Since my first jaunt to Aloha Layers this time last year I have become something of a convert. Initially adverse to the Hawaiian-icity of the place, the awesome décor – a bright fun-packed restaurant that falls just the right side of kitsch (the glowing steps to the bathroom a personal favourite of mine) won me over, and the sumptuous Layer’s Burger kept me coming back.
However, as I have waxed lyrical upon the Layer’s Burger with such regularity in these pages that I fear banging a hole in the skin of its well-worn drum, decided I would experiment with something new this time. Scouring the menu, I was spoilt for choice, stumped still when our waitress, the delightful Moe, came to take our order. My dining companions: my roommate, his girlfriend and her enormous pimple, ordered first. Greg went for the Avocado Cheese Burger (my first choice) and Jiya picked the Garlic Shrimp with rice from the Tropical Menu (my second). As the pimple was not eating, it was my turn to choose. I looked up at Moe and, out of desperation I threw myself at her mercy, pleading for her recommendation.
Inevitably the Layers’ burger that arrived in front of me was its usual perfection. Towering high from the plate like a gastronomic monolith, it glistened with fatty goodness. I deftly flicked the pineapple slice from within for later consumption and dived in. Bacon, cheese, egg, salad, tomatoes all mingling with the juices of the delightfully undercooked beef. It was gloriousness in itself, with the chilli sauce, hotter than a blind poi dancer’s balls, tingling my lips.
Stuffed and sated we pushed back our plates, sipping on our Hawaiian Longboard Lagers. Greg’s meal had been “the best burger in Nagoya” so he reckoned, wiping grease from his chin. Jiya’s dish, whilst wonderful, had been just too much for her leaving Greg and I to force the juicy butterfly prawns into our mouths.
Things could not get better. We were filled to the gills, happily belching, not another thing could pass our lips. And then.
Then a sweet smell assaulted our senses as a waiter whisked past us. ‘What was that?’ I asked Moe. ‘Have you not tried the pancakes before?’ came her response, and pointed at a hitherto unnoticed menu. No, no I hadn’t. But now I was intrigued.
My mother always said that I was a sweet child, and I have no reason to doubt her. It was for this reason, I believed, that I had never been such a fan of desert; sweet enough, as they say. My borderline addiction to Haribo and Wine Gums aside, I have never possessed much of a sweet tooth, but as I perused photos of stack upon stack of outlandish looking pancakes, I could feel the nascency of a dormant gluttonous child within me, crying out for sweet, sweet goodness.
Moe once again returned with her recommendation, the preposterous (in the best possible way) Layers’ Pancake. We looked at it, all of us. There was hunger, there was excitement, there was greed. There were also three pancakes and whipped cream; there were strawberries, blueberries and raspberries; there was banana, baked apple and berry butter; there were cornflakes and macadamia nuts, there was ice-cream and there was maple syrup. There was trepidation.
Could we eat it? Could we manage this pancake colossus?
We looked at each other sheepishly as we scraped our spoons around the now empty plate, scooping up the remains of berries and syrup, hoping to find miniscule remnants of the simply divine desert that we had just shared. We were all (much like Jiya’s huge pimple) fit to burst. The thought of eating another thing was the furthest from our minds. Until, that is, Moe whisked past us with another tray for another table. In unison three hands reached for the menu, each assuring the other that thoughts had been on ‘next time’. We were three converts, and next time couldn’t come too soon.
What we ate:
Layer’s Burger ¥1350
Garlic Shrimp S size ¥1150
Avocado Cheese Burger ¥1150
Layer’s Pancakes ¥1350
Layers Aloha Dining
Under JR tracks, Naka-ku Shinsakae 2-47-50 (Near Chikusa Aeon)
11:00-22:00 Daily (Delivery 11:00-21:00)
Tel: (052) 238-1550