Surprise find leads to even more surprises.

Ever since we fell in love with the chocolate Santa Bearista customisation at Starbucks in Japan, our trips to the chain have become significantly more frequent. That’s why, on one of our recent visits, we let our eye wander over to the food menu, where we found, to our surprise, a new product called the “Soy Hamburg English Muffin“.

In Japan, “hamburg” refers to Hamburg steak, which is made from minced meat, egg, breadcrumbs, and chopped onion. While it looks like a hamburger patty, it’s usually served with rice and veggies on the side instead of hamburger buns, so we were curious to see what a Starbucks take on this western-inspired Japanese favourite would look like.

▼ So we ordered it.

There are a few things that make this limited-time menu item unusual, starting with the English muffins, which aren’t commonly found on menus in Japan, apart from maybe at McDonald’s, although their McMuffins don’t really look like true English muffins. While it’s unusual enough to find muffins on the menu, these ones are made with wholegrain flour, another tick on the unusual list, because here in Japan, soft white bread is the norm.

Served in the chilled cabinet with regular sandwiches, we asked staff to heat this one up for us, because although room-temperature burgers are a thing here, we were eating at Starbucks and not a supermarket, after all.

Heating it up made the muffins feel warm and pillowy, and peering inside we could see a touch of wholegrain mustard, along with baby spinach leaves mixed in with a soy milk cream filling, and beneath it all lay the hamburg patty, which contains no meat and uses soy protein as its main ingredient.

Starbucks claims that the soy hamburg steak actually tastes like beef, and when we tasted it, we had to admit they weren’t wrong. There was no taste of soy present here at all, and when we bit into the hamburg, it was delightfully moist and juicy, which fooled us into thinking there was actually meat gravy oozing out of it.

While the centre was soft and juicy, the outside was chewy and crunchy, creating a satisfying mouthfeel in every bite. Its small size made it perfect for a light snack or a breakfast meal, and though it didn’t taste like a traditional Japanese hamburg, it definitely ticked all the right boxes for us in terms of taste, looks, size, and value for money.

The only problem is, now that we know there’s a hamburg this good at Starbucks, it’ll be harder to resist stopping by, and even harder to resist the Matcha & Coffee Cream Pop we recently discovered there as well!

Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]