Aji WOW: 'bunless' lettuce 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: MOS Burger's 'natsumi' bunless lettuce burger.
Aji WOW is back for 2017! And I wanted to try something a bit different.
MOS Burger is always a decent place to eat. In my humble, gluttonous opinion. Most of their burgers have bolognese-style sauce in them, which makes a great dip for fries.
I've never tried a burger from the 'natsumi' range before. That's probably because it somewhat stretches the definition of 'a burger'. The 'natsumi' kanji (菜摘) roughly mean 'greens' and 'clipped/plucked' respectively.
Instead of a bread bun, each burger filling is surrounded by bits of lettuce.
Here's what that looks like:
MOS at least has the self-respect to not describe these as 'burgers' in the product names. So I had the 'MOS natsumi fish'.
Compared to the bun-bound MOS fish, the natsumi version claims 137 fewer calories. A bigger difference than I expected. Not about to make me stop eating bread, mind.
(I also like my meats and seafood too much to try the 'MOS natsumi soy MOS vegetables'.)
As this picture demonstrates, the prospect of eating so much lettuce horrified me into ordering 2 sides of fries. Just kidding. They put 2 portions on my bill, I paid without realising, and then had to eat them all. It's alright, MOS has stingy portion sizes.
First thing to note about the natsumi burger: on the outside, it's stone cold. A strange feeling when you pick it up. The lettuce is lovingly kept chilled. The bits of onion were raw. The slice of cheese in the middle hadn't been given chance to melt.
As a result, the hot filling cools pretty quickly. By the time I got to the middle, it was lukewarm. Knowing the mayo was special half-calorie mayo added insult to injury.
I was hoping the lettuce pieces would be big enough to act as 'buns'. They weren't. Even so, they did too good a job of covering the filling. The balance was way off. Anyone who's ever painstakingly reconstructed a leaning burger will know what I mean.
It felt like eating a particularly boring salad. (Coming from someone who thinks most salad is boring by default, you know that's bad.)
Verdict: 3/10. Don't want none unless you got buns, hon.