For the second edition of McDonald's "Jewelry" burger series, the company released the Black Diamond Quarter Pounder. While last week's Gold Ring left us somewhat unimpressed, the Golden Arches' latest was a different story. This time, a beef patty was sandwiched between two brioche buns, grilled onions and mushrooms, Emmental cheese and black truffle sauce. As before, the burger arrived gussied up in an oversize, ribbon-adorned bag. I could already smell that unmistakable truffle aroma. Inside, there were two pamphlets explaining the contents of this deluxe sandwich. The burger itself came in a foil-trimmed box.

Uncovering the burger from its elaborate serving arrangement revealed a surprisingly appetizing aesthetic: melty cheese, symmetrical mushrooms and a nearly spherical bun. We're talking darn close to the advertisements we've seen nearly everywhere with Mr. Honda encouraging us to "BITE!"








Not one to disobey, I did my best to get all five ingredients in my first bite. The first thing I noticed was the brioche. Its soft, mildly sweet flavor wouldn't be out of place on the Champ d'Elysée. The flavors of the mushrooms and onions were powerful, but they melded well with the mild cheese. The sauce, while fragrant, had only an essence of truffle, although it was still just barely noticeable. All of this, combined with that all-beef patty, was a genuine culinary symphony.

No big complaints here. Sure there were a few too many mushrooms...

... and ¥1,000 is a heck of a lot for a burger, let alone one from Mickey D's. But I left that Akasaka McDonald's much more satisfied than I entered. When I head back to the U.S. next month, I wouldn't mind if this tasty burger followed.