We find out if these new limited-edition menu items taste as good as they look in the poster.

People in Japan are being inundated with tsukimi burgers right now, as all the big-name chains celebrate the Japanese custom of “tsukimi” (“moon-viewing“) in September. While each chain has been putting its own unique twist on its burger range, one feature that most of the burgers have in common is egg as the star ingredient, given that “tsukimi” is the word commonly used for dishes with egg in Japan, as it resembles the moon.

▼ That’s the case over at Lotteria, where egg has been added to four new burgers in what the chain is calling its Hanjuku Tsukimi (Sunny-side Up Tsukimi) range.

Unlike other burger chains, which tend to bring back the same burger or burgers each year, with only one or two new items (we’re looking at you, McDonald’s), all the burgers at Lotteria are new for this year.

Released on 7 September, there are four new burgers in the collection — the largest number of tsukimi burgers currently in the industry — and our resident burger inspector Egawa Tasuku purchased them all, taking them back home for a closer look at each one.

The first burger up for inspection is the Hanjuku Tsukimi Wafuu Zeppin Cheese Burger (Sunny-side-up Tsukimi Japanese-style Exquisite Cheeseburger), priced at 570 yen (US$3.90).

The bun used here is the usual Lotteria variety, which we’ve come to love over the years. Other chains opt for this type of soft, buttery bun only for their Tsukimi moon-viewing burgers, but Lotteria uses it year-round for its other burgers as well.

Three of the four burgers use a Japanese-style sauce containing ginger, tamari soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sauna sugar, and oyster sauce, and this one contained a good serving of it, slathered on the top bun and atop the fried egg.

Peeking into the egg revealed that it really was soft and gooey, a feature that makes these stand out from the competition, as a number of big chains have been adding firm-yolked eggs to their burgers. Runny eggs are beloved in Japan, so this gives Lotteria the edge on the competition.

Out of all the burgers, this one was the most orthodox, containing egg, cheese, Japanese-style sauce, and a beef patty. It was a delicious introduction to the range, raising our expectations for the next burger in the lineup, which was…

▼ The Hanjuku Tsukimi Wafuu Umakara Zeppin Cheese Burger (Sunny-side-up Tsukimi Spicy Umami Exquisite Cheese Burger), priced at 590 yen.

The sauce used in this burger is as red as the packaging, and that’s because it’s Sriracha sauce.  

Some burgers billed as spicy end up being disappointingly warm on Egawa’s spice-loving palate, but this burger is no joke. It was as hot as you’d expect a burger slathered with this much Sriracha to be, and he absolutely loved it. Even with his brow sweating and his tongue tingling, Egawa couldn’t stop going back for more, as the sauce added an addictive, tasty heat to the already delicious egg, cheese, and beef combination.

▼ Next up, we have the Hanjuku Tsukimi Wafuu Ebi Burger (Sunny-side-up Tsukimi Japanese-style Shrimp Burger), priced at 550 yen

This one had a particularly beautiful-looking bun, which didn’t glisten in the light like the others, suggesting it was slightly less buttery.

Cutting down on the oil in the buns was probably a wise decision, given that this one is completely drowning in Japanese-style ginger soy sauce sauce and tartar sauce.

Instead of a meat patty, this burger houses a fried disc of shrimp, and it’s paired with a mound of cabbage for a satisfying crunch. Of course, the egg is also present, giving you two round discs to mimic the moon.

The combination of cabbage, shrimp and tartar was a familiar one, so it didn’t really wow us as much as the other burgers. However, if you’re a shrimp lover who loves Tsukimi burgers, this’ll be right up your alley.

▼ The final burger in the lineup is the Hanjuku Tsukimi Wafuu Teriyaki Burger (Sunny-side-up Tsukimi Japanese-style Teriyaki Burger), which is the cheapest of the lot, at 490 yen.

It was delicious, but as a result of the combination of various elements, it felt like a normal shrimp burger. I don’t have that much of a moon-viewing feeling. If you’re a shrimp fan, go for it.

Lifting the bun on this one revealed lettuce, mustard, mayonnaise, and the Japanese-style ginger soy sauce.

This was a simple but delicious hamburger that allowed the egg to dance in the spotlight with the sweet and salty notes of the teriyaki sauce. It was a great pairing, and one that’ll particularly appeal to fans of the salty sweet sauce.

All four burgers will be on the menu until the middle of October, so if you’re looking for an alternative to places like Wendy’s and KFC, there’s plenty of time to stop by Lotteria, even after the waning of the September 29 full moon.

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 ]