Quick: What’s Tokyo’s best burger joint? Cue heated discussion ad nauseam. Ultimately, the question is so subjective it’s not worth the argument. But if you want a premium burger with lashings of atmosphere and setting, then look no further than Aldebaran.
Just steps from the swish portals of Roppongi’s Grand Hyatt Tokyo, a shabby entrance leads to a steep staircase down to a concrete basement adorned with funky frescos, DJ turntables, a flickering video screen and well-worn leather furniture. By night this is a hip, dimly lit bar and event space. During the day, however, Aldebaran’s tiny kitchen turns out some of the finest burgers in the area.
You have four styles to choose from, each constructed around a substantial 175-gram patty of prime wagyu cooked moist, pink and juicy, and served with quality fixings. Which to pick? Go straight to the house-special Real Baran burger. Layered with a soft-cooked egg, melted cheddar, teriyaki sauce and spicy onion chutney, oozing out from between quality buns and served with fries on the side, this is close to being a classic.
And so it should be for the price (¥1,600). Also, be warned this is the opposite of fast food. Count on your order taking over 20 minutes to reach you, and even more at lunchtime. And don’t hang about — the whole area is slated for redevelopment in three years. The clock is ticking.
Burgers from ¥1,600; open 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (LO); Japanese menu; some English spoken
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5