Hospital food around the world has a well-earned reputation as being pretty awful. The soggy, bland food served up at meal times often makes eating seem like a chore. However, Japan may be an exception to this rule, as one new mother discovered.
Reddit user hadababyinjapan spent four days at a maternity ward in Japan recently and was so amazed at the food she decided to post pictures of her meals online.
Japan is of course known for its dedication to culinary excellence but these standards would impress even the most vocal critic of hospital food.
She says she was given nutritional advice and different healthy options such as fish and chicken from a menu specially designed for new mothers.
"All the calories were posted every day so we could see how much we were eating. All three meals always added up to between 2000-2500 calories, plus they gave us a small afternoon snack like a cream puff or small piece of cake and tea."
Commenters were stunned by the high-quality fare given to patients. One wrote: "I wanna give birth in Japan. And I am a 60 year old man..."
Another said: "Every one of these is 1,000 times better than anything I've eaten in the last half a year."
"Siggggh. Total bill in the US: $6k, AFTER ins. Two nights one day. Sandwich, crappy meatloaf, and sloppy waffles in the morning. Really?"
Some commenters queried whether this was simply a hospital reserved for the wealthy but not according to the Reddit user. The grand total for her baby's delivery and hospital stay? A paltry $4,000, all of which she says was covered by national insurance.
How the UK's hospital food compares to Japan?
The NHS is of course a much-respected institution in the UK but that does not always extend to the food offered to patients.
Here's a comparison of the two nations' efforts side-by-side, courtesy of Campaign for better hospital food, who are attempting to achieve better standard of food for NHS patients.
Amazing array of food at a Japanese hospital.
An unhappy NHS patient posted this rather spartan bacon sandwich.
Admit it, you would probably pay to eat this chicken katsudon.
However, NHS England failed miserably with this unappealing effort.
Someone award this hospital chef a Michelin star.
Yes, there's a roast dinner at the bottom of that sea of gravy.