There was no way that we were gonna chicken out from this fight.

Our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun is always up for a fight, whether it’s the physical kind of workplace wrestling common to the SoraNews24 office or a battle between two rival restaurant chains over chicken tatsuta, a popular kind of deep-fried chicken burger in Japan. When such a showdown recently appeared, he took it upon himself to do a taste test of the warring chicken factions.

McDonald’s Japan’s Chicken Tatsuta is a perpetual best-seller menu item even though it’s only available for a limited time throughout the year. Most recently, it popped back onto menus on April 17 for 490 yen (US$3.15). McDonald’s is also currently teaming up with Detective Conan for some special collaborative goods, so P.K. thought that the Chicken Tatsuta would be especially popular this year.

▼ McDonald’s Chicken Tatsuta

However, on the very same day that the Chicken Tatsuta reappeared, a new challenger emerged from Japanese chain Komeda Coffee. This new entry is named the Tori [Chicken] Tatsuta Burger and retails for 790 yen. Apart from having essentially the same name as the McDonald’s product (just using the English and Japanese words for “chicken” respectively), this new menu item’s description is a burger which features “fragrant soy sauce mixed with grated ginger.” That sounded even more suspiciously like the Chicken Tatsuta to our writer.

▼ Komeda Coffee’s Tori Tatsuta Burger

P.K. mused that history will probably look back on this identical release as Komeda Coffee waging war on McDonald’s. However, since P.K. isn’t trained as a historian but is probably overly qualified at rating different gastronomic delights at this point, he decided to not quit his day job and stick to the eating.

For this very important taste test, P.K. decided to sample both burgers in optimal conditions at the restaurants themselves. He started off with McDonald’s Chicken Tatsuta. It had been about a year since he ate his last one, and man, was it good–so good, in fact, that he started questioning why he had never fully realized the depths of its goodness in the past.

For him, the most important element of the burger wasn’t actually the chicken, but rather, the fluffy buns. Sure, the chicken was good, but the pairing of the meat and bread together exponentially elevated its overall taste. If he had to sum up his thoughts about the Chicken Tatsuta, they would be something like: “It has a good balance of flavors.”

Next up was Komeda Coffee’s Tori Tatsuta Burger. At 300 yen more than the other one, he was curious about what contributed to that difference–something that was soon answered when he laid eyes on it. The first thing he noticed was the burger’s huge size, which was colossal enough to make him wonder if both of his taste test’s burger subjects were even from the same country.

This time, the chicken itself was at the forefront of flavors, and its texture was pleasantly crispy and crunchy. If the Chicken Tatsuta’s chicken flavor seemed to fade away a bit like a ninja, then this Tori Tatsuta Burger’s chicken flavor was front and center as a rock star.

He also noted that even though the grated ginger and soy sauce combination had its own strong flavor, the buns and chicken toned it down a bit.

To sum things up, P.K. feels that the McDonald’s Chicken Tatsuta prioritized the balance of flavors while Komeda Coffee’s Tori Tatsuta Burger prioritized the chicken tatsuta and volume. As the judge, he thinks that there would probably be an even split of people who prefer one to the other, and concludes that you really can’t go wrong either way.

Now, if only Japanese fast food chain Mos Burger would enter the ring…

Reference: McDonald’s Japan, Komeda Coffee
All images © SoraNews24
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