We try the limited-edition Gohan Dabuchi that’s got everyone talking.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s recently caught everyone’s attention in Japan by adding a range of new “Gohan Burgers” (“Rice Burgers”) to their menus.

Previously, burgers with rice patties instead of buns were the domain of local fast food chain Mos Burger, so when McDonald’s stole their reign by sandwiching their Filet O’, Teriyaki, and Bacon Lettuce burgers in between two rice patties, they marketed them as part of the chain’s “Yoru Mac” (“Night Mac“) range, meaning they would only be available as a dinnertime option from 5 p.m. every day.

The Gohan Burgers were well received, but none of them compared to a new burger added to the range this week, because this one has caused a huge buzz online. Called the Gohan Dabuchi, which stands for “Rice Double Cheeseburger“, this new dinnertime menu item is said to be insanely delicious, so naturally our specialist fast-food reporter Seiji Nakazawa had to try it out for us to see if it lived up to the hype.

▼ “Nice to meet you, Double Cheeseburger”.
This commercial for the new burger shows a mother getting “gohan takeout” as dinner for her and her son.

Seiji has already munched his way through all three rice burgers so he was curious to see what made the Double Cheeseburger offering so different. After purchasing one and peeling back the paper packaging, his eyes were immediately drawn to one thing: the double beef patties.

With the other rice burgers being single-beef varieties, this extra patty was a point of difference that wasn’t just noticeable to the eye but the palate as well. As soon as Seiji took a bite, the taste of beef really stood out in a way it didn’t with the other rice burgers.

What’s more, this ratio of beef to rice seemed perfect, as the soy sauce flavour in the rice complemented the taste of the meat beautifully, playing second fiddle with a gentle melody that spoke of grilled rice balls.

Thinking about it, Seiji realised that the only other rice burger in the range that contains a 100-percent beef patty is the Rice Bacon Lettuce, as the Filet O’ contains fish and the Teriyaki contains pork. However, Seiji felt that the taste of beef in the Rice Bacon Lettuce wasn’t at a level to match up with the rice, leaving it lacking in balance.

Another vital point is the fact that the other burgers are slathered in flavourful sauces, which mellows out the flavour of the meat inside. The Rice Dabuchi, however, contains straight-up ketchup, which has a sweetly acidic kick to balance out the rich flavours of the meat and cheese. The filling is a familiar classic that’s already a winner in Seiji’s eyes, and adding soy-sauce grilled rice patties to the mix adds a salty, satisfying umami deliciousness to every mouthful.

After finishing the burger, Seiji was pleasantly surprised to say the burger did live up to the high expectations set for it by all the rave reviews online. And when it comes to burgers, Seiji knows what he’s talking about it, as he’s eaten everything from the Junior Big Mac to the Giga Big Mac in one sitting.

Seiji says the Rice Dabuchi is definitely worth a try, as it’s like having a grilled onigiri rice ball with a cheese, ketchup and beef patty filling. Now that we think about it, grilled rice balls with burger fillings sounds like an awesome idea for a new McDonald’s range to really set tongues wagging in Japan.

The Rice Dabuchi costs 390 yen (US$3.73) plus tax, and it’s also joined by a regular Dabuchi, with burger buns, on the menu for a limited time at 340 yen. The new items, which went on sale from 28 October, will only be available in Japan for a limited time.

Photos © SoraNews24
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