Can we defeat this mountainous serving of food?

On 31 August, Japanese alpinist Yuichiro Miura successfully climbed Mt Fuji in a special wheelchair at the age of 90 with the support of his family and friends. It was a touching story that both inspired us and made us feel quite lazy by comparison, so our reporter Kouhey decided to do something about it, seeking out a challenge of his own.

At the age of 50, Kouhey is no spring chicken, but he’s still a long way off from being a nonagenarian like Miura. And after learning that Miura was the first person to ski on Mt Everest, Kouhey found a challenge that seemed perfect — the Chomolungma challenge.

In Japan, Mt Everest is known as Chomolungma, which is the Tibetan name for the mountain, meaning “Goddess Mother of Mountains”. If Miura could conquer Mt Fuji at his advanced age, Kouhey felt confident that he could conquer Chomolungma…especially as the challenge would take place inside a restaurant called Teishoku no Marudai.

▼ Kouhey visited his nearest branch, located a minute’s walk from JR Higashi-Funabashi Station in his hometown of Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture.

Teishoku no Marudai (teishoku is the Japanese word for a set meal) currently has seven stores nationwide. One of the features of the restaurant is that diners can choose the amount of rice to go with their set meal in five increments, starting at 150 grams (5.3 ounces) and going all the way up to the Chomolungma, at 800 grams (28.2 ounces).

The regular serving of rice for a set meal is 300 grams, and it comes with your set meal at no additional cost. However, if you forgo the regular serving and opt for the 150-gram option you’ll get a 50-yen discount on your set meal, and the heavier options will cost you 100, 200 or 300 yen more.

Kouhey wasted no time in beginning his trek, scanning the QR code on his table with his smartphone to order the Chomolungma.

Looking through the menu, Kouhey could see that Teishoku no Marudai lived up to its name, with a wide variety of set meals available.

▼ He chose the Stir-Fried Chicken with Chilli Sauce Set Meal for 950 yen (US$6.47), pictured at the bottom of the image below.

After selecting your set meal, it’s time to choose your serving of rice, and Kouhey went for the mountainous Chomolungma.

Kouhey couldn’t help but smile at the Japanese flag perched on top of the rice mountain on the menu screen, but when his order arrived at his table about ten minutes later, he was surprised to see the flag wasn’t just there for illustrative purposes, it was actually included with the meal.

Kouhey had never seen anything like this in real life before — it was like something you’d see in a manga comic!

▼ The first thing he did was remove the national flag from the summit of Chomolungma…

▼ …so he could replace it with a mound of chicken from his main dish.

Of course, placing food on top of rice is considered a no-no when it comes to Japanese etiquette, but at a restaurant where your rice comes served with a flag on top of it, the normal rules don’t apply.

Conquering this mountain, by essentially demolishing it, was going to be a challenging task, so Kouhey paced himself with bites of refreshing shredded cabbage between mouthfuls.

Things were going steadily until suddenly…

▼ …an avalanche!

Quickly scooping up the snow-white mound of rice and popping it into his mouth, he scanned the rest of the mountain for any other potential pitfalls.

Things looked secure so he proceeded with bites of rice, then chicken, then rice, then cabbage, until…

▼…he was two-thirds of the way there!

▼ However, with a third of the mountain still left in his bowl…

▼ …he’d run out of supplies in terms of both chicken and cabbage.

Thinking on his feet, Kouhey was able to order an emergency supply of Tsukimi Tororo (grated yam with egg) to help him get to the finish line.

This was a a powerful choice, because once he’d mixed the egg and yam together, he poured it all over the rice, as is the custom with Tsukimi Tororo.

This turned the solid mound of rice into a soupy mixture, and Kouhey felt his speed begin to accelerate as the mountain became much easier to eat.

▼ In the blink of an eye, there were only a few steps left in his journey…

▼ …until finally, he conquered the Chomolungma!

▼ Challenge now complete, Kouhey sat back for a moment to burn this image of empty plates into his memory.

Despite the mountainous meal, the bill was much smaller by comparison, with the total for everything coming to just 1,650 yen! This was a great price to pay for so much satisfaction, and Kouhey would definitely return for another adventure.

Whether he’ll return to conquer the Chomolungma when he’s 90…well, only time will tell.

Restaurant information
Teishoku Shokudo No Marudai Higashi-Funabashi store / 「大衆食堂 定食のまる大」東船橋店
Address: Chiba-ken, Funabashi-shi, Higashifunabashi 4-31-2 Evergreen Higashifunabashi 1F
大阪府大阪市中央区難波千日前11-6 なんばグランド花月 1F
Open 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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