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A small restaurant in the station complex at Shinkoiwa in north-east Tokyo has stopped serving a unique delicacy—noodles and rice dishes based on mouse curry. The tachigui restaurant (literally means “standing eating,” and is a small restaurant with a counter at which you stand and eat) served thirteen meals featuring this original dish before it discovered the mouse in the pot.

Apparently, on 13 March from 6.15 AM to about 8.30 AM the restaurant sold four bowls of curried soba or udon (different kinds of noodles), seven bowls of curried rice, and two curry set meals using the curry sauce in which an 8-centimeter-long mouse had been slowly simmering. The curry was made with meat, vegetables and a 3-kilo roux pack in a large pot before the restaurant opened, and had been selling well. As the cook added more roux to the pot and started stirring it, he noticed something that looked like a ball. When he removed it from the pot he discovered that it was a mouse.

Nobody knows how the mouse ended up in the pot but there are three theories: it was in the roux, it was in with the meat and vegetables, or it fell in while tasting the brew.

The restaurant stopped serving meals as soon as the mouse was discovered, and has apologized for any anxiety it may have caused. It has also offered to refund anyone who may have eaten any of the curry dishes. So far no one has complained about their meal.

© Charles R. Pringle 2007

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