American-style dining has again crossed the Pacific, with the latest offering, Umami Burger Japan, having a distinct local slant.
While conceived in the US, the fast-food chain takes its names from the Japanese concept of umami, one of the basic tastes as distinct from sweet, salty, bitter and sour.
It follows such brands as Carl’s Jr, Shake Shack and Taco Bell to Japan, and on its opening day in Tokyo drew a queue of more than 100 people. It is just a few minutes’ walk from Omotesando Station.
Rocket News 24 sent in writer PK to check out the store on opening day. Umami Burger dates back to 2009 has has been included in Time Magazine’s list of 17 “most influential” burgers. While he arrived an hour before the 11am opening time, already more than 50 people were lined up. By the time the doors opened, the queue had doubled in size.
PK says he was finally seated around noon, and to gain a more rounded perspective, ordered two burgers – the namesake umami burger and the Japan-original teriyaki burger at ¥1380 (US$12.50) each, and a side order of truffle fries for ¥800.
With its house ketchup, roasted tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms and crispy Parmesan cheese chip, plus a medium-rare beef patty, PK writes that the umami burger tickled his taste buds. “Each flavour complemented the others for an overall perfect combination.”
The teriyaki burger came topped with red onions, perilla leaves, fried lotus root, cabbage and a wasabi aioli sauce.