WOAP 2016 - Ramen Shop Umami Burger - 6/10

By Bella Donna

Eastbourne Village Meats pork and beef patty with Hillside bacon, foraged seaweed and pickled shiitake mushrooms in a soft bun. $12

This was one of those curious beasts that didn’t quite live up to its promise.  I liked it well enough, and it had an excellent price point, which meant I felt OK about supplementing my meal with two of their mini pork buns – incredible BTW – and some kim chi), but it didn’t make my soul sing.

It looked the part – perfectly shaped bun and pattie, and the pattie was delicious.  The bun was steamed, so a tad gluey – all good, but not your usual burger experience.  What was there was easy to miss - the bacon was soft, not crispy, and the cucumber warm and also soft.  The main flavour seemed to come from the mayo and another sweet sauce; it tasted ‘Japanese’ – like an okonomiyaki burger might taste.

Quite frankly I was probably just sulking – I’d come for foraged seaweed and pickled shiitake!!! They have pickled shiitake on their normal menu in a ramen and they’re exceptional.  I suspect the seaweed was present in the (delightful) green sprinkle on top and on the plate, but I think a good solid wodge of seaweed might have been a better bet.

6/10 – give it a go if you’re in the market for an elaborate steamed bun experience: if that’s your thing, you won’t be disappointed.


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