Bread and ice cream reaches new heights at this restaurant.

If you were to ask mountain climbers why they climb mountains, many will answer, “Because it’s there,” in the words of British climber George Mallory. For our Japanese-language reporter Takamichi Furusawa the answer is the same, although for him it’s in relation to conquering mountainous sweets.

Takamichi has scaled many such sweets in his lifetime — his name translates to “high road” after all — but this week, he discovered a new peak that looked sure to test his chops: Honey toast with two litres of ice cream.

The creators of this mammoth dessert are the folks over at the Italian restaurant “Kitchen Macaroni” in Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture. The name “Kitchen Macaroni” rang a bell for Takamichi, who seemed to remember it being the same name as the Western-style restaurant in the 2002 TV drama “Queen of Lunch“.

Inside, the restaurant has a beautiful wood interior and a calm, laid-back vibe. Takamichi flipped through the menu but he already knew what he wanted. He was here to try the infamous “Fruit Honey Toast”, priced at 1,045 yen (US$7.54).

About five minutes later, a Mount Everest of desserts was presented to him.

▼ Behold the Fruit Honey Toast!

Takamichi’s jaw dropped at the sight of it, and it stayed that way for a photo or two as he soaked in all its glory.

It was breathtakingly large, much larger than even Takamichi had expected, and it was so beautiful he found it hard to tear his eyes away from it. Eventually, though, after admiring all its troughs and peaks, Takamichi managed to close his mouth and pick up his spoon, dipping into the summit for a first taste.

Mmmmm….delicious! The combination of rich vanilla ice cream and refreshing fruit sauce went down a treat, and Takamichi felt a little more confident that he might actually be able to finish it all.

Beneath the two litres of ice cream and its cascade of strawberry and blueberry sauce was a loaf of sweet bread holding everything up at base camp. Honey Toast is best enjoyed when bread and ice cream are eaten together, so Takamichi carefully sliced into a corner of the loaf with a knife, and as he cut through the bread he feared an avalanche might occur.

Thankfully, the bread held strong, and Takamichi was able to enjoy a mouthful of it, mixed with ice cream, sauce, and a couple of banana slices, which were scattered around the dessert.

Now that was the mouthful of sweet ecstasy he’d been looking for. The crunchy toast had been soaked in honey so it was delightfully sweet and chewy, the smooth banana slices added a wonderful creamy texture, the ice cream melted on the tongue, and the sauce provided a refreshing aftertaste, helping Takamichi dip in for spoonful after spoonful…again and again.

The taste and texture of the dessert was totally irresistible, but there was a lot to get through so Takamichi decided to go the slow and steady route with it.

▼ After 40 minutes of eating, he was more than halfway through.

More and more diners began to fill up the tables around him, but Takamichi continued on his solo journey, despite wishing he had a companion to help him along the way. Realising he only had himself to lift his spirits on this last leg, he gathered all his energy and found himself on a final spurt towards the finish line.

Maintaining this momentum, Takamichi finally lifted the last spoonful of the dessert to his mouth, and as he did he glanced at his watch to check the time. It had taken him a total of 50 minutes to finish the mountainous dessert, and as he sat back to relax after his achievement, he was surprised to find he didn’t feel as full as he thought he would.

It takes skill to craft a dessert that looks like an impossible mountain but still manages to remain light and refreshing. That’s what Kitchen Macaroni does, though, and now that he’s conquered one mountainous dessert, he’s ready to do it again. Why? Because it’s there.

Restaurant Information

Kitchen Macaroni / キッチン・マカロニ
Address: Gunma-ken, Kiryu-shi, Nishiki-cho 2-14-31 
Open: 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (last orders 3:00 p.m.); 6:00 p.m.-midnight (last orders 11:00 p.m.)
Closed: Sundays and the third Monday of every month, plus additional irregular holidays

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[ Read in Japanese ]