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Sep 14, 2009 08:03 PM

Report Back - JS Burger Cafe - Shibuya

After making the mistake of trying to eat at the Sri Lankan festival at 3pm on Sunday, I gave up and headed to Shibuya.
The first moderately interesting place I saw was this place:

I had a regular sized cheeseburger and gf had the small size avocado burger.
When they say small, they really mean it. The patty was McDonalds sized.

Each burger comes with a side of fries which were my favorite part of the meal. The fries are seasoned and lightly battered, they reminded me of America. In fact, I really really liked them, they were thick and crispy with a molten hot soft inside. The onions ring were pretty sub-par, especially compared to Kua Aina's offereings.

The burger itself is a touch smaller than Kua Aina, but it seemed to be hand formed and it came with a much better texture. I find Kua Aina to be far too dense and often overcooked. The JS burger was cooked to a healthy medium, with a good char on the outside.

This is the only picture I have available. In it, you can see the relish that's put on each burger.

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  1. Ha, those were really long lines at the Sri Lankan festival, weren't they. I think it's because there are so few actual Sri Lankan restaurants in Tokyo. The Vietnamese and Indian festivals should be a lot better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robb S

      Yea, I went also around 3:00 PM on Sunday (didn't see lost squirrel, although he'd be hard to miss with all the short people going around). Yes, lines were pretty bad, but some of the stuff looked pretty good. I got a mango kakigori instead, and my wife scored some fine uva tea for 1/3 the price of the regular shops.

    2. For burgers, you ought to try Goro's or maybe Michi's. Both conveniently located 30 seconds walk from my home.

      16 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Yabai

        How convenient for you.

        This place is just a few hundred meters from my new place:

        Authentic Burgers - it sounds good but I haven't tried it yet. The carnitas taco at Junkadelic wins everytime.

        1. re: lost squirrel

          Junkadelic is good, if very expensive for what you get. The same can be said about Mexico Lindo just down the hill from Junkadelic.

          Lost Squirrel, if you want a good burger in the Akasaka area, walk over to Akasaka Mitsuke station, cross the busy street in front of the station, and go to West Park Cafe in Akasaka Tokyu Plaza. Over there, you will find the best value burger in Tokyo: the plain, unadorned WPC Burger. Mmmm-mmmm good.

          1. re: maclock

            Thanks maclock, I've had the burgers at other locations of WPCafe but not at my newly local joint. Maybe I'll give it a try next time I'm around there.

            As for lamb burgers, Robb has my appetite whetted to the extreme. I'm remembering a local Greek diner from college days and salivating :-)

            1. re: lost squirrel

              There's nothing particularly wrong with Authentic; I just prefer thick patties like those offered by WPC. The patties at Authentic are thin.

              A lamb burger does sound rather good, doesn't it?

              1. re: maclock

                The Great Burger in Harajuku also serves a lamb burger. I haven't tried it yet though.

                1. re: Robb S

                  OK, now I've tried it, and the lamb burger at Great Burger is also pretty good, and very nicely grilled. Their corned beef sandwich is strange though - they use corned beef hash and alfalfa sprouts.

                  1. re: Robb S

                    Robb S, while not quite the same thing as a corned beef sandwich, I recommend that you try a large pastrami sandwich at M-One Cafe in Akasaka. It's the closest thing to an American deli sandwich that you're likely to find in Tokyo.


                    1. re: maclock

                      Wow, the pictures look good - thanks for the tip.

                      For deli-style sandwiches, so far I've been most impressed with David's Deli in Shirogane-Takanawa.

                      1. re: Robb S

                        It's much more expensive than David's Deli, but it puts David's Deli to shame in my opinion.

                      2. re: maclock

                        A Reueben with emmental cheese? Hmm

                        Actually, I may go try this tonight.

                        1. re: maclock

                          OK, I'm reporting back; the pastrami and reuben sandwiches at M-One Cafe are huge! Very impressive. They seem to be the only ones though, along with the turkey, that are quite so overstuffed - somehow I thought all their sandwiches would be.

                          The reuben was not bad; I'd give it 8/10. The tuna sandwich was okay but not my favorite recipe, a little too sweet, with chopped up sweet pickle rather than celery for the crunch. The grilled vegetable and feta cheese on focaccia was very good - mushrooms, sweet peppers, zucchini, etc. It was even better when I took it home and added a few slices of salami!

                          I thought the selection was small for a sandwich shop - no ham and cheese even. And I didn't want to watch a video of Dreamgirls, so I got everything to take out.

                          I think Homework's is still my favorite for sandwiches in general (tuna, grilled ham and swiss, shrimp-avocado, chicken salad, etc.) and then maybe Kuu'aa A'in'aa.

                  2. re: lost squirrel

                    If you like onion rings, don't forget to substitute onion rings for the fries that come with any of the burgers at the Akasaka location of WPC. Enough ex-pats go there and ask for this change that at times other than lunch, the waitstaff seem happy enough to accommodate this request. They will do so at no extra charge to you and the onion rings at WPC are very good.

              2. re: Uncle Yabai

                Thanks for the burger tips. Goro's was pretty good, and it's nice to have a gourmet sandwich option other than delivery from Pez Magic.

                The Kobe beef burger at Michi's was nice, but wow, their Cajun lamb burger with roast paprika was just fantastic! And I really liked the asparagus salad - not a ton of asparagus, but lots of radicchio, heaps of blue cheese and a great Caesar-style dressing. The clam chowder was pretty hearty, with lots of mushrooms, but unfortunately way too salty for my taste.

                They seem to have a lot of daily specials. Have you tried their mains like the crunchy Cajun chicken steak?

                [If anyone else is looking for Michi's, it's actually called Eat. 03-6459-2432. On Gaien-Nishi-dori just off Aoyama-dori, next to Mujirushi.]

                1. re: Robb S

                  Good onions, good meat and good bread I admit it can be good... I tried the both Michi's-Eat and Goro7s on Sundays lunch.

                    1. re: lost squirrel

                      The Goro's burguer, the impact is on spice, sauce, soft slitly grillet buns, grilled onions... felt more happy about the onions than the spicy paty.
                      The Mitchi`s-Eat is more meaty, aseasoned nicely with guatamale (spread ??), and fried potatoes are plain (different sorts of seasoning). More fresh.

              3. I finally tried Burger Mania (3442-2200) in Shirogane, and their burgers were tastily grilled. Unfortunately I ordered the blue cheese burger and the cheese overpowered everything else - I'll definitely try something else if I go again.

                Their tuna sandwich was below average - too much mayonnaise, too much onion, and too much cheese. Who puts cheese on a tuna sandwich?

                The clubhouse sandwich featured very flavorful, juicy chicken and excellent bacon in copious quantities. But at Y1600 I found it a bit overpriced.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Robb S

                  Boy have you opened a can of worms. Brought up on Philadephia hoagies, the tuna would be oil drenched tuna fresh from jar or can, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, hot peppers, and a lot of provolone. No other way to eat them, oh yeh, the bread is a sesame seed loaf that would concuss you if it hit your head.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Ha, maybe they learned to make their tuna sandwiches in Philadelphia. Actually it might have been provolone, but it was hard to tell through all the mayonnaise.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Hey, little italy tuna hoagies have no place in Japan -- except for in my stomach!

                      I can almost guarantee that no restaurant in Japan serves anything remotely resembling a philly hoagie. I've been looking for years.

                      I just look checked the Burger Mania website ( to see if I could find pictures of this tuna sandwich and I realize that I went there before. It was quite awhile ago, I think it may have just opened at the time. I asked for my bacon extra crispy and I think they were nice enough to oblige me. I don't remember much else though unfortunately.

                    2. re: Robb S

                      Was it heated? I'm thinking tuna melt. . .

                      1. re: prasantrin

                        PS. I got a notice in the mailbox yesterday from Penguin Food Delivery
                        )They offer delivery from Burger Mania if anyone is interested.