And their hamburgs are the juiciest you’ve ever seen!

When you think of Japanese restaurants with “Jiro” in their names, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Ramen Jiro, even if you’ve never eaten there before. It’s such a staple of Japanese ramen chains that just about everyone knows about it. In fact, the name “Jiro” has come to be associated with the chain’s customary pile of bean sprouts and cabbage, which they add to their ramen bowls as a topping. It’s so iconic that one might even consider “Jiro” to be a cooking style.

At least, that’s what our Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato came to believe after visiting a Salisbury steak (also known as “hamburg steak” in Japanese) specialty restaurant in Shibuya. It was way more “Jiro” than he could have ever expected!

It was called Hikiniku no Toriko. Originally hailing from Nagoya, it opened its first branch in Tokyo in January 2022. It’s located in the Shibuya neighborhood, in the basement of the building across the street from Hands Shibuya.

The menu had just two items: The Ultimate Hamburg Set Meal (1,650 yen [US$11.79]) and The Supreme Bliss Chopped Hamburg Set Meal (1,980 yen), which appeared to be a Nagoya specialty dish. Both came with unlimited free refills of rice and one free Okazaki Ouhan egg, which is a tasty egg brand from Ehime Prefecture specially designed for TKG, or tamagokake gohan (raw egg on rice).

In addition, you can choose to add one or more of several toppings to your Ultimate Hamburg Set Meal: demi-glace sauce (the standard dressing for hamburg steaks), salted onions and lemon, ponzu-marinated grated daikon radish, avocado and cheese, cheese fondue, or “Jiro.” Of course, Mr. Sato Selected the “Jiro” (440 yen).

He hadn’t noticed at the time, but Hikiniku no Toriko also imitates Ramen Jiro’s style of letting the customer adjust the garlic, oil, and hot pepper flakes. In other words, you could order the Jiro topping in the same way you order Ramen Jiro!

This is what it looked like without any customization.

It looked exactly like the ingredients in a Ramen Jiro bowl–just without the broth and noodles. In fact, he was supposed to have gotten a Salisbury steak, too, but it appeared to be missing. “Did they really just give me a pile of vegetables? What’s happening?!”

Despite his confusion, Mr. Sato still didn’t hesitate to try it. The bean sprouts and cabbage were perfectly crunchy, and after some digging, he managed to uncover the hidden Salisbury steak.

“There you are!”

Underneath all of those stir-fried veggies was a monstrous Salisbury steak sitting in a deep pool of its juices. Digging it out was about as exciting as unearthing ancient archeological remains on a remote island destroyed by landslides.

Mr. Sato dared to pierce that enormous treasure with his chopsticks, and out came a drizzle of delicious juices, promising mouthwatering moistness inside.

Cutting out a piece caused an even more intense, Niagra-like rush. The juices just would not stop flowing! They’d apparently first seared the patty before putting it in the oven, ensuring the perfect degree of fluffiness and moistness.

Mr. Sato placed a piece of the Salisbury steak onto his first bowl of rice and started out with trying the juicy deliciousness that way.

Then, onto his second helping of rice, he cracked his free egg to make TKG. The rice was Aichi no Kaori rice, grown in Aichi Prefecture, cooked in a broad-rimmed hagama pot instead of a rice cooker. It had a beautiful color and luster to it. The yolk of the Okazaki no Ouhan egg (which is also an Aichi-brand egg) contrasted nicely against it.

Naturally, Mr. Sato tried his TKG together with some Salisbury steak too. The marriage of the three beautiful flavors of rice, egg, and Salisbury steak was beyond description. Simply put, it was delicious.

All in all, if you like Salisbury steaks or if you like Ramen Jiro (or both), then you definitely must try this restaurant. Apparently, it’s very busy on the weekends, so the best time to go would be during the lunch hour on weekdays, maybe after a morning workout at the One Piece fitness gym.

Restaurant information:
Hikiniku no Toriko Shibuya Branch / 挽き肉のトリコ 渋谷店
Tokyo-to Shibuya-ku Utagawacho 36-2 Noa Shibuya No. B102
東京都渋谷区宇田川町36-2 ノア渋谷 B102号
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last order at 9 p.m.)

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