Unusual Gourmet Burgers at Burger Mania
August 22, 2014
Food & Drink
With white tiled walls, wood paneling, classic tiled flooring, and an open kitchen in the center, Burger Mania is a great place to while away a few hours over lunch or dinner, or anything in between. The quirky burger joint opened its first branch six years ago in Shirokane, just a short walk from Ebisu station, and now has offshoots in Hiroo and Ebisu as well. It serves a wide variety of tasty Western delights—and not just burgers. From salads, soups, pancakes and sandwiches, the menu has something to please most palates, including a selection of craft beers that are perfect for washing it all down.
The newest addition to the Burger Mania family is the Ebisu branch, opened six months ago and located just a few minutes from the station on the west side. The restaurant serves a smaller but similar menu to the Shirokane flagship, with esoteric choices including a blue cheese burger topped with Roquefort and gorgonzola, a platinum burger made with sliced wagyu beef, and a cherry burger that’s exclusive to the Hiroo and Ebisu shops.
On my latest visit I tried the aforementioned cherry burger (¥1,290). Although I was slightly hesitant with my order, I found the cherry, cream cheese and beef combo to be surprisingly good. The delicious and perfectly cooked meat with a slightly sweet and tangy aftertaste took me by surprise, while the toasted bun was a nice touch.
My dining companion had the blue cheese burger (¥1,340), which was also a finger-licking treat. The creamy cheese covering had just the right amount of flavor and wasn’t overpowering at all, as blue cheese can sometimes be. We ordered a salad to share—a slightly unusual choice of blue cheese and pineapple (¥730), but hey, you only live once. This somewhat unique marriage of flavors was also pretty tasty and complemented the burgers well.
What were disappointing, on the other hand, were the fries. While no chip connoisseur by any means, I found these much too salty and the portion size was just too small for any normal-sized human being. Even the larger portion that my companion ordered was not enough to satisfy his chip craving. However, I can overlook this small oversight.
In the summer months, the windows at the front open out onto the pavement area, which is great for people watching and brings inside a welcome breeze. The big windows, candles, and hanging lights mean the interior is well-lit (but not Bic-Camera-fluorescent-style), bringing a cozy and languid atmosphere. A soundtrack of jazzy tunes and fragrant wafts from the espresso machine on the counter add to the relaxed vibe.
Diners of all sorts would be welcome here: couples, parents with young kids, solo eaters, businesspeople, or even a group of friends. Friendly English-speaking staff are happy to suggest their favorites from the menu if the curious ingredient pairings are too mind-boggling for some.
Burger Mania wins my vote for Tokyo’s best burger restaurant (or one of very few, at least). Controversial, you might say, yet wholly deserved.
Address: 6-5-7 Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Open: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Address: 2F Rokkokan, 5-15-25 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Open: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Address: 4-9-5 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: 11 a.m.–midnight