burgers

Free double pickles and onions at McDonald’s Japan will help your budget, ruin your breath

Free double pickles and onions at McDonald’s Japan will help your budget, ruin your breath

At midnight on April 1, everything you can shop for in Japan got a little bit more expensive as sales tax rose to either percent. Thankfully, this three-percent hike was announced well in advance, giving consumers a chance to stockpile staples such as toilet paper, detergent, and other dry goods ahead of time.

Unfortunately, there’s one other necessary yet perishable staple of our lifestyle that we couldn’t hoard: hamburgers. With the amount we eat, that extra three percent of tax works out to a pretty hefty chunk of change.

Thankfully, at the same time as the tax increase took effect, so did a new McDonald’s Japan policy offering free double portions of pickles, onions, and sauce on the chain’s sandwiches.

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Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Ever had that terrible indecision between pizza and hamburger? Japan’s got your problem solved! It’s not quite as out-there as the bizarre creations we’ve become used to – in fact, maybe this time they’ve actually got things right.

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We fall in (and out) of love with McDonald’s new Diner Double Beef burger

We fall in (and out) of love with McDonald’s new Diner Double Beef burger

On January 7, McDonald’s Japan started rolling out its new American Vintage menu items, with the first batch inspired by the diners of the 1950s. Our recent taste test of the fast food giant’s Classic Fries with Cheese left us less than impressed, what with a cheese sauce that didn’t taste like cheese and their ineffective “bacon flavored topping,” which McDonald’s is at least kind enough to admit isn’t the genuine article.

Still, the Golden Arches managed to lure us back to give its American Vintage menu another shot with a very persuasive offering. Two very persuasive ones, actually, in the form of the two beef patties in its Diner Double Beef burger.

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Mr. Sato celebrates Japan’s Good Meat Day by taking on Burger King’s all-you-can-eat Whopper deal

Mr. Sato celebrates Japan’s Good Meat Day by taking on Burger King’s all-you-can-eat Whopper deal

There may not have been any Thanksgiving festivities in Japan this past week, but the Japanese language’s ample opportunities for puns gave us two special days to celebrate. Coming on the heels of Knee-High Socks Day was the equally pun-tastic Good Meat Day on November 29.

Good Meat Day gets its name by breaking the date into its individual digits of 1-1-2-9, which can be read as ii niku, literally “good meat.” We decided the best way to commemorate our carnivorous cravings was by hitting Burger King to catch the tail-end of their all-you-can-eat burger promotion.

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All-you-can-eat Whoppers at Burger King Japan. Thank you. Thank you so much.

All-you-can-eat Whoppers at Burger King Japan. Thank you. Thank you so much.

One of my closest friends recently visited Japan with his wife, and we made plans to get together to sip fine cognac and discuss neoclassical philosophy (OK, canned Ebisu beer and Japanese sports cars). Since they were staying in a hotel with an awesome view of the city, we held our high-minded symposium in their room while admiring Yokohama’s gigantic Ferris wheel.

My friend asked how much all our convenience store-bought booze would run us at a restaurant, and I told him it would depend on whether or not we took advantage of the all-you-can-drink specials that many offer. “Free refills on beer? That’s awesome, but you could never get away with that in the States,” he responded.

It’s a crying shame that he already flew back home, because if he’d stuck around just a little longer, he’d have been able to experience another gastronomic experience unique to Japan: all-you-can-eat burgers at Burger King until December 1.

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Lotteria’s crazy burger with literally everything on it is perfect for indecisive diners

Lotteria’s crazy burger with literally everything on it is perfect for indecisive diners

As sure as the sun rises in the east, you can count on Japanese burger chain Lotteria to do something wacky every couple of months. Seemingly resigned to the fact that it can never quite capture either the flavor or value crown in the fast food market, Lotteria has apparently settled on cornering the market on crazy, whether that means nine-patty Evangelion burgers or milkshakes inspired by horror movie The Ring.

Lotteria’s latest outburst is a burger literally topped with everything.

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We combine McDonald’s and MOS Burger for forbidden deliciousness

We combine McDonald’s and MOS Burger for forbidden deliciousness

Whether the blooming of the cherry blossoms in spring or the chirping of cicadas in summer, in Japan there is always a herald to the changing of the seasons. As incorrigible carnivores, for us fall begins when McDonald’s tsukimi burger returns to the menu. Tsukimi literally means “moon viewing,” a popular autumn activity in Japan, but in this case refers to the lunar-looking fried egg the sandwich contains. The tsukimi burger also comes with bacon. It has no linguistic reason to be there, but if you really need an explanation as to why someone would add bacon to a burger, we’ll be happy to explain after you finish your quiche.

Of course, the full moon has been known to do strange things to people’s minds, and we wondered if we couldn’t scavenge components from McDonald’s tsukimi burger to make something even better.

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Lotteria craziness continues with the new okonomiyaki burger

Lotteria craziness continues with the new okonomiyaki burger

In the crowded Japanese fast food burger industry, a chain has to establish an identity to be successful. McDonald’s is the place to go to fill up as cheaply as possible. MOS Burger is for people willing to spend a little more time and money for a sandwich made from higher-quality ingredients. And Lotteria is the place to go for a side of craziness.

While Lotteria occasionally goes completely nuts and has iconic horror movie characters work its registers, the chain’s eccentricity is primarily confined to the menu, with items such as the side-by-side double-patty twin burger and colossal Evangelion cheese burger with roughly a week’s worth of meat. The chain’s newest offering reimagines the savory Japanese crepe okonomiyaki as a burger.

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“How did you like that burger with my spit in it?” Korean McDonalds delivery guy taunts customer

“How did you like that burger with my spit in it?” Korean McDonalds delivery guy taunts customer

Recently, a bizarre scandal surfaced involving South Korean McDonald’s home delivery service. The chain of events was set in motion when a university student living in Seoul’s Mapo district made a phone call to order two hamburger combos, then waited for his order to be delivered. Little did he know that in doing so he was about to become entangled in a scandal that caught the attention of most of Asia.

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We design and field-test a hands-free burger holder

We design and field-test a hands-free burger holder

Here at RocketNews24, we like to keep abreast of the pioneering developments in the separate but equally important fields of technology and hamburgers. Having already marvelled at the fries holder from McDonald’s and recently hearing that Burger King had developed a hands-free Whopper Holder, we were immediately filled with a level of avarice that usually makes people buy a pair of overalls and move to the Yukon to pan for gold.

Unfortunately, Burger King’s shoulder and neck-mounted hamburger holder is only available as a giveaway for customers lucky enough to win one, and since the promotion isn’t being held in Japan, we were left with only one option: design and built one of our own.

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We live the high life with McDonald’s two most expensive Quarter Pounders ever

We live the high life with McDonald’s two most expensive Quarter Pounders ever

For those of us born without trust funds, there will be precious few purchasing decisions in life where cost is no object. As a result, it’s important to take advantage of, and savor, that rare opportunity to purchase the very top of the line, whether it takes the form of preferred parking or double-ply toilet paper.

Or, as it did for us at RocketNews24 recently, McDonald’s most expensive Quarter Pounders ever.

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Lotteria’s new Twin Burger is not to be confused with a double burger

Lotteria’s new Twin Burger is not to be confused with a double burger

With so many hamburger chains in Japan, each has to find a way to differentiate itself from the others. For example, MOS Burger prides itself on its high quality ingredients, and Freshness Burger tells diners right up front where its priorities lie.

With Lotteria, there are two things we’ve come to expect; multiple patty sandwiches, like the nine-layer Evangelion Q burger, and unconventional ingredient pairings, as seen in the chain’s ramen burger. But Lotteria’s newest offering combines both of the restaurant’s signature sales points.

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We try McDonald’s new burger with sauce 20 times spicier than Tabasco

We try McDonald’s new burger with sauce 20 times spicier than Tabasco

Long ago, American automobile manufacturers dominated the industry, until Japanese producers started steadily offering superior products through the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. But following years of eroding sales, U.S. companies have finally stepped up their game and returned to competitiveness, with luxury marquee Cadillac recently recording its biggest sales spurt in decades.

Likewise, fast food restaurants from the U.S. initially dominated the hamburger field in Japan, but Japanese brands such as MOS Burger and Freshness Burger have been progressively eating into their market share. Will history repeat itself with a resurgence of quality American burgers? We sent one of our reporters, on assignment in the U.S., to McDonald’s to try its latest creation, the Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder. Would it prove too much for the Japanese palate?

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Lotteria’s Tower Cheese Burger: The Reality of Five Patties Covered in Melted Cheese

Lotteria’s Tower Cheese Burger: The Reality of Five Patties Covered in Melted Cheese

Major Japanese fast food burger chain Lotteria is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year.  In commemoration, they have brought back the infamous Tower Cheese Burger, five beef patties with five cheese slices, and introduced a five layered shrimp patty burger— each for only 500 yen (about $6.25 US) !

Sounds like great value for anyone with a carnivorous appetite, and, in case five patties sounds too overwhelming, you can also knock the tower down to three or four. Either way, they stack ‘em high!   …or they try, at least… 

As you can probably tell from the picture above, we recently found out that reality isn’t always what the advertisements make it out to be.  Is this supposed to be a lesson in facing up to the truth? Read More

The Best Tasting French Fries in Japan Are…

The Best Tasting French Fries in Japan Are…

French fries, or “furaido potato”, as they are called here in Japan, are the standard side order to all kinds of fast food.  Which fast food shop has the best tasting fries in Japan? My Navi News  decided to find out by canvassing 1000 working men and women from the ages of 22 to 32 on Japanese social networking service Mixi.

The results show the top fast food shops ranked by their french fries along with a few select comments from those polled. Their occupations and genders are also shown and although there may not be any direct correlation in occupation to french fry tastes, their education does suggest a discerning taste in french fry eating.  The gender of the people taking the survey appears to have absolutely no significance except that ‘gender role-happy’ Japan cares about such information.

The survey was conducted by simply asking, “Which fast food restaurant makes the best french fries?”

And the winners are… Read More