You’ll have to work your way up to take on the final form of their service.

A few years ago, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was looking around at properties in western Saitama Prefecture. He never ended up moving there, but at that time the real estate agent mentioned that the area had a restaurant that was “a mecca for people who love big servings.”

At the time Masanuki just politely smiled and nodded, assuming she had no idea the size of servings that a reporter in his field has eaten for a living. However, she was so enthusiastic about it, the recommendation stuck with him even after all those years.

So, he finally decided to take a trip out to this restaurant called Koto which is situated in Iruma City, about two kilometers (one mile) from Irumashi Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. Although a restaurant famous for big servings would have been great back when Masanuki was in his prime, now that he’s in his 40s it just seemed daunting. Still, he had to go just to see if it really was everything that real estate agent said it was.

“We’re sorry, all the tables are full so please wait a little while.”

It certainly had a reputation, because when he arrived the place was full and there was a 10-minute wait for him to get a table. When he entered, the dining area was bustling and he was handed a menu with a wide range of dishes, from 40 types of udon and soba noodles to 30 kinds of rice bowls and other meals. There were also items limited to weekdays and weekly specials.

It was an overwhelming selection, so Masanuki kept it simple and ordered the weekly special ginger pork & grilled salmon combo for 1,159 yen (US$8.72). It also came with “appetizers of the day” so it seemed like a good value all around.

▼ The appetizers of the day

Soon after, the main course arrived. It was a powerful-looking tray full of meet, rice, miso soup, and udon.

The top view doesn’t nearly do justice to the actual size of this thing. Looking at it from the side, the bowl of rice resembled something from a manga, piled comically huge to the point of tipping over.

And that still wasn’t everything. Arriving last was the grilled mackerel that seemed to get lost among all the dishes and large portions as if to say “hey, don’t forget about me!”

However, being fashionably late helped make it clear that the grilled mackerel was the star of the show. It’s oily softness and mild saltiness blended right in the piles of rice that Masanuki heaped into his mouth.

Meanwhile, the ginger pork brought zings of flavor that helped make this ordinarily over-sized meal easy to get through.

Still, it was some long-distance eating for our aging reporter and he began to grow weary as he neared the finish line.

And just as the end was in sight and a few morsels remained, Masanuki heard a voice from the kitchen shout, “There’s more!”

Our reporter imagined that they must have been talking about a cup of tea or something. There was no way more food could possibly be on its way. Then, a small plate of baumkuchen cake was placed on his table.

Luckily, it was small and tasty enough for Masanuki to be able to handle it. It was a tough haul overall but he managed it.

After paying the bill, the staff gave him an additional 5-yen coin, which is regarded as a lucky charm in Japan, as if to say “safe journeys!”

Koto truly was a restaurant that heaped on both the service and the food. As for the food, however, Masanuki actually still hadn’t experienced its true power. This restaurant doesn’t serve their Large Portion to first-timers, so our reporter had just eaten their “normal” sized meal.

Ordering works on a graduated system in that only those who’ve handled the Normal Portion can then order the large portion and those who’ve handled the Large Portion can move up to the Special Portion. In Dragon Ball terms, Masanuki had merely taken out Frieza’s first form.

On the other hand, Koto also serves “mini” portions which would presumably be like a normal portion at any other restaurant. So don’t hesitate checking this place whenever you’re in western Saitama. It’s where satisfaction is job one!

Restaurant information
Address: Saitama-ken, Iruma-shi, Miyamae-cho 12-11
Open: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (Except for public holidays)
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. / 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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