A dessert big enough for you and a couple friends…or one Mr. Sato.

You don’t have to be an etiquette expert to know that using plates/bowls for food and cups for drinks is a cornerstone of basic table manners. It’s why no one walks into a bar and says “Gimme a plate of beer.”

A rare exception to this rule, though, is the parfait, which typically comes in what would otherwise be a drinking glass. But while a parfait in a glass is nothing unusual, our ears perked up, and our stomachs started growling, when we heard tales of a restaurant in Japan that serves a parfait so big it has to come in a pitcher.

Naturally, our intrepid Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato volunteered to investigate these rumors, and his search took him to, of all places, a ramen restaurant.

Standing in front of the Tokyo Keio Hachioji Shopping Center branch of Hida no Takayama Ramen, Mr. Sato had to check his notes to make sure he was in the right place. Ramen joints aren’t usually known for their desserts, and even if this one did have sweets on the menu, it looked like an everyday eatery catering to suburban Tokyoite families doing their Sunday shopping run, not someplace serving up mammoth desserts that would challenge even the gluttonous sensibilities of SoraNews24.

But there it was, written on the menu, the Super Colossal Mega Parfait, so that’s what Mr. Sato ordered.

Starting at the highest altitude, the Super Colossal Mega Parfait has a veritable produce department’s worth of sliced fruit, including banana, kiwi, and mandarin orange. It also has no fewer than three popsicles stuck into it, waiting for you to pull them out like you’re King Arthur proving you’re the one true king of England.

Waiting underneath are layers of ice cream and corn flakes. Depending on where in the world you spent your formative dessert-eating years, corn flakes might seem like an odd inclusion, but they’re a common crunchy part of parfaits in Asia, and if you grew up someplace where they’re not, you can always use them to help convince yourself that this parfait would be an appropriate breakfast option.

“So heavy…”

Gripping the pitcher by its handle and lifting it, Mr. Sato estimated its weight at about one kilogram (2.2 pounds). That’s probably why the menu says the Super Colossal Mega Parfait is sized for sharing among three diners, but if you remember your conversions from math class, you know that three normal people are equal to one Mr. Sato.

And so Mr. Sato resolved to eat the entire Super Colossal Mega Parfait all by himself. Ordinarily, he’d recommend taking a few moments to work out a strategy for a man-vs.-food battle of such magnitude, but in this case the parfait is too big for any opening gambit other than eating all the toppings first.

As he polished off the popsicles and fruit, Mr. Sato was feeling pretty confident. His opponent had a trick up its sleeve, though. As he scooped the whipped cream up and into his mouth, he discovered that it had been concealing an entire dome-shaped serving of purin, Japanese custard pudding!

Luckily, though, Mr. Sato has a special fondness for cream-based desserts, and soon enough he was done with the toppings and on to the first layer of ice cream.

Here, Mr. Sato did have a plan. As an experienced eater of things that are supposed to be too big to eat by yourself, it’s been his observation that the act of chewing promotes a sense of fullness. With more than half the pitcher left to go, though, he didn’t want that sensation, so he made sure to “drink” his spoonfulls of ice cream, letting them slide down his throat without any chewing.

He took a few intermediate breaks when his stomach got chilled, but thanks to his no-chew technique he polished off the first layer of ice cream without too much trouble. Coming up next, though, was the biggest challenge of the bout: the corn flakes.

“Corn flake layer”

Cereal, obviously, doesn’t get melty like ice cream does, and so you have to chew it.

That meant that there were no clever tactics Mr. Sato could employ here, leaving him no choice but to rely on his sheer strength of will to crunch through this sweets stratum.

Persevere he did, though, then reaching a second layer of ice cream. Once again, his no-chew method served him well…

…and he arrived at the final form of his boss battle of a dessert, a base of frozen sliced grapes and strawberries.

Having come this far, there was no way Mr. Sato wasn’t going to finish the job, and he let out a long, satisfied sigh when he set his spoon down after eating the very last thing in the pitcher, feeling like a car that had just had its tank filled with sweet, sweet fuel.

If you’re thinking the Super Colossal Mega Parfait looks tasty, but that you’re not quite up to matching Mr. Sato bite-for-bite, not only will your doctor be happy for your health, but you’ll be happy to know that Hida no Takayama Ramen also has non-insane-size parfaits on the menu too, though we still have to admit that at 2,500 yen (US$22.70), the Super Colossal Mega Parfait is a pretty impressive value by Japanese restaurant dessert standards.

Unfortunately, we have no idea how Hida no Takayama Ramen’s ramen is, since Mr. Sato had no room for even a single bite of anything else. Maybe he’ll go back and try the noodles someday, provided he doesn’t get a craving to eat the biggest egg sandwich in Japan again.

Restaurant information
Hida no Takayama Ramen (Keio Hachioji branch) / 飛騨の高山らーめん(京王八王子店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Hachioji-shi, Myojincho3-27-1, Keio Hachioji Shopping Center 10th floor
東京都八王子市明神町3-27-1 京王八王子ショッピングセンター10F
Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Top image: SoraNews24
Insert images: SoraNews24, Pakutaso
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