Aji WOW: Lotteria's 'with everything' burger
Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Lotteria's 'zenbu nose' (with everything) burger.
I read a news report about this limited-edition burger and I had to have it. Hamburger, cheese patty, fried prawn burger, a rib, a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, and 6 kinds of sauce. That's my kind of burger. It was available until the end of May 2016.
As we were nearing the end of the offer period when I ate this burger, it wasn't really being promoted much. There were no posters/banners up and it wasn't listed on the menu. I had to specifically ask for it - but I did get one, made to order. It arrived nice and quickly, with 2 wrappers because huge tower burger is huge.
Although clearly the point is to eat this burger, unwrapping it was a serious mistake. For a freshly-made tower of meat and sauce, it had an unmistakeable lean. So much so that I couldn't pick it up. I had to hold it together to take photos, as the top bun started sliding off.
Note there's already sauce all over me, visible on my nails. Turns out 6 sauces in a burger is 5 too many. I had to deconstruct and reassemble the burger myself, taking out the egg and rib in the process. I ate the rib separately but not the egg - in looks, shape and texture, it resembled a drinks coaster. No thanks.
The remaining burger then looked like this:
It at least stood up straight and didn't move when I took pictures.
By this point, I was as much of a mess as this thing. Physically (sauce-covered hands) and emotionally (what a faff!). And I was annoyed. I was irrationally angry at this burger for being such a - excuse me - clusterfuck of a food item.
The only way to handle that frustration was to eat the whole thing. So I did.
It was bloody good. Heaps of mayo (3 kinds), which I always enjoy. The mixed taste of beef patty and breaded prawns was a pleasant surprise.
Still a very wet burger, though, and hard to (wo)manhandle. I've had cheese-soaked burgers before - they came with a knife and fork. Lotteria didn't offer me so much as a damp hand towel (you get that basically everywhere else). I had to break mid-marathon to grab an armful of dry napkins.
I made 2 rookie mistakes while eating this burger:
1. Wearing a white dress. Yeah, didn't plan this one, it was a spur-of-the-moment eat. To my amazement, the dress is unscathed. Not so much as a crumb. I am the luckiest woman in the world.
2. Ordering the burger with a meal set and not by itself. Why did I choose fries and a drink on the side? Had to angrily finish off those as well.
Neither of those things are the burger's fault, so I can't really mark it down there.
Verdict: 8/10, waiting for 2017's 'with everything except quite so much sauce' edition.