60 centimeters (23.6 inches) of ice cream. Three RocketNews24 reporters. No problem?
The Japanese written language’s vague pronunciation rules, coupled with the Japanese people’s love of puns, means that you can make a linguistic claim to celebrate something on just about any day of the year. As such, Japan has a Pocky Day, a Twintail Day, and even a Knee-High Socks Day.
Granted, most of these subculture celebrations are sparsely observed, with only the most die-hard supporters of their causes taking notice. But we weren’t about to ignore June 28, which to some dessert lovers is Parfait Day. The logic goes that June 28, 1950 was the day that Hideo Fujimoto became the first Japanese professional baseball player to pitch a perfect game, and the Japanese corrupted pronunciation of the Englsh word “perfect” sounds sort of like “parfait.”
Yeah, it’s a pretty flimsy line of reasoning, but considering that in the past the RocketNews24 team has gone out to eat an Everest-like ice cream tower simply because it was there, we figured Parfait Day was reason enough to go still decided to get into the spirit by devouring one of Tokyo’s biggest parfaits.
We sent a three-man crew consisting of Japanese-language reporters Mr. Sato, P.K. Sanjun, and Ryo to The King and Strawberry, a cafe in Tokyo’s Musashi Koyama neighborhood. In keeping with the regal naming theme, the restaurant’s most famous menu item is the King Parfait
Available in six flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, and lemon, the King Parfait does indeed look pretty big in its pictured form on the sign outside the cafe’s entrance. After all, it’s about twice as tall as the glass it’s served in. What that promotional picture doesn’t really communicate, though, is that the glass itself is huge too, and that the whole thing is a staggering 60 centimeters (23.6 inches) high.
We opted for the chocolate King Parfait, which, like all flavors, is priced at 2,800 yen (US$27). Aside from chocolate sauce and whipped cream, it also comes with Pretz (snack sticks that are sort of like an unsweetened Pocky) and corn flakes, the latter being a mainstay of Japanese sundaes. Roughly 90 percent of this nearly two-foot (61-centimeter) dessert, though, is delicious ice cream.
When dealing with giant frozen treats, time is of the essence, so our team quickly dug in, bravely pushing the fear of stomach aches and brain freezes out of their minds.
But while eating ice cream always brings a smile to our faces, turning it into a team-based challenge can affect the mood. After a while, the brave smiles that our gastronomic gladiators had been wearing before sitting down at the table began to fade.
Their stomachs filling, tempers began to flare, with Mr. Sato accusing his teammates of not pulling their weight by packing away enough of the increasingly melty ice cream.
Perhaps feeling guilty for having snapped at them, and also due to his sense of responsibility as the senior on-site staff member, Mr. Sato penitently offered to show his two comrades his special method for felling jumbo-sized culinary adversaries. And so he took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment, before opening them wide and rapidly whipping his spoon in a whirlwind motion toward his mouth…
…while shouting out the name of his secret technique…
However, even the full power of the Sato Tornado was not enough to consume all of the ice cream, which by this point had reached a largely liquid state.
On the plus side, this means that the King Parfait also functions as its own after-dessert drink.
In the end, our three hungry reporters were just barely able to eat everything, but if your party isn’t made up of people who get paid to eat giant desserts, we’d recommend adding one or two more people to the group for the optimum level of pleasurable gluttony.
The King and Strawberry / 王様とストロベリー
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinagawa-ku, Koyama 3-24-3
Open 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Images © RocketNews24
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