A surprising supermarket find is our biggest food challenge yet!

When it comes to scouting the Japanese food scene for humongous meals, our reporter Mr Sato is usually our go-to man for the job. However, on a recent trip to a supermarket in Nara, our reporter K. Masami came across a bento meal to topple Mr Sato’s track record, and make everyone’s jaws drop.

▼ Behold the “Mega-Sized Bento“.

This bento was so big that passersby who saw it stopped and pointed at it, laughing in disbelief. According to the display, this huge tendon (“tempura bowl”) contains three kilos (6.6 pounds) of rice, which is roughly the same weight as a newborn baby.

▼ The bento turned the heads of everyone who saw it.

It was love at first sight for Masami, who immediately cradled the bento in her arms and carried it to the register so she could take it home with her. As she made her way to the front of the store, passersby continued to stop and stare at what she was holding, with some even saying “dekee!” (“it’s huge!“) in disbelief as she walked by.

This supermarket chain, Lopia, has a bit of a reputation for serving up big bentos, but this baby was huge, even by their standards. The price tag was also on the high end of the scale, priced at 2,800 yen (US$21).

▼ According to the tag, this meal is “1 食限定!”, which means they only make one of them a day, so Masami felt extra lucky to have come across it.

As soon as she arrived home, Masami wasted no time in weighing her pride and joy, which tipped the scales at an impressive 4.2 kilos (9.3 pounds). There was no way she would be able to consume so much food on her own, so she called a few friends to come over for a bento party to help her finish it.

While she waited for them to arrive, she took a closer look at the bento. The size of the container was about 19 centimetres (7.5 inches) in length, 37 centimetres in width, and around 10 centimetres in height.

According to the information printed on the price tag, the bento includes 10 pieces of prawn tempura, 400 grams (14 ounces) of chicken tempura, and 6 pieces of perilla tempura.

▼ And yes, three kilos of rice.

When Masami’s three friends arrived they too, were amazed at the size of the bento, wondering if all four of them would be able to eat it all. According to Masami’s calculations, four portions works out to around a kilo of food, so this was going to be a big meal.

Masami got out her big donburi bowls for the task, but after filling one with a bit of everything from the container, it hardly made a dent in it.

▼ The bento after one donburi serving (circled) had been taken from it

Still, Masami and her friends were determined to eat as much as possible, and after their first taste, they felt more capable of completing the task, as the rice was saucy and sweet, and the chicken and shrimp tempura were fresh and absolutely delicious.  

The quality seemed higher than a regular tendon you’d buy at a supermarket, but there’s no denying there was a lot of it. After finishing her bowl, Masami was more than full and unable to keep going. Thankfully, amongst her friends there was one with a particularly powerful appetite, a man who once helped her demolish a titanic bowl of pork cutlet katsudon on a previous assignment.

He was able to eat two bowlfuls without any trouble, but when it came to attempting a third, even he came unstuck, reaching levels beyond satiety that made him remark, “This is calorie harassment“.

One kilo of rice, or 7 go in the traditional measurements, works out to around 3,500 calories, and by this stage, her friend must’ve eaten around two or three go of cooked rice, so Masami had to agree with him.

▼ One person’s feast is another person’s calorie harassment.

After that, our four food fighters did their best to finish the remainder of the meal, but in the end, they were foolish for thinking they could consume it all in one sitting. Perhaps if they were in their twenties they would’ve been more ravenous, but now that they were in their thirties they just didn’t have the room in their stomachs they once had for food challenges as big as this one.

However, seeing as it’s rude in Japan to leave food behind without eating it, Masami and her friends decided to extend their meal, nibbling at it over several hours while enjoying each other’s company.

After a few hours, their bowls were empty and they’d finally finished the 4.2-kilo mega bento. It’s definitely a meal for sharing with friends and family, and it’s absolutely delicious, but after their impromptu bento party, Masami and her friends won’t be able to look at big bento or tendon the same way again…at least for a little while.

Shop information
Lopia Minara Branch / ロピア ミ・ナーラ店
Address: Nara-ken, Nara-shi, Nijōōjiminami 1-3-1
Open 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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