Sure anyone can plonk an apple on a hamburger, but can they make it taste as sweet as it looks?

Our most gluttonous of reporters, Mr. Sato, lives by a simple code: All food is made to be eaten. From the moment it is born at the hands of its creator, its fate is to enter his (or failing that, someone else’s) stomach. However, sometimes there exists a food so beautifully prepared, that Mr. Sato’s prime directive is threatened and he hesitates to immediately cram it straight into his gullet.

One such food can be found the Tokyo neighborhood of Yoyogi, about a minute’s walk from Minami Shinjuku Station on the Odakyu Line. Called the “Ringo Burger” (Apple Burger) it is rumored to look more like a luxury dessert rather than a greasy old grilled meat sandwich.

But the Ringo Burger would only be available for a limited time, so Mr. Sato hurried down to the 10-seat burger shop that serves it to try one.

The restaurant’s name is Icon, and since its opening in March of 2017, it has steadily built a reputation among burger connoisseurs for its high-quality, original offerings. Word has it, that their best burger is the Macamburger which is a hamburger topped with macaroni and cheese for 1,500 yen (US$14). The visual impact of the massive amounts of cheese oozing from the bun is said to heighten the burger-eating experience considerably.

Mr. Sato would be totally down with that, but his mission on this day was to try the Ringo Burger. So, he placed an order for the 1,700 yen ($16) special item crafted in celebration of Icon’s first year in business.

Prior to the main dish, our reporter was given a small cup of thin-sliced beef tendon soup with a kick of black pepper.

Up to this point, Mr. Sato hadn’t even seen a picture of the Ringo Burger, only talk that it resembled a luxurious dessert. This was hardly his first burger with apple on it though. Many restaurants had done it before.

Suddenly, Mr. Sato was taken aback by the bold flavor of the soup. With his mind on burgers he wasn’t expecting much from this appetizer, but was impressed with the effort that went into making it really flavorful.

Then the Ringo Burger appeared…

It was nothing like he imagined. Rather than some slices of apple, there was an entire apple on top, thinly sliced but relatively in its original shape.

The vivid red color of the apple with its fine yet deep contours shone brightly atop its protein-rich throne of cheese, bacon, and beef, like a beacon guiding wayward ships to its bounty of deliciousness.

Also impressive was the bun, which was custom-made by Icon to accommodate this particular arrangement of toppings. Most restaurants attempting this would probably just toss an apple onto a currently existing sandwich and let it fall apart into a disappointing mess upon eating. Not Icon, though. They cut the bun in an uneven 3:7 ratio for optimal eating.

These guys knew what they were doing.

But we weren’t paying Mr. Sato to sit there and stare at the thing. It was time to dig in…

Mr. Sato found himself frozen by the burger’s beauty, but after a moment his infallible professionalism kicked in and he picked up the sandwich.

On first bite the bun gently yielded to Mr. Sato’s teeth but was also crispy, which helped lead the way down into the crispy apple slices nicely. There was also a slice of red onion on the bottom to balance out the texture. They really thought of everything!

The balance of flavors was intricately crafted as well. Although overpowering to the eye, to the tongue the apple’s supportive sweetness served to bring out the inherent savoriness of the beef. The flavors of the bacon, cheese, and onion were all present as well, contrasting each other but in perfect harmony.

So it can be said that the Ringo Burger is not just a visual gimmick, but a culinary beauty through and through. And as it marks only the first year of Icon’s existence, it seems we can look forward to much more in their bright future, shining from atop the burgerscape of Tokyo.

Restaurant information
ICON / アイコン
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-30-4, 1st floor
東京都渋谷区代々木2−30−4 1F
Open: 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday), 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday)
Closed Mondays

Photos ©SoraNews24
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