While I like sushi, sashimi, ramen, gyudon and all sorts of other Japanese dishes like most frequent travellers to Japan, one of my personal favourites has got to be the fast food.
Now before you start giving me skeptical looks, allow me to explain myself.
Japan takes its food seriously; from the promptness of their service to the quality of their ingredients.
While it’s natural to expect this from local establishments, the influence of the Japanese commitment to quality and service has also carried over to the importing of fast food franchises.
This has resulted in Japanese fast food outlets offering a dining experience that’s both familiar, yet significantly different and uniquely ‘Japanese-y’.
One such establishment I would like to introduce is Lotteria Burger!
Established in 1972, Lotteria Burger had its first branches opened in Nihonbashi, Ueno and Yokohama.
Unlike ‘imports’ like McDonald’s and Burger King, Lotteria Burger was one of the first few fast food restaurants that was regarded as an ‘original’ creation from Japan.
As such, its menu has many items that have a distinctively different flavour to them compared to regular fast food items.
While the likes of its french fries and other treats are excellent, Lotteria Burger is probably best known for two items, the first being their Ebi (shrimp) Burger.
A delicious patty made from fresh shrimp wrapped in lettuce and buns, the Ebi Burger is a must-try for anyone who likes a great blend of East & West.
The Ebi Burger became so popular that other restaurants in Japan like McDonald’s started copying it as well. That’s right – it came from Lotteria Burger first!
But my personal favourite item from Lotteria is definitely their Zeppin (絶品, Premium) Cheeseburger.
Made from high quality beef and served with a special sauce and premium cheese, don’t let the small size of this burger fool you – its taste is the real deal.
Any gripes I had about the diminutiveness of the burger instantly vanished the moment I took my first bite into it. Its fresh, juicy patty, as well as the fragrance of the cheese made me an instant fan – and was proof to the burger’s immense popularity!
Lotteria Burger has also become well-known for its campaigns that feature some of Japan’s most famous foods, such as the Wagyu Burger Campaign.
This results in burgers that cost a pretty penny, but also taste divine!
The next time you’re in Japan and are looking for a novel new bit of cuisine to try – give it a shot!
WRITTEN BY: Koh Yong Qiang