Terrifying to look at, but how are they to eat?

There are many burger chains in Japan, but if you’re looking for a local one that’s developed a cult following, you’ll want to head to Dom Dom. This Japanese chain likes to walk on the wild side when it comes to exclusive limited-edition burgers, and their latest release sees the return of one of their whackiest ones, along with a new, never-before-seen version for 2023.

Our reporter Kouhey was keen to try both burgers to see how they compared, and though the poster for the burgers looked terrifying, he remained determined to finish both of them.

▼ Both burgers retail for 1,190 yen (US$8.05) each or 1,620 yen as part of a set with fries and a drink.

Released on 16 September, the two burgers are the Marugoto!! Kani Burger, which translates to Whole!! Crab Burger, and the Gari Butter Gani (“Crunchy Butter Crab“), the latter of which is the new one for 2023.

▼ The blurbs for each one made him smile, with “We sandwiched a whole crab” for the original burger…

▼…and “Gari Butter Crab Appears!” for the new burger, with a “!?” to express the mystery and surprise surrounding it.

Unlike last year, when the Marugoto Crab Burger was sold for just four days in May, this year’s release has no publicised end date as of yet. Still, Kouhey was taking no chances with such an unusual burger, turning up on release day to snare both of them without fail.

▼ Freshly made and delivered to his table in around 10 minutes.

Peering into the burger, Kouhey could see they weren’t joking with the crab, as it really was served whole — a feat made possible by the use of soft-shelled crab, the shell of which is entirely edible.

The burgers were easily distinguished from each other by the little Dom Dom flags, with the original bearing a flag in the chain’s usual colours, and the new version containing a green flag with a navy logo.

When he opened the bun, he saw a sight that was not for the faint-hearted, as the crab was sitting there whole, legs and all.

Pulling it out of the burger for a closer inspection, he confirmed that yes, the shell was still attached too.

The only thing left to do now was eat the thing, which was easier said than done, as he had to manoeuvre his mouth around the fried legs to get a proper bite.

Starting with the original, Kouhey was surprised to find that the crab was soft and easy to eat. It was delicious too, with the sweet chilli sauce being the perfect choice for the crab.

Although the crab is clearly meant to be the star ingredient, its flavour didn’t really come to the fore as much as expected, instead blending in with the cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise and onion, making its presence felt more in the texture.

Despite the subdued crab flavour, it was still a good burger, and Kouhey was now keen to try the new version.

This was a much more flavourful burger, thanks to the combination of garlic and butter in the sauce, which was highly addictive. However, the crab flavour was subdued in this burger as well, only coming to the fore in short bursts in between the sauce and vegetables.

Perhaps because of the subdued crab flavour, this burger was just as easy to eat as the original, and before he knew it, Kouhey had done what he’d come to do, demolishing both burgers with ease.

▼ All that was left after his meal were the two flags on his tray.

While he thought both burgers were great, if he had to choose a favourite, he’d have to choose the original burger. It had a better balance of ingredients to complement the crab, while the newer burger was more sauce-heavy.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t try both of them if you come across a Dom Dom during your travels. Be warned, though — once you’ve tried the madness over at Dom Dom, you may never be able to return to the real world of burgers ever again!

Related: Domdom
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