Really a Burger?
Category : Food
When is a burger not a burger?
Possibly when it involves hot chewy rice cakes instead of the bread, and a patty made with pieces of prawn instead of ground beef.
Here’s the S$3.90 ebi riceburger from MOS, a Japanese burger chain which (for my money) knocks the likes of McDonald’s and Burger King out of the ball park. MOS – it stands for Mountain, Ocean, Sun – do sell ‘regular’ burgers as well, usually with a thick onion and tomato sauce inside which, although delicious, means its nickname of ‘Mess’ burger is fully justified.
What also makes them special is the variety of unusual burgers at very reasonable prices… you can get a wagyu special, a Hokkaido style cheesy potato fritter, or the beloved yakitori staple of tsukune. This last also comes in a rice ‘bun’, for that authentic Japanese flavour.
Years of living in Tokyo with small children, together with a horror of American fast food chains, means that MOS is an old favourite, and it cheers me greatly to have a branch just moments from my place in Singapore.
But mine is the standard Mos burger, thank you, safely tucked into its conical paper wrapper so the sauce drips into the pointed end rather than my lap. I don’t actually dislike ebi rice burger. The patty is very tasty, heavy on real prawn chunks, and it goes well with the shredded nori seaweed and crisp lettuce. Even the sauce is good, although a little gloopy. It is the rice cakes I don’t especially enjoy. They are almost tasteless, and the big soft grains stick to your teeth. Which is a shame, as I think it is a wonderfully Asian idea to transform the traditional burger into something for local tastes. So yes, I think it does technically qualify as a burger – just Japanese style!