It’s not every day that I get to eat at one of the biggest restaurant chains in Japan. Having that title means that there must be something special in the food here. For this blog post, let’s take a look and see if MOS Burger is really all that.
I’ve only heard of this burger chain from its weird and mouthwatering creations in Japan news sites. And the fact that they’re one of the biggest burger chains in that country, about as big as McDonald’s. And apparently, they’ve been here in the Philippines for a while now. But since I haven’t been to the mall for a long time because of the pandemic, they totally flew over my radar.
One day, I was finally able to break free from the house-office-house routine and finally step foot inside one of the more-prominent malls in Metro Manila, SM Megamall. While roaming around and seeing what has changed, I saw MOS Burger.
As you all know by now, seeing anything related to Japan makes me want to try it ASAP, so I suggested to my partner that we try some things on the menu.
After looking at what they offered, it was no surprise that the food can get a bit pricey. It’s not at the level of Shake Shack, but most of the burgers do cost over a couple of hundred pesos each. And that’s without drinks.
For our first visit, we ordered the Yakiniku Garlic Rice Burger and the Garlic Grilled Pork Don Set. Yes, we both love garlic, how did you guess?
The Yakiniku Garlic Rice Burger (P109) was served in a paper sleeve and comes in two sizes, Regular and Large. I only tried the regular one because I wasn’t very hungry and only wanted to try the taste.
I had no expectations when I ordered it, but when it arrived, I thought that it was quite tiny. It’s definitely smaller than your average burger, but at that price point, I expected it to make up the value with its taste.
Rice burgers aren’t new to me and I’ve already had McDonald’s McRice burgers before. But eating this burger was a messier experience especially because the meat isn’t a single patty, but pieces of marinated beef.
After a brief struggle, I managed a bite and was pleasantly greeted with the delicious punch of garlic and the taste of marinated beef. It’s no wagyu, but the beef didn’t put up any resistance. It was easy to chew and given the burger’s size, I had to control myself from finishing it all at once.
Knowing that I paid a hundred pesos for this small burger, I had to savor as much of the moment as possible. The garlic and the sauce were just right, the beef was cooked well, and the onions gave it a beautiful texture along with an extra layer of flavor. Even the “bun,” made with Japanese rice was perfectly cooked and shaped. In terms of taste, there’s really nothing to complain about.
My only gripe would be the serving size. You’d think that for a hundred pesos, you’d get more burger, but I guess that’s just how it is. You can always order the large one for fifty pesos more (P159).
Up next is the Garlic Grilled Pork Don Set (P229). The set just means that it comes with a drink, but for burgers, the set comes with some square fries as well.
I have to say that I liked this one more. I guess the extra fat found in the pork complements the grilled garlic even more. Fat is flavor, as they say. The gooey egg in the middle is the coup-de-grace of the bowl. Mixing it with the beef and the freshly cooked rice gave it all a layer of egg yolk that made the dish glisten. You’ll want to dig in immediately.
And that’s exactly what we did. The pork was tender and juicy. The garlic and the onion played with each other to create a wonderful flavor. Again, it’s so easy to finish this bowl in a flash.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the drink as well. We paired the Pork Don with iced tea and expected it to be the basic drink that’s always being served in Filipino fast food restaurants. We were surprised to find that the tea here is also different. In terms of taste, it had a slight bitter flavor to it, like what you get when preparing a cup of Lipton tea from the teabags themselves. It’s a welcome change from the usual.
All in all, it was a very nice experience. MOS Burger left a good first impression and I’ll surely come back to try their other offerings. I heard that their Cheese burger is particularly good.
While I doubt we’ll get the really wild entries that MOS Burger releases in Japan, I can’t wait to return and have some more from their menu. Of course, only when I get some extra cash, because dining here is not on the cheap side at all.
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3F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall
EDSA corner Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Thanks for reading and keep eating well!