And the offer is good until 13 December only, so hurry up!

Chen Mapo Dofu is a chain of Chinese restaurants that specializes in the dish mapo tofu, which is tofu, meat, and rice smothered in a delectable spicy sauce. They also make a mean bowl of dandan noodles (tantanmen in Japanese) which can be yours for free every day for a year if you act now.

The way it works is simple: just order three bowls of dandan noodles at their regular price of 450 yen (US$4.32) and you become eligible for the free bowls from there on out. The catch is that it needs to be done by 13 December.

The campaign actually began back on 14 November, which normally would be plenty of time to enjoy the three bowls on separate occasions, but since Mr. Sato had only learned about it recently, he had to act fast and checked to see if he could eat his three all at once.

Luckily the staff agreed to his idea, so he placed an order for three bowls of dandan noodles. This way he would have to pay 1,350 yen ($13) but stood to get 164,250 yen ($1,575) in noodles if he took full advantage of the deal.

The only problem was that he couldn’t tell how big a single bowl was from the picture. Polishing off three at a time might be a challenge, but exactly the kind of challenge Mr. Sato was preparing for his whole life.

When they arrived, he was slightly relieved. Each bowl could fit into his palm and didn’t pose a challenge for our hungry, hungry Sato.

However, longtime Mr. Sato fans are probably aware that he has a voracious sweet-tooth, often preferring the girly sweets of Harajuku to the invigorating burn of pepper and wasabi. The name of this particular dish is Phantom Food Stall Style Dandan Noodles (Maboroshi no Yataishiki Tantanmen), which is a pretty cool name that invokes the flavor of a dish picked up from the streets of Sichuan.

It also sounded painful for our reporter whose taste buds had been thoroughly softened by tubs of ice cream and gallons of bubble tea.

As the steaming bowls sat in front of him, he could get a big whiff of their piquant seasoning. But even with the early warning to brace himself, the first bite of Sichuan pepper easily penetrated his sugary senses and burned deeply.

Suddenly these three tiny bowls began to look enormous to Mr. Sato.

However, as he ate he started to get accustomed to the spiciness and appreciated all the complex flavors of the noodles. After finishing the first bowl he felt himself anxious to dig into the next one, and so on.

By the time he was finished, Mr. Sato began to feel like a full-fledged spicy-food addict. He probably wasn’t at all really, but we’ll let him have savor this victory for now.

And as promised, he was handed his Phantom Food Stall Style Dandan Noodles One-Year Passport.

Mr. Sato was told that the offer was only good at one location per day as well, which meant he couldn’t go hopping around to a bunch of different Chen Mapo Dofu every day for free noodles. That was probably more effort than he was willing to put in anyway. Even the card seemed to acknowledge that by only having 128 spaces to stamp.

He’d of course be issued another passport if he filled that one up, but he probably wouldn’t need it. Even if he went 100 days out of 365, he’d still be well ahead of the game. It would be much needed spicy food training for him as well.

Restaurant information
Chen Mapo Dofu (Shinjuku Normura Bldg.) / 陳麻婆豆腐 新宿野村ビル店
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku 1-26-2, Shinjuku Normura Bldg. B2
東京都新宿区西新宿1丁目26-2 新宿野村ビルB2
Hours: 11a.m. – 3p.m. / 5p.m. – 11p.m. (last order at 10p.m.)
Offer available at all 10 Chen Mapo Dofu locations across Japan

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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