Super-Size My Lunch!

November 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm 1 comment

What’s better than a Japanese bento? How about a Japanese bento 1.5 times its size?

That’s what you’ll find stacked at train station kiosks these days. It’s part of the “mega” boom going on across the country where people are getting more for their hard-earned money. It’s an unlikely sales tactic in a country of skinny people, but during economic hard times even skinny people yearn for a bargain.

In the U.S. it was McDonalds that pioneered the super-size menu. Now Japan has caught on with its Mega Mac — four patties and three buns — and the Mega Muffin, a monster breakfast sandwich stacked with two pork patties, two bacon strips, a slice of cheese and a poached egg. Americans haven’t even seen the likes of that one. Yikes!


At restaurant chain Sukiya, they serve mega beef bowls with grilled onions and nearly half a pound of juicy meat. It’s 1,286 calories — over half the recommended daily intake — but priced at $6, I’d say it’s worth the artery cloggage. Of course, Yoshinoya has been the hungry-man champ for years with its ‘special large’ (tokumori) beef bowl. Late last year, one of its workers made a viral video showing someone piling the beef on like it was Sears Tower. They called it the ‘tera’ beef bowl. Hungry viewers flocked to the nearest Yoshinoya hoping to get one, though of course it was only a joke.

Typically speaking, Japanese people abide by the saying, “Hara hachi bu,” meaning you should eat to no more than 80% stomach capacity (otherwise you’ll be a fatty). Restaurants often accommodate the mantra by serving portions so dainty you’d think it was just the starter. But in 2008, the mentality of ‘less is more’ is out the door. Now it’s all about MEGA! \(^.^)/


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November 2008


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