Competitive speed eating: the Yakiniku King stable.

16 12 2011

Competitive speed eating: the Yakiniku King stable.

 

Yakiniku King Numazu Korean BBQ

 

Right. Pay attention. If you want to test yourself before any competitive eating championship, then I recommend you take yourself to the stables of the Yakiniku King on the Numazunorth side’s Rikodori (dori means road, kiddies). It’s easy to find, just follow your nose to the passenger jet, super-charged, mega, big-like-all-buggery exhausts pumping the smell of delicious charred flesh into a dispersal radius of 500 meters.

Once inside the Yakiniku King, a trainer will take you to a table and present you with a training regime as they light your Korean barbeque. Before deciding, it is important to make yourself familiar with your surroundings so you can maximize your eating time.

Look, put simply, any competitive eater worth their weight in beef needs to be at home in their surroundings. They must be able to reach for sauces with out even looking. They must be able to send out an order while simultaneously flipping strips of fleshy charred goodness on the barbeque. The must not let ANYTHING interrupt their steady, focused mastication.

Your trainer will present you with three training regimes each running for precisely 100minutes:

  • 58 item menu 2,480yen
  • 100 item menu 2980yen
  • 120 item menu 3,480ye

 

Each program increases in difficulty as their quality and scope of choice distracts you from your ingestion.

            There is also a drink list that you can pay per item for or take the soft drink or beer and minor spirits all-you-can-drink (nomihoudai) option to help you wash down your food.

            Ordering is simple, but you need to be on your game because you only have 100 minutes to stick as much as you can in your mouth. You will need to make these steps second nature before you go.

Step 1 – Grab the touch screen console. These bad boys get slippery so watch out. It is a good idea to get some calluses on your hands before you come. I hear that the pro’s callus their hands by turning their meat on the barbeque with their fingertips. This also gives them the advantage of developing a certain heat resistance to the scorching flames emanating from beneath the grill (NOTE: not for the amateur or faint of heart.).

Step 2 – Press the screen with your free hand (remember the other hand should be either stuffing food in your head or flipping the meat).

Step 3 – Choose from a selection of meats or side dishes. Diehards will immediately go to the meat.

Step 4 – A new screen will appear and give you an option for meats (or other items). Choose what category you want. It is pretty easy to figure out thanks to the pictures. Training guides generally tell you to go for the beef first. A couple of thin pieces of skirt steak followed by some beautifully marbled rib eye slivers are a good start for me. After the beef I’m onto the pork and then finally the chicken.

Step 5 – You should now be in the final sub menu. Select your items by pressing on them.

Step 6 – Now two things could happen next. It’s designed to test your will power and dexterity. Either another small plus and minus icon will appear near you selection and you press the (+) to add more items and the (-) to take them away (but that would never happen right? Right? Good.), or a pop-up window will appear with the same plus and minus icons also with a choice of seasoning (sorry by this stage I am in the ‘zone’ as the meat haze descends upon my consciousness so I don’t remember what is what).

 

Step 7 – Once you have made a selection you are free to make more. Warning!!! There is an upper limit to the amount of items you can select at any one time. If the console is not letting you select any more then you have probably maxed out your limit for that order. It’s time to take it to the checkout.

Step 8 – To checkout, simply press the big red shopping basket at the bottom of your screen.

Step 9 – It’s not over yet. Another screen will open to confirm what you have ordered is correct before sending it off.

 

Step 10 – Repeat steps 1 through 9 until you either run out of time (almost never happens), feel like you are going to vomit (need more training), or send the Yakiniku King stables bankrupt (a titan of the competitive speed eating world).

 

courtesy of Lauren Donald

At the end of your 100minutes at the Yakiniku King it is time for quiet reflection. Think about what you did well, where you could do better and mentally prepare yourself for the next time.

 

Good luck and I will see you at the championships.

 

Mmm, meat flavoured meat.

 

Scott

 

 

 

 

 

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Tsukuru Izakaya – Numazu

3 07 2011

Tsukuru Izakaya – Numazu  North Side

Just as the tendrils ofNumazu’s back alleys release themselves into built up suburbia, there are small oases of restaurants designed to feed the locals houses and apartments. In one little area on the North side ofNumazu, a little beyond two major supermarkets, Coop and Maxvalue, lies a small string of such restaurants.

Lately, my wife and I have been taking this route home from our regular Tuesday afternoon grocery shop. Each time we pass this area we declare, in the perfect cliché of a long serving married couple, that we “really should try one of these places out one of these days.”

Investigating these types of places can sometimes fill you with trepidation. You just don’t know if you are going to enter some territorial hotspot. Will you be met with the cold hate filled stares of regulars, as you are about to park your derriere on the recently deceased Granny Suzuki’s chair, while the waiter triggers the panic button under the counter calling for a horde of samuri obaasans to decent upon you and tear you to threads with their devilishly sharp elbows?* Alternatively you could be welcomed in with a warm smile and greeted with an excellent meal. You just never know.
photo 5(1)

Fortunately this time it was the latter. As my wife and I entered one of the restaurants in this little food oasis called Tsukuru 巣くる or, as a waitress explained, Create. This little classic style izakaya with a quirky striped white pebble and black timber walkway was an excellent choice. There are only four seating areas two tables on the side wall and a traditional style raised sublevel with recesses under the tables to plonk your feet.
photo 1

We had arrived early so we took our orders from the chef and settled down to a couple of beers. While we were waiting for our meals two waitresses arrived and prepared themselves for their evening.

First to come out was a prawn and cheese spring roll halved and placed on a bed of lettuce. This was delivered by an impressive young woman who had eyelashes that were no doubt designed to provide shade from the summer heat for her and a small tribe of pygmies clinging to her lower boughs. The spring rolls were light and crispy with a delicate minced prawn aftertaste mixed with the mild cheese.
photo 3
Another round of spring rolls ensued. This time they were a cold salad spring roll filled with salad herbs and thin slices of ham and drizzled with some sweet chili sauce. This was a refreshing cleanse from the deep fried treat we devoured earlier.
photo 4

Next came an exceptional dish of splayed avocado topped with slivers of smoked salmon and finished will small dollops of cream cheese. This unctuous treat lay in a bed of mild vinegar and soy. The unusually soft texture of the salmon and avocado was surprising to my palate but nevertheless enjoyable.

photo 1(1)
Just like any red blooded man, I have an uncontrollable urge to order fried chicken when ever I see it on the menu (I also make myself a mountain of fried chicken to gorge upon when ever my wife is out on the town with her friends, so I can release the true animal within; sitting on my haunches and rendering flesh from bone with my gnashing teeth as globules of grease drip upon the massacred remnants of chicken bone strewn below…but that story is for another time). Tsukuru’s fried chicken was very good. It was extremely well spiced to the point of competing with the ‘Colonel’ but a little over cooked in the centre leaving the meat a little stringy.
photo 2(1)

photo 3(1)

To finish off our little feast my wife and I shared a bacon and mushroom spaghetti carbonara that proved to be a deliciously good filler.
photo 5

IzakayaTsukuru was the perfect end to a busy day. Its staff were eager and attentive and, it seemed, very happy to see foreigners so far out into the suburbs ofNumazu.

* This is an increasingly all too common occurrence in Japan  and heralds the coming of the New World Order run by supprisingly sprightly obaasans. For more Conspiracies on this check out this post. 

Style: Independent Izakaya.

English Menu: No sorry Japanese.

Picture Menu: Some pictures

Phone: (055) 925-9330

 Hours: 17:30~3:00hrs

Price: Dishes average around 650yen Izakaya Stlye.

Directions: Numazu North Side north of Coop just before Route 1





From Wank to Winner – Seiko-En, Numazu

31 08 2010

Seiko-en, Numazu

A little while ago you would only find certain types of people visiting this place. You know the ones; calloused hands and coke bottle glasses dashing from car to entrance in a desperate attempt not to be detected*. Then some time later, the same ones exit again with both pants and newly acquired bag bulging.

But honestly, how long would you expect a DVD porn shop to last on the M1 when there isn’t even a discrete back door for secluded entry. The shop just stood out there proudly on the highway like Dirk Diggler’s todger. How many times has little Miki or Yuki sitting in the back of mother’s car on the way back from cram school call out “Hey mum, look that’s daddy’s car” in gleeful recognition as the mother fights off the boiling stroke inducing rage from her own recognition.

However,  some months ago things changed. The shop was gutted and a heavy duty spermacide was sprayed on the walls and floors and then Seiko-En was conceived.

Hand’s down,Seiko-En has the best Chinese food I have found in Japan. You would think that Japan, being so close to China, would have exceptional Chinese restaurant’s on every other street but Chinese or Taiwanese restaurants, particularly good ones,  are hard to find.

Seiko En’s décor is spartan and uninspiring almost as a proclamation of regained virginity. Nevertheless the meals elicit the same sort of feelings as the DVD’s might have done in the shops previous existence. Besides, this time around you can bring the wife and kiddies, and enjoy it all together.

For our first meal at Seiko-En my wife and I sidestepped the traditional sets and went straight for a selection of dishes. To start things off I ordered a spicy beef dish with, oh so tender flesh, bedded in beans, carrots, bamboo shoots and button mushrooms with a delicate broth and soy reduction. Every flavor had room to move and greet the taste buds.
spicy beef
Our waitress next laid down a prawn and cashew dish with a wonderful aroma of garlic and ginger. We were not expecting what before us. What we were expecting were maybe four over cooked prawn with the same amount of cashew nuts buried in a bed of vegetables ala Japanese style. What we received was a mass of prawns and cashew nuts in an ample but subdued bed of vegetables. The prawns were cooked to perfection for this classic dish with the garlic never threatening to overpower the delicate flavour of the prawns.
Prawn cashew
Moments later and the waitress presented us with spiced pork meat balls in sweet and sour sauce. None of that cloyingly sweet fluorescent construction worker’s vest colour rubbish on this plate; this was another deliciously well presented dish done to text book perfection.
Chinese
Finally, the fried rice arrived. Light and moist with a surprising little side of egg drop soup. This became an excellent palate cleanser between indulgent spoonfuls of everything else.

Everything was done right, from the ample portions to the crunch of the vegetables. The staff were smiling, friendly and calm. Calm being a contrast to the average deer in the headlights, glazed eyed brain washed cult member look you get from the average overworked izukaiya waiter. It was refreshing.

If you do go for the dish option then you find that prices range from around 500yen to 1000yen per dish depending on what you want. But if you go for the equally tasty looking sets then prices are around 900yen per set. The best part for the ignorant foreigner is that we have a photo of every dish and set on the menu.

Maybe it’s the lingering pheromones from the previous occupants but I walked out of Seiko-En lustfully sated with another bulge, but this time several inches higher than my crotch.

*While yes I do have calloused hands and coke bottle glasses I maintain that I have never visited these types of establishments…recently.

Stlye: Chinese Restaurant

English menu: no sorry

Picture menu: Each dish comes with a clear picture and a little chili indicator for heat.

Gaijin friendly: Yes. Very friendly happy staff.

Phone: 055-926-5388

Link: None

Cost: Sets are around 9oo yen