New restaurant becomes a hit on social media, and for good reason. 

Sometimes restaurants have so many great options on the menu that you’ll end up regretting whatever you order, because you want to order absolutely everything. Hamburg and Hamburg in Shibuya is one such restaurant, because here they serve up hamburg steaks with not one but two sauces, and there are 10 mouthwatering sauces to choose from.

▼ Hamburg and Hamburg opened in February, moving from Tokyo’s Kagurazaka to this new spot in Shibuya.

The restaurant seats only 14 people, all at the counter where you can watch the food being prepared in the open kitchen. Given that it’s become a popular destination due to its fame on social media, there can be queues outside the restaurant, but when our reporter Mr Sato arrived early on a rainy day, there were no lines so he was able to step inside and select his meal from the ticket vending machine.

The only thing on the menu here is hamburg (a ground meat patty), in a variety of sizes (mini, average, large, extra-large, ranging from 150 grams to 450 grams [5.3 -15.9 ounces]) and with various grilling options (regular or well done). Most diners opt for the 200-gram or 300-gram hamburgs, and at 1,980 yen (US$12.92) for the latter, it’s a pretty good price, seeing as they use black Angus beef raised on their own farm in the United States. 

After choosing your hamburg, it’s time to decide on the sauces you want to pair it with, and this is where the trouble lies, as all options look absolutely delicious.

There are over 66 possible combinations that can be made from the following selections (left to right, top to bottom): Demi-glace, cheese, tomato, curry, pepper, grated daikon radish and ponzu sauce, mentaiko cream, kimchi mayonnaise, maple, and melty wasabi.

It was a tough choice, but Mr Sato eventually settled on the mentaiko cream and melty wasabi, and after handing his ticket over to staff and taking a seat, a black wooden plate was placed on his table, in preparation for the meal that would be placed upon it.

Looking around, he was pleased to find that he was able to help himself to three pieces of bread from the tub in front of him.

Everything he needed for eating was in a drawer at his seat, which was cleverly concealed beneath the countertop.

The first thing staff brought to him were garnishes and a side of potatoes and broccoli, which they recommended he dip into the sauce when eating.

It didn’t take long for his main meal to arrive, and when it did, it was an explosion of colour and aroma that made his mouth water.

Served in an iron plate to keep it all piping hot, the hamburg had been sliced in two, with one half covered in greeen wasabi sauce and the other slathered in pink mentaiko sauce.

The plate was expertly designed for the meal, keeping the meat and sauces separate so it was like getting two meals for the price of one.

▼ When viewed directly from above it was picture-perfect, which is part of the reason why the restaurant has become such a hot topic on social media.

▼ It didn’t just look good — it tasted amazing as well.

Starting with the mentaiko side, the sauce was rich and creamy, imparting a delicious amount of salty pollock roe flavour to the meat. It was a surprisingly good combination, adding a Japanese-style twist to the dish.

As for the wasabi side, this was another delicious combination, with grated yam giving it a smooth, melty texture while the dashi stock added depth to the flavour profile. The spiciness of the wasabi was moderate, allowing the flavour of the meat to shine through, and it was so good that Mr Sato wished they would bottle the sauce and sell it so he could enjoy it with other dishes at home.

His only complaint was with the texture of the patty, which was slightly firmer than the usual melt-in-your-mouth patties he usually enjoys eating. Plus, he would’ve liked the option to add cheese and maybe some tomatoes for extra freshness, but hey, with unlimited rice refills on offer, he certainly wasn’t complaining.

The sauces were definitely the star of the show here, and they certainly live up to the hype, not only in terms of looks but flavour. With so many options to choose from, Mr Sato will definitely be returning to try more of them, when he’s not eating at this fancy hamburg restaurant nearby.

Restaurant information:
Hamburg and Hamburg Shibuya store / ハンバーグとはんばーぐ渋谷店
Tokyo-to Shibuya-ku Shibuya 1-24-7 Miyashita Park Building 1F
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 9 p.m. (last orders 8:30 p.m.)
Website (Instagram)

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