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The mac ’n’ cheese sandwich at Mos Burger introduces Japan to a uniquely Western flavor

A new sandwich from Mos Burger, one of Japan's most popular fast-food burger chains, pairs macaroni and cheese with a potato croquette.

THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

By THERON GODBOLD | Stars and Stripes | Published: February 18, 2021

Japan’s second largest burger chain, Mos Burger, added a new flavor to its menu Feb. 10, a potato croquette covered in macaroni and cheese and stuffed between burger buns.

The sandwich, available for a limited time only, is introducing the Japanese public to a very Western flavor.

Mac ’n’ cheese, a staple comfort dish in the United States and some European countries, is still a mystery to 88% of Japanese people, according to a survey by Market Development Institute from Oct. 27.

A hot croquette is laid on lettuce, then drizzled with Mos Burger’s special meat sauce and covered in creamy macaroni and cheese that is sprinkled with kishi nanko plum, a Japanese plum that adds a tangy taste, and dried bonito flakes that add a salty, smoky flavor from the Bonito tuna they are made from, to make up the center of the sandwich.

It is a “hot and voluminous burger perfect for the cold season,” Mos Burger says on its website.

At 978 yen, or about $9.35, for a large meal set that includes a fries and a drink, the new burger reminded me of a school lunch in the 1980s — a Friday special of mac ’n’ cheese and tater tots that tasted so good during childhood, but just OK as you got older.

A hint of horseradish heat in Mos Burger’s secret meat sauce flavors the sandwich, but the overall taste was a bit bland and could use a little salt.

The portions are rather large for Japanese fast food, but smaller than a typical American portion. The large meal set is about the same size as a small combo at U.S. chain restaurants.

The Mos Burger website doesn’t say when the mac ’n’ cheese-croquette burger will be discontinued.

If you are looking for something a little different but somehow familiar, this sandwich might hit the spot.


godbold.theron@stripes.com
Twitter: @GodboldTheron