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Feb 24, 2010

The Asia Trip: Lotteria - Zeppin Ultimate Cheeseburger

Lotteria is a fast food burger chain that originated in Japan but also has branches in South Korea, China, and Vietnam.  It is owned by Lotte which I mostly associate with Japanese candy.  If you look at the picture above, you'll notice a gooey, cheese covered burger featured quite prominently and twice even(!) on the menu.  Gather round and I will tell you the story of how I was hoodwinked, bamboozled even!  By that picture.

Okay, so the first day in Japan I passed by a Lotteria and saw that awesome looking burger and mentioned to my cousin how good it looked, he told me if I want it I should just get one but I didn't for some reason that I forget.  What?!  It's always time for good food right?!  Especially with pictures, no?  Yeah, I'm disappointed in me too!

Anyway "Zeppin" is a series of "premium" burgers by Japanese fast food chain Lotteria.  The Japanese word "zeppin" is a superlative term meaning "unique" or "superb."  Yes, I looked it up.  I only know a couple words of Japanese like "thank you" and "shove it up your bum!"  Okay, I lied about the second one but then again, I doubt it would be very useful in Japan anyway... it's a very polite culture especially among the service employees who you can't tip.  Go fig huh?  But back to the burger.
It wasn't until we came back to Tokyo from Kyoto that I finally tried this sweet-looking burger... I remember it like it was yesterday... we had just finished visiting Sony headquarters, it was a rainy but not that cold.  Across, the street earlier we had spotted a Lotteria and I vowed to finally eat the Zeppin Cheeseburger.  At the bottom of a set of winding stairs set beneath the street was the entrance and through a glass door was my burger or promised.

"One of these!" I pointed.

"Set?" the service guy replied.  I shook my head no and placed my money on the counter.
In a few short moments, I had my burger!  But it was so small!  Bamboozled!  Damn the misleading picture!
So how was it?  It was actually pretty good, if a bit pricey; especially for the size!  It's not quite as small as a slider, but it's not bigger by much.  You can get a sense of the size in comparison to my hand above.

At least I get a fair amount of meat though.  The seasoned somewhat peppery patty was pretty juicy which is all too rare for a well-done cooked fast food burger (the patty is double Lotteria's normal burger weight).  It also features two slices of melted, deliciously gooey, natural cheese: Gruyere and Cheddar.  The bun was a pliant Japanese-soft (Japanese bread is really soft!) toasted egg wash bun.  The price tag?  360 yen (~$3.96)!

If I went back, I think I'd eat this one again though.  Maybe with a round slice of bacon!  I saw it on the menu!


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7 comments :

  1. No bulgogi burger? The Lotteria in Vietnam had them. I didn't try it when I was there though.

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  2. interesting to use gruyere on a burger. the cheese looks a little too melted though?

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  3. based on the picture on the menu, it's about the size that i'd imagine. i tried lotteria in vietnam also but i don't remember what i ate.

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  4. Mmm...have you ever had Mos Burger? That's another popular Japanese burger chain. Good burgers. I highly recommend it the next time you're in Japan.

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  5. @edjusted: I had Mos Burger in Taiwan! I didn't see too many in Japan though I think it originated there?

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  6. @WC: I don't think I saw a bulgogi burger there though I took a picture of the menu!

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  7. Forget the bacon. It's better without it. The double version is good though.

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