Shinjuku Gyoen-mae: Yoshoku
Will (Shinjuku Gyoen-mae: Yoshoku)
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-8pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

The all-pork Hamburg steak here is made from premium Iwanaka pork from Iwate prefecture, and it's remarkably tasty - a revelation in how good this simple dish can get. The ground meat is a mix of four different cuts - shoulder, skirt steak, belly and cheek - resulting in an ideal balance of flavors and fat content. The patties are quite thick and almost lozenge-shaped, cooked to a juicy medium-rare consistency with slight grill-charring on the surface.

Steaks are served with a choice of sauce - demi-glace, yuzu-kosho or creamy mustard - but the meat is so juicy and flavorful that the sauce seems superfluous. At lunchtime plain Hamburg steaks start at Y1000, while variations such as black pepper, mozzarella, pancetta and foie gras run a bit more. The mozzarella works quite well as a filling - the mild cheese enhances the flavor of the meat without competing with it.

Lunch comes with a nice cup of cabbage-tomato soup, and for an extra Y380 the set menu includes salad and coffee or tea. The salad dressing incorporates various fruit juices and the salad itself has bits of sausage hidden among the greens. Coffee comes with real cream. Other drink options include fruit juices, ginger-infused vinegar drink, and home-made fruit wines.

Shinjuku Gyoen-mae
Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 1-3-8, YKB Shinjuku Gyoen Bldg 1F.
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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended