Join us as we go head to head with Japan’s baddest black burger.

In Japan, big-name burger chains like McDonald’s and Mos Burger tend to get all the glory, but if you’re in Japan right now, Dom Dom deserves your yen.

That’s because the home-grown burger chain — also the country’s oldest — is currently selling a creation they’re calling the Ika Devil Burger (Squid Devil Burger), and its black appearance is inspired by the bad guys from superhero franchise Kamen Rider.

Kamen Rider’s antagonists belong to a secret terrorist organisation called Shocker, whose troopers, known as Combatmen, are identified by their distinctive black-and-bone outfits.

▼ Dom Dom Burger’s mascot character, Domzo-kun, appears as a Combatman in a new plushie and rubber mascot figure for the collaboration.

Our reporter P.K. Sanjun is always dubious about food that relies heavily on its looks as its selling point, so he set his expectations low when he headed out to try the burger on the 19 January release day. However, after he handed over 1,220 yen (US$8.24) for the set with fries and a drink — the burger can also be purchased on its own for 790 yen — he was surprised by just how good it tasted.

▼ P.K. was suitably shocked by the Shocker.

The buns contain edible charcoal to give them their black colour, but that’s just the start of what makes them so good, with P.K. highlighting three other reasons why everyone should try them.

First off, he says the burger has “an unbelievably good squid flavour”. It’s not merely the amount of squid that gives it such a strong taste, but the density of it, with each chunk delivering a fantastic amount of flavour to the taste buds, right until the very last bite. It really was a squid devil, stealing the scene from everything else near it and keeping us totally in its grasp, but it worked in unison with the sauce as its sidekick, which P.K. claims is the second best thing about the burger, dubbing it “stupidly delicious”.

Like any good sidekick, the sauce helped to bring out the best of the squid, enhancing its flavour with a slight sweetness, due to the combination of soy sauce and mayonnaise in its makeup. The burger also comes with a Super Spicy Squid Devil Sauce on the side, which allows you to adjust the flavour by adding an intense spiciness to play against the sweet base.

▼ Personally, P.K. preferred the burger as it was, but he was grateful for the option to spice things up with the Devil Sauce.

The third and final feature that left a lasting impression on P.K. was the crunchy texture, which P.K. describes as “beyond crispy”. He wasn’t expecting the crunch of the squid to be so captivating, but it added so much to the mouthfeel and overall enjoyment of the burger that he couldn’t get enough of it, and it helped him to finish the massive burger in no time at all.

▼ The crunch of the squid was even more tantalising with the contrasting smooth chewiness of the buns.

In the end, the Squid Devil Burger turned out to be so good that P.K. reckons it’ll go down in history as one of the chain’s best, alongside the recent Maitake Burger, which also impressed him.

If the two were to battle it out in a tokusatsu fight, though, P.K would give the win to the Squid Devil. It was just too powerful to resist, and as it’s on the menu for a limited but unspecified amount of time, he feels he might have to return for another taste of it while he can.

Related: Dom Dom
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[ Read in Japanese ]