(Clockwise from top L to R: Avocado burger, Cafe Hohokam; Burger, Ark Hills Cafe; Hamburger with sunny side-up, The Great Burger; Avocado and Mozzarella Burger, The Great Burger)
Our concluding post on Tokyo is on a topic very close to our hearts – BURGERS. But what exactly makes a really great burger? After chancing upon a cafe in our Shibuya Cafe Magazine with that exact name, we knew we had to hunt it down immediately. Tucked away in an obscure side-street along Cat Street off Omotesando, The Great Burger is not the easiest cafe to locate, but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait (and persevere!).
Decked out to resemble a modern Texan diner, The Great Burger’s menu brings you all your creature comforts under one roof – think milkshakes, sundaes, pancakes, beer battered onion rings and at least thirty hamburger options on offer! We ordered the avocado and mozzarella burger (JPY 1,250) and a hamburger (JPY 950) with an additional sunny side up (JPY 100) thrown in (who can resist!). Both were very very good. Special mention needs to go out to the sesame burger buns – light and perfectly toasted to a gorgeous golden brown hue, the buns did a fabulous job of keeping the juicy medium-well grilled beef patties, relish, lettuce and other goodies intact. The chopped onions and light dressing of mayonnaise and mustard were also well-balanced, adding a slight kick without being overpowering. The delicious serving of well-seasoned wedges on the side was the perfect complement to a hearty and comforting meal – our only regret was not ordering a strawberry thickshake to go with it!
At the other two burger joints we tried that same week (hey, we need a comparison right?), the burgers could not match up. At Cafe Hohokam (Harajuku), the burger bun, while tasty, was just not sufficiently crisp on the top and the beef patty was cooked too well-done for my liking. Also, the less-than-generous serving of thick-cut fries on the side was quite disappointing as there was simply not enough of these tasty stuff to satisfy our voracious appetites! We did love the Mexican-themed outdoor seating at Cafe Hohokam complete with cactus and warm blankets for all to share. At Ark Hills Cafe (a super cute cafe near our apartment), their burger looked the part but was a letdown in taste and practicality. The slice of tomato was cut a tad too thick and the rest of the ingredients piled too high in between the petite buns – eating in a dignified manner was a tall order as the burger fell apart even before it reached our mouths. But, if you like your food deconstructed…
The Great Burger certainly lives up to its namesake, coming in clearly at the top spot, and is definitely worth a special visit to satisfy your burger craving or just for a great meal out with friends, and at great value too! Oh, and if you are in the area, do spend some time walking through Cat Street (accessible from Omotesando; turn into the street next to Bvlgari) for a lovely stroll towards Shibuya.
The Great Burger: http://www.the-great-burger.com/
Cafe Hohokam: http://www.cafe-hohokam.com/
Ark Hills Cafe: http://www.arkhillscafe.com/