Dom Dom Hamburger creates a new way for us to love curry.

Dom Don Hamburger occupies kind of a strange place in the Japanese burger world. It’s Japan’s oldest hamburger chain but has very few branches, so you’re unlikely to stumble across one just walking around and might not have a branch anywhere nearby when your burger cravings hit.

Basically, you have to go out of your way to eat at Dom Dom Hamburger, but they make it worth your while by offering some very unique sandwiches that you won’t find anywhere else, like their latest creation, the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger.

▼ Poster for the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger (called the Torokeru Cheese Curry Hamburger in Japanese)

The allure of the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger is what convinced us to make a recent visit to the chain. Stepping inside Dom Dom’s Ginza branch, we gave the menu a cursory glance, feeling some temptation to try the chain’s fabled Whole Soft-shelled Crab Burger. But it was the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger that had brought us here, so that’s what we ordered in a 1,000-yen (US$7) set that includes French fries.

After a short wait, our server placed our plate on the table. A little flag with Dom Dom’s mascot elephant was sticking up from the bun, and in addition to a small tub of ketchup…

…there was another with gari, or pickled ginger.

Turning to the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger, it’s got an enticing shine to it from the golden and brown hues of the bun, cheese, and disc of fried curry.

The curry disc is nice and thick, so much so that it makes the ordinary-size patty look a little thin by comparison.

If you’re wondering why we keep calling it a curry disc, as opposed to a curry croquette, that’s because, well, it’s not a croquette. Curry croquettes (which are a popular food in Japan) have a core of mashed potato seasoned with roux, but the inside of the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger’s curry disc is pure curry sauce!

The curry disc isn’t like curry bread either. With curry bread, whether it’s bake or fried, there’s a doughy outer casing. But the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger’s curry disc has none of that – the thin crispy breading quickly gives way to liquid curry, with no chewiness in between. Really, the best way we can describe it is that it feels like Dom Dom’s cooks managed to deep-fry a liquid. That can’t be easy, but we’re glad they pulled it off.

Flavor-wise, everything works together quite nicely. Getting curry, beef, and cheese all in the same mouthful doesn’t unlock any hidden characteristics of their flavor profiles, but those are three all-star ingredients that are always welcome on our palette. Add in some nicely fresh lettuce and onion, and the Melty Cheese Curry Hamburger is a burger that’s definitely worth making a special trip to Dom Dom to try.

Related: Dom Dom Hamburger location list
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