On April 28, the Los Angeles-based burger chain Fatburger opened its first ever Japanese location in Tokyo. Thinking that simply being American wasn’t enough of a novelty to set them apart from the crowd, Fatburger decided to bring a little gift with them on their menu: a massive, 1.5-pound, six-patty hamburger with a retail price of 2,560 yen—or over $23.
Oh, Japan. When will your culinary wonders ever cease? From the far eastern country known for its occasionally eccentric approach to fried chicken comes a whole new take on the dish, which is specifically engineered to be quite different from KFC Japan’s recent “low odor” approach.
Everyone who’s taken the subway before has experienced it: that uncomfortable moment when you smell (and see) a fellow straphanger chowing down with abandon, blissfully unaware of their olfactory assault on everyone else in the car. But for those of us who secretly dream of eating fried chicken on public transit without shame or self-consciousness, some of Japan’s most devious culinary minds have come up with a possible solution.
I recently learned the Japanese phrase ichi-go ichi-e, which basically means “one encounter, one chance.” It was originally used to approximate the impermanence of a chanoyu tea ceremony, a Japanese art dating back to the 16th century. You enter as an invited guest and sit down in an intimate space with room for only a few people.