Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

The Great Burger @ Omotesando Tokyo

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Whenever it comes to Japan, what comes to mind is almost always loads of traditional Japanese food like ramen, sushi, donburi, wagashi, tonkatsu etc… Having gone to Tokyo quite a few times now, we were in the “been there done that” mood and were keen to try out other things Tokyo is probably lesser known for or associated with. Then again, Japanese being Japanese, they do almost everything with fervent dedication and spot-on perfection, owing to their 和魂 ‘yamato spirit‘. Sounds damn cliché I know! We went to Bounce Baker Burgers when we visited Tokyo Midtown for lunch just the other day, something lesser 和風 “wafu” on would think but in actuality, 洋食”yoshoku” and other external food influences have already become part and parcel of Japanese culinary culture as well, be it 中華 “chuwa” or french, italian or the regular “americano”. And for the records, the burgers were absolutely delicious! So here we are, to track down “Great Burger” yet another popular burger deli located in the hearts of Omotesando.

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It was a busy weekend afternoon, despite being slightly past the lunch hour, yet there was quite a queue outside waiting while the burger restaurant was full-house. Thankfully the weather was lovely and luckily it didn’t take long before we got our seats.

The setting is pretty much standard American diner style, i.e. long benches with by the wall seating…
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Then there are the counter bar seats where one could watch the restaurant folk in action prepping up the meals. We thought it would be rather oily and smokey so we declined the option to sit by the counter and went for regular seating instead. But for anyone who wishes to eyeball and learn a thing or two about gourmet burger making, go for it!
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The menu… gourmet burgers in Japan don’t come cheap. But quality is almost always guaranteed. At least for the places we’d been to so far. It helps that we are in a country where most folks take great pride in whatever they are doing.

The burger prices here are slightly higher than those in Midtown… wonder how the burgers fare in comparison…
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J’s Bacon and Cheese Burger. Gosh the bun looks so inviting already!!! That beautiful glossy glaze with lovely brown maillarding. The undersides of the burgers were toasted on a smokey grill and it tasted absolutely amazing. A good slab of back bacon in there which was surprisingly not as briny as I had imagined. The patty was really good, moist and succulent, This was accompanied by a thick slice of beef tomato and some fresh lettuce at the base for good crunch. Almost everything was spot on.
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My Gorgonzola Burger and my salivary glands were already raging mad when it was laid on the table before me. Same beautifully baked and then grilled buns, same juicy beef patty, same vege at the base except minus the bacon and egg but instead some really warm and gooey blue cheese. The cheese they’d used must have been really young because it was assertive but not overpowering. Oh this is a must for serious cheese lovers. Ditch the chedddar and mozzarella and go for the real kill with gorgonzola. You cannot go wrong, trust me!
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A side profile of J’s Bacon and Cheese Burger…
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One last good look before taking the plunge. It is so so good… yes I couldn’t resist asking for a bite! The egg was slightly more cooked than how I would have liked it but it was ok for J who doesn’t really enjoy runny yolks to start with.
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Another thing notable for mention are the fries. There are several options to go for like shoestring but we saw almost every other table going for the wedges and we thought it must be really good. Whole cuts of potato strip which had been first fried before being oven baked. Nothing like those “Big M” fast food joint crap we get even in Tokyo. The wedges were so crisp on the outside while fluffy and soft inside. A good tossing up wit a herby salt and pepper mix before serving on the sides. It was really good…
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And yes, even as we were leaving about an hour later, there is still a queue. Be prepared to wait a bit but I can assure you that it is definitely worth the trouble. It may not be that “value for money” compared to those from Baker Bounce which were really decked like skyscrapers but it was a really good experience for what good burgers should be like. The lovely burger buns here at Great Burger were far better than those at Baker Bounce I thought. Would I come again, hell yes!

The Great Burger Tokyo

Tokyo-to Shibuya-ku Jingumae 6-12-5 (really near Cat Street)
150-0001 東京都渋谷区 6 丁目12−5 1F
www.the-great-burger.com

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