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Having lived in Yokohama for the past decade, I try to grab as many assignments as I can that are related to the city, as well as Kanagawa, the prefecture it’s located in. Also, as someone who gets hungry at least three times a day, I try to volunteer for as many RocketNews24 taste tests as my schedule will allow.

However, I graciously let one of my coworkers handle today’s project: heading to a cafe in Yokohama to chow down on a frog burger.

Japan has a pretty wide palate, what with seaweed, cod roe, and other things not commonly consumed in Western countries regularly showing up at mealtimes. However, the country usually doesn’t put frogs on the menu, making the Orbi Yokohama Cafe’s new sandwich a culinary oddity even by Japanese standards.

The Orbi complex in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district is an ecologically themed museum/indoor amusement park that educates visitors on the wonders of the animal kingdom. Right now Orbi is in the middle of a special event called the Doku Doku Doku Doku Doku Doku Doku Doku Doku Exhibition. What kind of animals does it focus on? Well, doku is the Japanese word for “poison,” so the supplementary displays are all focused on animals that can kill you.

Some of nature’s deadliest poisons are found in frogs, so as a tip of the hat to them, from now until May 17 the Orbi Cafe is serving up deep-fried frog burgers. But don’t worry, even though Japan likes to dabble in potentially poisonous entrees, the frog used for Orbi’s burger is a non-venomous variety.

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So really, the frog burger isn’t as scary as it could be, despite its intimidating black buns. Still, I’ve been trying to limit my frog intake these days. Thankfully, our fearless Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato is always down to eat some [insert literally any digestible substance here], so off to Orbi he went!

The cafe itself is located outside the entrance gate, so you don’t need to buy a ticket to get in. The frog burger is sold for 1,000 yen (US$8.40) in a set that includes a drink, making it a pretty reasonable value for such rare fare.

▼ Alternatively, if you’re too grossed out to actually eat the burger, 1,000 yen is a really steep price for a soft drink.

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Before ordering, Mr. Sato had already braced himself for the possibility that, given their length, the frog’s legs would be sticking out from the bun. But even he wasn’t totally prepared to see so much of the frog’s body also bursting out from the bread.

▼ But again, great value! You really do get a lot of frog for your money.

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Some people say it’s important to face your fears, but we say, why not eat your fears instead? So it was down the hatch with Kermit.

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And thus came Mr. Sato’s second shock of the taste test: the frog burger is actually pretty good! The texture is a lot like chicken, and the flavor is similar too, albeit a tad milder.

▼ Seriously, how many of you would eat that without a second thought if we told you it was a KFC drumstick?

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Surprisingly, dissecting the sandwich revealed a pretty significant secret ingredient. While there’s not much in terms of veggie accompaniment, with just a few leaves of lettuce filling that role, you’ll also find a fried chicken fillet tucked between the buns.

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The fillet is also pretty tasty, so go ahead and order the frog burger with confidence. Even if you lose your nerve once you’ve got the real thing in front of you, you can always remove the amphibian and enjoy your consolation prize: a perfectly serviceable chicken sandwich.

Restaurant information
Orbi Yokohama Cafe / オービィ横浜 カフェ
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Nishi-ku, Minato Mirai 3-5-1, Mark Is 5th floor
Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Mark Is website

Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]