Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Henry's Burger Akihabara: Same top wagyu, grander digs

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

At last, Kentaro Henry Nakahara has an outlet to match the quality of the meat he uses and the scale of his ambition. When he opened the first branch of his eponymous burger restaurant in Daikanyama back in late 2015, the justifiable excitement was inevitably tempered by the diminutive scale of the operation.

No such reservations at the new Henry’s Burger Akihabara. Not only does his new kitchen boast a rather larger teppan grill, but he now also has an upstairs dining room with lots of space to settle in and wait for your order to be brought to your table.

But Nakahara hasn’t made any changes to his recipe. Why should he? After all, he has developed a 100-percent wagyu burger that is rich, juicy and distinctively different from any other in town, especially the recent wave of premium American chains. Not that everyone loves the coarse-cut texture of the patties — he uses off-cuts from the same quality beef he serves at his high-end yakiniku grill, and you are likely to find occasional chewy bits of cartilage — but it’s hard to argue with such great flavor.

As before, there are no side dishes or extras. It’s all about the burgers. But here they’re not offered separately, only in combos together with fries and a soft drink. The main innovation is the introduction of a Triple Burger — three patties sandwiched in between those light-as-air buns (¥1,944 for the combo). That’s a healthy serving of wagyu. Now if only Henry’s had some tasty craft beers on the menu to go with it.

Burger combos from ¥1,188; English menu; some English spoken