaurant list
Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]