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California hamburger restaurant chain Umami Burger to open 1st Tokyo store on Friday

27 Comments

Popular California hamburger restaurant chain Umami Burger will open its first restaurant outside the U.S. in Tokyo on Friday. It will open in the Portofino building in Kita-Aoyama.

Umami Burger, which was founded by Adam Fleischman in Los Angeles in 2009, takes gourmet hamburgers to a whole new level. The word “umami” itself is Japanese, meaning savory (or the fifth taste), and fans have long been waiting for the restaurant to open an outlet in Tokyo.

There are 24 restaurants in the U.S., and while the Tokyo one will have the standard menu favorites such as the signature Umami Burger (1,380 yen), with its shiitake mushrooms, caramelised onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp and umami ketchup, the Truffle Burger (1,480 yen), Manly Burger (1,580 yen), Falafel Burger (1,280 yen) and the Royale Burger (1,780 yen), there are some items unique to Japan. One is the Samurai Burger (1,380 yen), served with teriyaki sauce, pate and lotus; and the U-nami Burger (1,280 yen), a white fish fillet burger with tartar sauce.

Sides include sweet potato fries, truffle fries, cheesy tots, Gochujang & Guava short rib sliders, tempura onion rings, Umami caesar and truffled beets.

And if you’re still hungry, you can finish off your meal with a chocolate slider chocolate, caramel or fruits sauce.

Umami Burger Portofino Kita-Aoyama 3-15-5 Minto-Ward Map Tel: 03-6452-6951

Hours: 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. (last order 10:30 p.m.) Seats 70

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27 Comments
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Umami Burger (1,380 yen), with its shiitake mushrooms, caramelised onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp and umami ketchup, the Truffle Burger (1,480 yen), Manly Burger (1,5880 yen), Falafel Burger (1,280 yen) and the Royale Burger (1,780 yen), there are some items unique to Japan. One is the Samurai Burger (1,380 yen), served with teriyaki sauce, pate and lotus; and the U-nami Burger (1,280 yen), a white fish fillet burger with tartar sauce

To each his own I guess. I wouldn't pay over 1000 yen for a burger. NO WAY. But that's just me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I remember paying 12 cents (about ¥15) for White Castle hamburgers (if you could call them that) last century ...... Now we have Truffle Burgers and "Manly" Burgers for well over ¥1000. My, how times have changed!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The menu does look very good actually, the establishment is getting bigger, but with anything with the name gourmet attached to it, you know already you will be paying a lot of $$$

https://www.umamiburger.com/menu/ US site

http://umamiburger.jp/menu/ Japanese site

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Noticed a LOT of Burger places like the above opening up recently in my area.

None cheap nor have an extensive menu. I do like my burgers but refuse to pay those prices.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not cheap, but they have a reputation for good food.

I remember as a youth being able to go into any mom-and-pop lunch counter and getting a wonderful burger, with fries and a shake, for under a dollar. Forget about the prices, there are no more mom-and-pop lunch counters. Seems like everything today is corporate owned, and the bean-counters won't allow good food on the menus. Corporate policy seems to be to serve the worst food that the public will tolerate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their burgers are good, but not great. Would rather go to Shake Shack. Cheaper, simpler, better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are dishes for people who don't eat bread and buns.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They look pretentious to me. Wipe all that crap off and just give me a a fresh homemade chargrilled burger in a quality butter toasted bun...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hopefully it comes out on Uber Eats, definitely not traveling to Kita-Aoyama to try out a burger

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Had an Umami burger a few years ago. It's a good burger....kinda hard to really screw up a burger. Need more fries accompanying the burger, and the concept of a waiter coming to your table and describing the type and source of the toppings at what is ostensibly a burger place is kinda surreal (at least once).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If in Osaka, hit Critters and Burger Lion in Shinsaibashi

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I like that it is in Minto-ward. 1000 for a burger not that unusual any more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am from California and never heard of this burger chain. The ones I knew that were Cali-based are In-n-Out and Fatburger.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Californian here and I've never heard of this place. Try In-n-Out, good stuff!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DaDude at Mar. 23, 2017 - 08:50PM JST "I am from California and never heard of this burger chain. The ones I knew that were Cali-based are In-n-Out and Fatburger."

When did you leave?

"Umami Burger, which was founded by Adam Fleischman in Los Angeles in 2009, "

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This might be a big success in Japan because it's known globally that Japanese like to spend money on these kinds of restaurants or even fast food places as long as it's from America or some European country. The taste doesn't really matter. If the name is popular or well known then the product will sell well in Tokyo despite the quality!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The 'umami' name may work in the US but they'd have to be extremely good burgers to make it in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good on them, I guess, but I'll pass. I make my own, very mean burger -- just wish I could find a decent bun! -- or else there are a few pretty good ones in Osaka if you look. Chains like Hard Rock and Outback aren't bad, but Captain Kangaroos (if it's still around) make the best one I had in Osaka. Found a new burger shop that opened up in downtown Osaka (Tenjinbashi) that is similar to this one, called The Grateful Burger -- Chicago Girl's Burger Restaurant, but passed because it's the same price (and someone told me they meant to write "Grill restaurant" but forget to check the English, but I don't know if that's true or not).

Hope people enjoy it, though!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This restaurant like many others will be fads.

Seen it often during the Decades here, franchise, etc opens long queue for a few months after that less interest.

Many will be gone in 1-2yrs, goes also for many local ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We stumbled on a Burger eatery at Shimoda fish markets, most enjoyable burger I have had, served with a Wilkinson Spicy Mouth Ginger Ale.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't mind paying a premium for a premium burger, but they always seem to overdo it and then use some flimsy brioche for the bun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If people don't want fast food burgers, don't pay fast food prices

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I prefer In & Out. Fresh and reasonably priced. If I am going to pay that much for a burger then pay for a side and drink that meal for say four people could hit $100. I can do a lot with $100 worth of food from the grocery store.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it's known globally that Japanese like to spend money on these kinds of restaurants or even fast food places as long as it's from America or some European country. The taste doesn't really matter.

If that were true the the streets would be lined with American chain restaurants, and none of them would go broke. Obviously not the case.

It is pretty easy to get lines out the door for anything new. Much more difficult to keep customers coming back though. Considering the great food that could be had for the same price in Japan, I don't see overpriced burger joints as lasting long here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agree with comanteer.

Seen way ti many franchises like Cinnabon, etc come and go. Ditto for japanese ones once the novelty wears off ...

Still waiting for a Krispy Kremes in my neighbourhood (western Tokyo), granted we had a Nathans and Sizzlers and Shakeys are still going.

Fact is most Franchises won't make it past a few places in central Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seen way ti many franchises like Cinnabon, etc come and go.

There is a Cinnabon in Roppongi (it's the only one I've ever known of in Japan).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many franchises like Cinnabon start in Kichijoji. Hara Donuts had 4 stores there now only the original in a reduced size.

Like I said queues for 2-3 months after that ...

Not sure how the bigger Godiva store will do(Lindt does well) or the upcoming Bubby's store.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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