I had my first taste of Mos burger in 2007 while on holidays in Japan. I still remember being impressed by the fusion of asian flavours with the western burger concept and the prompt and efficient table service with drinks served in real glass tumblers. So much so that I actually googled it to find out if they had any stores in Australia.
Fast forward to 2011 and Mos Burger finally arrives in Oz… and of all places in Sunnybank! I was dissapointed though since for the first few months of it’s existence the place only sold meat burgers. I was confident though that they would offer veggie burgers eventually… but the question was when.
So I was driving past Sunnybank Plaza one day and was looking for a quick and tasty snack and lo, the thought of check up on the veggie status of Mos Burger popped into my head. I was ecstatic to find that they now added two vegetarian burgers on their menu. These are the Veggie Kinpira and the Oyster Mushroom. They are both rice burgers so if you’re not into rice you’re out of luck here.
The very (bordering on overly!) cheerful counter girl made the effort of explaining all the virtues and health benefits of kinpira in order to help me make my decision. I ordered a Veggie Kinpira and an Oyster mushroom and tacked on a meal set consisting of a drink and fries.
After taking our number and finding a seat, our burgers and fries arrive about 5 minutes later.
On first seeing them, the burgers struck me as a bit small. Compared to normal western burgers, these are tiny. The burgers however arrived nice and hot and consisted of two cakes of firm sticky rice kept intact with a square of nori, with the fillings in the middle. The paper tray liner has gone to great lengths to discourage you from taking the burger out of it’s special wrapper so as not to make a mess out of your best shirt which I thought was quite funny. It kinda reminded me of the safety placards you find on airplanes.
Anyways, after ensuring I had the burger safety procedures down pat, I had a bite of the Oyster mushroom burger. First impressions are that the thick sweet soy based sauce was a bit too salty and peppery and overpowered the subtle flavours of the oyster mushroom. As oyster mushrooms are fairly large in comparison the the rice patty, you only get about 3 of them on the burger. And because of their chewy texture, you tend to drag all three of them out on the first bite, leaving you with an empty but saucy rice bun. The large lettuce leaf also tended to brush sauce up against your cheeks when you took a bite. So much for the special wrapper.
The kinpira was a bit more subtle tasting and easier to eat than the Oyster mushroom. The shredded bits of seasoned burdock and carrot make this one inherently easier to eat than the oyster mushroom. I really enjoyed the light crunchy texture of the fried burdock in amonst the rice and nori. A most suitable combination I thought. I’ve never seen a burdock before in person, but from what I’ve read on the interwebs, it’s some sort of thistle plant. A tasty sort of thistle.
And of course the chips… what can I say? They were crisp hot and fresh. The way a good chip should be! The regular serving seemed small… maybe I should have got the large?
Overall I quite enjoyed Mos Burger. The service is quick and friendly and the rice burgers are a unique and tasty change from the usual bread and patty style western burgers. The servings seem smaller than usual, which means that if you’re feeling hungry you might need to order more than one.
Veggie Kinpira Rice Burger $4.55
Oyster Mushroom Rice Burger $4.55
Regular Chips and Drink set $3.65