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Now, Tokyo has more than its share of restaurants offering almost any and all types of cuisine, but truth be told, Mexican food is not one of our fortes. There aren’t very many Mexican restaurants to start with, and in all honesty, I personally have yet to try a truly satisfying burrito (or fajita for that matter) in Japan. Somehow, the stuff just isn’t the same as the satisfying Mexican fare filled with plenty of juicy meat and cheese that I used to have in the U.S.

So when we heard that a specialty burrito shop, apparently the first of its kind in Japan, was going to open in the Marunoichi office district of Tokyo, we knew we had to go try the food there ourselves. We headed to Marunouchi on the opening day of the new “umum good burritos!” shop to get a taste of their burritos. The eatery had been introduced briefly on national TV, and from what he had heard, they even served an interesting dessert burrito, so naturally we were excited to make our visit! 

The burrito shop, which opened this past Friday, is located in the basement floor of the Marunoichi Building, and although it was around 7pm when we got there, there still was a short line of people waiting to get served. We can only imagine how crowded it must have been around lunch time, since the area is surrounded by numerous office buildings. The concept of the shop is supposed to be to offer healthy and easy-to-eat food, especially for working women, in what they are calling a “fast casual” style, something that’s in between a fast food and family restaurant.

▼Here’s what the shop looked like from outside:
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▼It has a bright, cheery atmosphere with the yellow coloring.umum 1-2

▼And we thought the shop logo looked really cute!umum 2

▼The hand-written note posted on the outside sign told us that the lamb burrito was sold out for the day.
(Shoot, that was what we’d wanted to try, but we guess many other customers felt the same way!)

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▼This is what the inside of the shop looks like. The black and white tiles on the floor looked very pretty!umum 4

▼And they also had some counter seats in the back as well. The shop itself is not that big, with seating for a total of 17 people. umum 5

▼So, on to the menu! They had four types of burritos available: teriyaki chicken, lamb, Sloppy Joe and vegetable, all for 750 yen (US$6.86) each. Since the lamb was sold out, and we didn’t want to try something teriyaki-flavored on our first visit to a Mexican-themed restaurant, we ordered the Sloppy Joe containing ground beef.umum 6

▼They also have burrito bowls in the same four varieties served like a salad, also for 750 yen each. Although this sounded tempting too, again, we thought we’d stick to a conventional burrito this time, since they’re a burrito shop, after all.
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▼They make your burrito right in front of you. You can choose between consommé or coriander (pak chee) flavored rice, and we chose the coriander rice. In the middle is the ground beef for the Sloppy Joe and also the teriyaki chicken, which we didn’t order this time. umum 8

▼You can see the other ingredients as you move down the counter …
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▼You get lettuce, salsa (with or without coriander), corn …umum 10-1

▼… and top all of that with cheese, and you have your burrito! Yay! And yes, we got the dessert burrito too, but we’ll show you that later.umum 11

▼Here’s what the finished, wrapped-up burrito looks like, along with a cold Oolong tea (150 yen [$1.37] if ordered with food).umum 12

▼But since there wasn’t that much space in the shop and we wanted to savor the burrito, we took it home with us, along with the tiramisu dessert burrito (500 yen [$4.57]).umum 13

▼Here we’re opening up the Sloppy Joe burrito. umum 14

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▼And this is the burrito cut open for a look at all the ingredients inside. umum 16

Now, the burrito wasn’t as substantial as those typically served in the U.S., but perhaps that was to be expected since they were hoping to cater to women working in nearby offices. And you could tell they were making an effort with the variety of ingredients included in the burrito.

Unfortunately, when we actually ate the burrito, our first impression was that the flavor was too light, at least for this writer. Yes, you could taste the meat, but not nearly as strongly enough as what we would expect in a burrito, and because of that, the flavor of the coriander stood out quite prominently. Now, personally, I love coriander and can’t get enough of the herb’s distinct scent and flavor, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t be the main thing you taste in a burrito. I also didn’t taste much of the cheese, so maybe they could use a cheese with a stronger flavor or at least use more of it. Perhaps the same can be said about the beef — increase the flavoring or the amount. And some guacamole probably wouldn’t hurt to add overall flavor.

Well, then, on to the dessert burrito, shall we? They currently have just one type of sweet burrito, based on the italian cake tiramisu.

▼This is the Sweets Burrito Tiramisu, made using a chocolate tortilla. umum 17

▼It’s not as large as one of the regular meal burritos, but the chocolate-brown color certainly gives it a dessert-y look.umum 18

▼Mmm… look at all that custard and whipped cream along with a jam-like berry paste, almost spilling out of the burrito.
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The tiramisu burrito made for quite a satisfying dessert, the berry paste contrasting pleasantly with the sweetness of the cream. We thought this was a kind of dessert presentation that they could successfully do with various fruits and sweet pastes, so we’re hoping they can expand on their sweets menu.

So, overall, we thought the meal burrito could use some tinkering with the amount and balance of the main ingredients, although we thought they were very much on the right track with the ingredients like salsa and coriander, and we quite enjoyed the sweet burrito. One thought we did have is that since it’s a specialty burrito shop, it would really be nice if they offered more types of burritos to choose from and maybe even let you really custom order your burrito by picking and mixing the ingredients you like. Apparently, umum good burritos! is planning to open about 10 shops over the next five years or so,  in which case we hope we’ll see more variety in their menu, because more international food options is always welcome by us!

[umum good burritos! Shop Details]
Address: B1 Fl. Marunouchi Building 2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6390
(right across the street from Tokyo Station Marunouchi Central and South Exit
Tel: 03-3284-3301
Business Hours: 11:00-21:00 Mon-Sat, 11:00-20:00 Sun and holidays

Photos: RocketNews24