I was personally surprised to find out that this burger restaurant had not yet arrived in Japan, but there is now a new store in Aoyama (青山)! An Umami Burger shop opened for the first time in Aoyama on March 24th, 2017. This burger chain is focused on creating burgers that pull out the “umami” of the ingredients to the fullest.
The word “umami” is originally a Japanese word that is used to describe a savory and bold flavor and has recently been considered as the fifth taste in addition to the ones we all know: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami is an element that is actually naturally found in ingredients such as tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, soy, and meat.
The umami element can be amplified by specific cooking techniques and so Umami Burger aims to create burgers that have as much umami in them as possible to provide the most delicious eating experience.
The first Umami Burger opened in Los Angeles in 2009 by its founder, Adam Fleischman. He is also the man who researched, experimented and created the recipes for the various Umami Burger recipes that are available now. After its opening in 2009, Umami Burger was declared “Burger of the Year” by GQ Magazine. By 2011 it grew to six other locations in California, and its legacy still continues. As of March 2017, there are twenty-one locations in the states and now one in Japan.
The Aoyama store marks the first Umami Burger in Japan and it brings limited edition Japan menus along with its usual popular burger lineup. As the idea of umami originated in Japan and the cooking techniques and ingredients used to enhance the umami tend to be things that are familiar to Japanese people, these burgers are sure to be popular with locals and anyone who loves Japanese food.
There are two burgers available on the Aoyama branch menu (Japanese only) that are not available at any other Umami Burger location.
1. Teriyaki Burger
The first is the teriyaki burger, which features a sweet teriyaki sauce covered patty, shredded cabbage, lotus root, beefsteak plant and red onion. There is also a hint of wasabi aioli sauce, a French mayonnaise-based sauce.
2. Fish Curry Burger
The second limited edition menu is the fish curry burger, which features a tartar sauce covered fish fry, lettuce, coleslaw, and curry flavored aioli sauce.
Both Japan edition menus seem to be things that are familiar to the Japanese people. You can also change every hamburger item on the menu into a lettuce wrap. There are items that are vegetarian or halal, so Umami Burger is available to a wide range of customers. If you are one of those people who loves taking things on the menu and adding your own twist to them, at Umami Burger you can add any toppings that you like at an additional cost, so why not find your own secret menu?
Umami Burger is a great place to take your friends and family even if they have a dietary restriction. The atmosphere of the restaurant is also amazing as they have anything from burgers to sides, such as fries, onion rings, and cheese balls, to salads and desserts. Why not check it out the next time you’re in the Tokyo area?
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