This particular dish with a really, really long name is a veritable gastronomic fortress waiting to be conquered. 

Our ace Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato has always been of the opinion that when excessive amounts of food are heaped on top of each other the dish becomes a castle waiting to be breached. Perhaps this hyper-active imagination is part of the reason why he and his co-reporters take such delight in continually seeking out the most massive food challenges they can find.

Nidaime Noguchi Sengyoten (ニダイメ野口鮮魚店) opened on March 26 on the first floor of Tokyo Skytree’s Solamachi shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. It’s the sister shop of the same restaurant in Kinshicho’s Parco shopping complex and is famous for seafood donburi (rice bowls) with fresh seafood delivered straight from Toyosu Market. Mr. Sato was immediately intrigued and decided to pay it a visit.

When he arrived, the sign outside of the restaurant was advertising the giant seafood rice bowl for which it’s famous. Upon perusing the menu, his eyeballs were visually accosted by the tremendous size of the rice bowls he was seeing: the Noguchi Seafood Big Catch Portable Shrine Rice Bowl (野口海鮮大漁神輿丼) and the Special Toyosu Market Rice Bowl (スペシャル豊洲市場丼). Both menu items regularly cost 2,790 yen (US$25.44) but in commemoration of the location’s opening they were temporarily listed at 2,200 yen.

Since they were the same price he definitely wanted to go with the flashier dish, so he planned on ordering the Big Catch Portable Shrine Rice Bowl. But suddenly the behemoth on the next page caught his eye.

▼ My dudes, may we introduce the Noguchi Seafood Big Catch Portable Shrine EXTREME Full Max Bursting-with-Energy Rice Bowl (野口海鮮大漁神輿丼「極」元気盛り盛りフルMAX).

This gargantuan dish was normally priced at 4,500 yen but was also temporarily discounted to 3,860 yen. The more he stared at the photo, the more it called to him. There was no other choice–Mr. Sato absolutely had to order this dish.

Upon placing his order the server confirmed with him that assembling it would take a little time. “No problem at all,” he replied. It was to be expected based on the artistic presentation displayed in the photo.

▼ After a while, it arrived in all of its real-world glory.

Could he even call this a rice bowl?! No matter what angle he looked at it from it was a bona fide fortress. The meal consisted of two flat dishes stacked on top of each other. The seafood chirashizushi (“scattered sushi”) piled on the bottom level appeared to his eyes as nothing other than castle walls.

▼ Glistening, tantalizing fresh seafood

The top level was piled high with extravagant sea urchin, tuna, shrimp, and crab and had the presence of a castle keep. Perhaps the most interesting detail was the two crab claws adorning either side of the seafood tower–outstretched and positioned as if the central jumbo shrimp were making peace signs.

Taking in the view head-on once more, Mr. Sato was again struck by just how much the dish look like a castle. He felt a distinct sense of animosity emanating from the food. It was as if it were taunting him, just waiting to see if he would initiate a full-on attack on its defenses. Challenge accepted.

Logically speaking, he should have begun his attack by assaulting the castle walls–but that tuna looked so, so good. He took a single piece and allowed it to slowly melt on his tongue.

After that, he began work on the wall. Tons of seafood flavor was packed into each single bite of the chirashizushi. He was able to discern two kinds of fish roe, salmon, and shredded crab. It was a veritable treasure trove of seafood.

The castle wall held enough food to make up a regular single portion, and Mr. Sato felt his stomach getting full. However, the real battle started from here as the most delicious morsels were still waiting to be conquered.

He decided to devour the peace-sign-making shrimp first. When was the last time he had eaten raw shrimp? He hadn’t visited many sushi restaurants since the start of the pandemic, so already the act of eating fresh, high-quality seafood gave him an unexpected thrill. On top of that, the shrimp was incredibly sweet to the point that he found himself tingling in gastronomic bliss.

The chirashizushi had already flooded his mouth with flavor but the seafood at the top somehow managed to take it a step further. In particular, the sea urchin packed a top-grade punch of flavor. If the castle walls could be compared to a treasure trove of seafood, then the castle keep was a concentrated fire of seafood. The dish certainly lived up to the “EXTREME” part of its title.

The reduced prices in commemoration of Nidaime Noguchi Sengyoten’s opening in Solamachi won’t last much longer (specific date unconfirmed), so interested parties should plan their own assault on the castle of seafood as soon as possible. Bon appétit, and happy strategizing for how you’ll take down your very own stronghold of seafood in turn.

Restaurant information
Nidaime Noguchi Sengyoten / ニダイメ野口鮮魚店
Address: Tokyo-to, Sumida-ku, Oshiage 1-1 Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi 1st floor East Yard Block 10
東京都墨田区押上1丁目1 東京スカイツリータウン ソラマチ1F イーストヤード10 番地
Open: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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