Tokyo's Extra Thick Carbonara Pasta Features One Huge Noodle

Across Japan, pasta is not just an imported cuisine but a culinary obsession that has been deeply woven into the nation's palate over the past decades. The ubiquity of instant pasta seasoning packets in supermarkets and konbinis (convenience stores) attests to Japan's enduring love affair with the dietary staple. This fascination with pasta has given rise to countless restaurants offering inventive interpretations and a slew of Japanese-style dishes called wafu pasta.

In this context, a restaurant in Meguro City, Tokyo called Meat & Cheese Forne has unveiled a novel dish that is turning heads: It's a carbonara pasta featuring one huge and long, thick noodle, along with slices of roasted sirloin and a raw egg yolk. The restaurant has named this dish the Single Noodle Beef Sirloin Carbonara. Priced at ¥2900 (approximately $20.45), this dish's single, extra-thick noodle reminds one of an expanded lasagna sheet cooked to al dente perfection.

This dish is a striking departure from conventional pasta presentations, however, it's unsurprising in Japan where single-noodle dishes are quite popular. For example, in Kyoto, you can find a dish called Ippon Udon featuring a bowl of soup and a single, long, thick udon noodle.

Will Tokyo's quirky single noodle dish be a passing fad or a culinary mainstay?

This Single Noodle Beef Sirloin Carbonara dish does raise some intriguing questions about the dining experience. Diners are seen, on social media, tackling the dish with chopsticks, navigating its unwieldy size, and taking bites that barely diminish the enormous solitary noodle. Should you chop it with a knife or scissors to make it easier to eat? We can't help but question if this dish was made specifically as a spectacle for sites like Instagram. After all, with the evolving nature of food in the digital age and so much competition amongst restaurants, the visual appeal of a dish is as important as its taste, and undoubtedly, this dish tastes divine. Roasted sirloin, creamy cheese sauce, an al dente noodle, and raw egg yolk? What's not to like?

Meat & Cheese Forne is known for other innovative dishes like Squid Ink Volcano Pasta and melty cheese pizzas surrounded with slices of beef. The restaurant is relatively new to Tokyo's vast culinary scene, so it's no wonder owners feel the need to make it stand out with dishes like its creamy and indulgent Single Noodle Beef Sirloin Carbonara. As we continue to witness the evolution of food culture, dishes like this are sure to keep us engaged, curious, and hungry for more. So, what's next in the world of Japanese-style pasta? And how will Meat & Cheese Forne top this one?