Why do Japanese people love corn soup so much? Is it because its similarity to Chinese chicken and corn soup, French potage or the succulent sweet corn grown in Japan? At Mos Burger Japanese favourites like corn soup, matcha latte and prawn burgers sit side by side with Apple pies, cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets.
Now, it is time to get back to the main event, which is a delicious honey soy teriyaki beef burger. It has a moist but not too thick fillet, topped with teriyaki sauce, lettuce and Kewpie Japanese style mayonnaise. Japanese mayonnaise is made with apple cider vinegar, making it lighter and less creamy than American mayonnaise. There isn’t so much sauce to overwhelm the over flavors or spill on your lap.
Every ingredient is thoughtfully sourced and cooked to order. All in a small soft bun that delicate hands can hold one or two handed. The lettuce is a whole piece not shredded, so none of it will fall over. But if it does then the triangular paper wrapping keeps it safe. On the other hand, the Cheeseburger has a vegetable soup like relish and a stack of fresh tomato and lettuce. The burger looks quite tall, but mainly to allow the lettuce to crunch as you get your mouth around it. Japanese flavors reappear with the green salad with a Japanese soy and sesame seed Wafu style dressing. The combination of ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame and vegetable oil make for an aromatic combination of lightness and taste. The sweetness of the tomatoes and the crunch of the lettuce are brought to life with a zing, without being drowned by the dressing. It is the essence of a perfect appetizer, a pick me up from the vinegar kissed salad.
Mos Burger prides itself on fresh natural ingredients and on the blackboard there is a daily update of where all the vegetables come from. Tomatoes from Kumamoto, onions from Nagasaki, it is great to know more about where your meal comes from. The letters MOS in Mos Burger stands for Mountain, Ocean and Sea, paying tribute to the elements of nature where its ingredients come from. Founded by Mr Sakurada in 1972, Mos Burger was inspired by his experiences with fresh cooked to order burgers in the United States.
Minakuchi is located between Highway 1 (East west from Kyoto to Nagoya) and Highway 307 (North East from Hirakata Osaka to Hikone). It is a great stop on a road trip anywhere between Kansai and Nagoya or Gifu, with free parking, long opening hours from 9am to 9pm, and options to cater for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Nearby is the Hotel New Mifuku, with free wifi and a library full of manga books, making it a good base to explore this area, famous for Shigaraki pottery and the Miho Museum. If you are here on April 19 and 20, drop in to the local festival, resplendent in Gion Matsuri like color.
By train it is just over 60 minutes to get here from JR Kyoto. There are express trains departing every 30 minutes to Kusatsu, which connects with the JR Kusatsu line trains to Kibukawa. At Kibukawa, change to the privately operated Ohmi Railway Main Line for a quaint local train (some may call it a tram) to Minakuchijonan, which is just one stop away on the Kibukawa to Maibara. From the train station, talk a 10 minute stroll to the south past the post office to the Seiyu Department Store. This 4 storey building is also home to a children's play center, making it a great place for the whole family.