Burger Month: Tokyo Tokyo’s Wagyu Cheeseburger (with Nori Fries)

Japan isn’t really known for their burgers. Now, I do love Japanese food but their style of cuisine isn’t really for the greasy, fatty and messy way I like my burgers. However, Japan is definitely known for their beef. They’re the ones that popularized the practice of really letting the cows mellow out and relax so that, when you do make beef out of them, the meat is really full of delicious fat marbling and just so melt-in-your-mouth good. I’m talking, of course, about wagyu beef. So, any burger that has the wagyu label deserves my attention.

Well, Tokyo Tokyo really piqued my interest as they’re offering their own take on burgers. But, instead of just using regular ol’ beef, they upped the ante by making sure that they only use locally sourced wagyu beef. Enter Tokyo Tokyo’s Wagyu Cheeseburger.

Now, I hardly ever eat at Tokyo Tokyo because, well, there is a kind of “cheapness” to the food over there. I will eat there once in a while but only if I have a craving for cheap tasting Japanese food (and, yes, there are going to be times when I feel the urge for this kind of food). And Tokyo Tokyo delivers here as the Wagyu Cheeseburger is being sold at the stunning low price of 160 Php. That’s a shade more than $3 US. Usually, wagyu beef on any kind would cost so much more! So, of course I had to try this out! I mean, it may be cheap but… I mean, it wagyu!

Okay, so my Wagyu Cheeseburger didn’t actually cost 160 Php. But that’s because you are given the choice of adding some kind of side dish as well. So, I decided to add an order of Nori Fries because what’s a burger without fries. 10 minutes after placing my order, I was presented with my Wagyu Cheeseburger with Nori Fries. The first thing I will have to say that I was rather unimpressed with the way the food was presented. Japanese dishes are usually meticulously laid out to make the food look good. My Wagyu Cheeseburger and Nori Fries looked like they were thrown in a regular bento box. But then, like I said, I go to Tokyo Tokyo for the “cheapness” and not because it’s fancy.

Look at all that empty space in the top-right corner of the box! Kind of sad, right?

I will say that, for something as cheap as my order of Wagyu Cheeseburger with Nori Fries, the combination does look big and filling. Not overwhelming, mind you. It looks just large enough that it will satisfy you if your kind of hungry. The wagyu beef patty was actually much larger than I expected. I would say it was roughly the size of a quarter pounder as well. Can’t really verify if this is the “standard” size so maybe I got lucky with my serving?

Now, I will say I was really anticipating digging into the Wagyu Cheeseburger because I honestly didn’t know what to expect from it. This is Tokyo Tokyo, a place that “kind of” serves Japanese food. And, as I mentioned before, the Japanese aren’t really known for their burgers. But it uses wagyu beef, the “holy grail” of beef. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it or rue the day I even saw it. Turns out, it’s right smack in the middle of those reactions.

Really think looking burger in its own right.

The beef patty of the Wagyu Cheeseburger was really good, in all honesty. It was a little bit overcooked for my tastes but it still had some of the juicy goodness wagyu is known for. The lettuce and the cheese were okay as well as the bun. They weren’t really special but didn’t distract from how good the wagyu beef was. I can’t say the same for the “special sauce” that was slathered on it, though. There was nothing inherently wrong with the special sauce. There was a spiciness to it that was kind of pleasant, actually. The biggest problem of the “special sauce” is that it didn’t taste special! It’s a facsimile of the “special sauce” McDonald’s uses on the Big Mac. And because it tastes like the sauce of the Big Mac, you will just taste the “cheapness” and how Tokyo Tokyo attempted to make some shortcuts to add flavor to the burger. The thing is, if they used really good wagyu, they should’ve been more confident on how it would taste. But, since they wanted to add more “flavor” to their Wagyu Cheeseburger, it kind of spoils the entire experience. I wouldn’t have minded a dollop of ketchup but the special sauce bummed me out.

The extra order of Nori Fries was better than I expected. They were crispy and still soft on the inside. I also have to admit that I was impressed that they didn’t feel or taste greasy as if Tokyo Tokyo did make sure they drained the oil from them before serving them. With that being said, they weren’t anything exceptional. I’ve had much better fries at different places but I’ve definitely had worse fries in more places before. And the nori powder didn’t enhance the flavor one bit.

No, the green stuff isn’t mold.

I guess the more pertinent question would be: is Tokyo Tokyo’s Wagyu Cheeseburger worth ordering a second time? Actually, I will have to say “yes” to this. Like I said, the actual beef patty was really good and surprisingly larger than anyone would expect it to be at that price point. But maybe, if and when I do get around to ordering this at Tokyo Tokyo again, I’ll try to request that they put the special sauce on the side instead on the burger itself. Maybe that slight change would bring out the full flavor of the wagyu beef patty and not try to cloud it under its cheap flavor.

Have you tried Tokyo Tokyo’s Wagyu Cheeseburger? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!

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