Aji WOW: the 'meat meat meat' 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 'meat meat meat' burger.
At Moon, Ocean & Sun Burger, they love replacing the traditional burger buns with alternatives to bread. They do rice burgers. I've eaten the 'bunless' lettuce burger that was wrapped in greens.
And now, the 'meat meat meat' option has burgers where buns should be.
MOS announced this burger by debuting it on a show presented by comedian Ariyoshi Hiroki. He's arguably one of the most famous people in Japan. Nearly 7 million Twitter followers should count for something.
That might be why the 'meat meat meat' burger is much more limited than most special items, on sale for only a week. (June 21st-27th, 2017.)
I'd read that it's not available at every MOS branch, and can't be ordered to take away. I was still asked whether I wanted to eat in, but I think that was just habit. It's also not on their online ordering service, you have to go see this burger for yourself.
At 850 yen (roughly £6) by itself, the triple meat is one of the most expensive burgers I've ever tried in Japan. Still far cheaper than craft burgers back in England.
The name is a real shame. In Japanese, it's 'nikunikuniku' (にくにくにく). Internet trolls are calling it 'nikunikushii' (にくにくしい), which means 'hateful, loathsome, detestable'.
This thing of glory contains both yakiniku beef and teriyaki chicken. The burgers at either end are the third 'meat' in the name. A few green leaves and bits of lettuce are added as concessions. Disappointingly, there's no sauce aside from the meat marinades.
It smells amazing. The yakiniku in particular.
The burgers are the smallest bits, so they don't keep everything together so well. It's hard to arrange, but get the balancing act right and you can taste everything in one bite. The flavours blend nicely, although the teriyaki is more subtle.
There's a glaring architectural flaw in this burger too. The yakiniku is in bits, and the teriyaki chicken is a solid chunk. So both tried to make an escape: the yakiniku by falling out, the chicken by clinging on for dear life when I took a bite out of it.
By the end, I had one burger patty and some lettuce left to cobble together. Everything else had dropped out. It became something like a heavily meat-based garden salad.
I did miss bread with this. I would've liked a version that had buns around the burgers. But something tells me this one isn't coming back for a while, if ever.
Verdict: 8/10. There's probably no such thing as 'too much meat'. But there's definitely such a thing as 'not enough bread'.