Japan’s first-ever wanko soba conveyor belt restaurant opens in Tokyo


Amusement Wanko Soba Kurukuru Wanko desires you to eat over 100 bowls of noodles in a single sitting.

Whereas noodle dishes like soba and ramen are likely to get lots of love from abroad vacationers, there’s a particular dish known as wanko soba that’s equally deserving of affection and a focus.

This well-known specialty hails from Iwate Prefecture, and although it consists of soba, the best way it’s eaten is extremely uncommon — as an alternative of being slurped up abruptly in a single bowl, the soba is served in small parts throughout a lot of bowls in fast succession, like an all-you-can-eat problem.

Often you need to journey to Iwate to get pleasure from wanko soba, however now you will get a style of it proper right here in Tokyo, at a brand new restaurant known as Amusement Wanko Soba Kurukuru Wanko. Though historically the dishes are served by employees at your desk, right here in Tokyo they’ve put a brand new spin on issues, fairly actually, by setting the bowls on a revolving conveyor belt, so diners can serve themselves.

The doorway to Amusement Wanko Soba Kurukuru Wanko.

As the first-ever wanko soba conveyor belt restaurant in Japan, this place has been making information on T.V. and on-line because it opened on 25 June in Tokyo’s Kabukicho. Seeing as our reporter P.Okay. Sanjun has a wealth of experience in sushi conveyor belt eating places, or kaitenzushi as they’re recognized in Japan, he was the perfect particular person to evaluate this new method of consuming wanko soba, so he stopped by for a go to.

The usual meal prices 3,300 yen (US$24.38) for 40 minutes, which incorporates as a lot soba as you’ll be able to eat, together with inexperienced onions, wasabi and ginger, whereas different condiments like seaweed and grated radish are priced at 100 yen every.

It’s not simply the revolving conveyor belt that makes this place uncommon — P.Okay. found it was a standing-style restaurant, with no chairs inside.

Whereas he thought this was uncommon at first, he shortly realised this standing model, dealing with the conveyor belt was really extra sensible for shovelling noodles down his throat. Consuming as many bowls of noodles as you’ll be able to is a part of the enjoyable of wanko soba, and P.Okay. was aiming to clear a minimum of 100 throughout his allotted time.

▼ That is the set P.Okay. was given, with the choice so as to add broth within the bigger bowl, and blend noodles, broth and condiments within the smaller bowl, if desired.

As P.Okay. grabbed bowls of noodles from the conveyor belt, he felt a bit of extra assured in his capacity to succeed in his aim — in only one minute he was in a position to polish off over 10 bowls! 

Fortunately, the small parts make this a enjoyable and manageable problem, and the empty bowls quickly started piling up, with round 30 on his desk after 5 minutes.

▼ At this fee, P.Okay. figured he ought to be capable of clear 240 bowls in 40 minutes.

As for the style, there was nothing fancy right here — P.Okay. merely described it as “soba”. Nonetheless, flavour isn’t integral to the Wanko Soba expertise — it’s all about pace and consumption, and after 17 minutes, P.Okay. had achieved his aim for the day, with 100 empty bowls on the counter.

Each time he felt drained, P.Okay. refreshed his palate with some condiments, which had an amazing impact on cleaning his style buds in between bowlfuls of noodles. By the point he’d completed 100 bowls,  although, P.Okay. started to really feel full, and whereas he may’ve pushed via if he had been a youthful lad, he determined to bow out after the century, so he might get pleasure from his achievement with none uncomfortable bloating.

▼ P.Okay. additionally had a confession to make — he might have grabbed a few of these smaller noodle bowls to assist him get to 100.

It was really fairly useful to have some smaller servings rolling by, to assist diners obtain their bowl objectives with out overdoing issues. That made P.Okay. surprise the place his 100 bowls sat within the grand scheme of issues, and after enquiring with employees, they advised him that girls are likely to eat round 60-80 bowls on common, whereas males typically eat about twice that.

▼ As for the best document, within the two days since opening it was 317 bowls, set by a feminine diner.

All diners get to take a commemorative photograph at a particular spot arrange close to the doorway, and P.Okay. relished in his wanko soba achievements with a rockstar pose.

It’s a enjoyable solution to get pleasure from wanko soba within the coronary heart of Tokyo, and P.Okay. positively recommends including it to your record of must-visit eating places, together with prison-themed restaurant The Lockup, which can sadly shut its doorways on 31 July.

Restaurant Info

Amusement Wanko Soba Kurukuru Wanko / アミューズメントわんこそば・くるくるわんこ
Handle: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-22-9, J GOLDBUILD 5F
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1丁目22-9 J GOLDBUILD 5階
Hours: 12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

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