Outside of Japan, pushing a burger onto a plate without bread or toppings is almost an act of cruelty for both the consumer and patty alike. But here in Tokyo, the humble hamburg (spelling entirely correct) has taken on a national identity of its own. Common not just as a home cooked meal, hamburgs of all shapes and sizes occasionally make up entire restaurant menus. Of the many special treatments, the hamburg cooked rare has recently begun a popularity surge, so Time Out Tokyo set about finding five great places to give it a try.
Hatchobori: Ro to Matagi
The matagi were ancient hunters. Living up to its name, ‘Ro to Matagi’ includes a robata-yaki (Japanese-style barbecue) of deer, wild boar, wild duck, quail and bear on its menu. The arabiki wagyu hamburg (950 yen) is only available at lunchtime. This wagyu beef burger is well grilled on the outside, with thick, gooey red meat on the inside. The dish is served with a small stone hot plate, so it’s possible to cook the meat a little more if it’s a bit too rare for your tastes. When you order, you can choose from five sauces: teriyaki, garlic onion, miso mayonnaise, oroshi ponzu (grated daikon and citrus soy sauce) and bainiku tororo (plum and grated yam). To get to the restaurant, walk for around five minutes east of Hatchobori Station and you’ll come to a lane. Turn right and it’s on the right.
Arabiki wagyu hamburg, 180g, 950 yen
Ro to Matagi map and opening hours
Translated by Virginia Okno