If you’re into eating challenges, this is one you won’t want to miss out on.

Japan’s Nara prefecture is generally known for its many temples and deer, but it also has more than a few good places to eat.

One of them is a place called Tonmasa, a place that serves up “the world’s biggest tonkatsu” (pork cutlet), according to advertisements.

▼ Here’s what it looks like from the outside.

When our Japanese-language writer K. Masami got wind of this, she decided that she had to try it out with a friend who had been there before and assured her it was delicious.

Tonkatsu is traditionally made with pork, but this restaurant also serves up a large chicken cutlet meal that goes for 1,800 yen (US$16.22). It’s supposed to be served in a stack that’s almost 8 inches (20 centimeters) tall, which is roughly the size of a bowling ball.

The restaurant likes to build up suspense by just giving you the rice, tonkatsu sauce, and miso soup that comes with the meal set before bringing out the main attraction.

When Masami saw the staff bringing over the katsu with gloves, though, she couldn’t do much else but laugh in disbelief.

Her dish wasn’t quite 8 inches tall, but it was pretty close to it.

“There’s no way I can eat all of this!” she thought. She still wanted to give it a shot, though, so she asked her friend for advice on how to eat as much of the delicious battered chicken as possible.

His advice was simple: put as much cutlet (without sauce) in your mouth as you can stand. Once you get used to the taste and texture, then you can start adding things like salt, pepper, and the sweet tonkatsu sauce. Switching flavors makes your stomach more able to handle lots of food, he said.

With that in mind, Masami gave it a shot. Ten minutes passed… then twenty… and finally, after thirty solid minutes of constantly eating chicken cutlets, she threw in the towel. But she enjoyed every minute of the soft, delicious, and slightly sweet meat.

It wasn’t long after that that her friend gave up as well. According to staff, only about 10% of those who take on the challenge succeed. They also say that if more people succeed, they’ll increase the amount of katsu served.

Why, you ask? The previous generation of owners, who lived through war times and experienced real hunger, simply wanted people to be able to eat a lot.

You’re probably wondering how much of the leftovers go to waste; they don’t! You’re absolutely allowed to take home what you can’t finish in the restaurant.

Masami took home about 20 leftover pieces herself and incorporated them into other dishes like chicken nanban and curry. The flavor of the cutlets changed a bit over time, making them even more delicious.

While Masami is definitely done with eating fried foods for the time being, she feels like she’d take on the challenge again someday, and she recommends that you do, too.

Or if you’re looking for a different kind of challenge, perhaps a restaurant that lets customers toss clam shells on the floor!

Restaurant information
Tonmasa / とんまさ
Address: Nara-ken, Yamatokoriyama-shi, Minamikoriyamacho 363-23 Baika Bldg 1F
奈良県大和郡山市南郡山町363-23 梅花ハイツ1F
Open: Weekdays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m
Weekends/holidays 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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