Monday, December 20, 2010
23rd, May, 2008 - It was a strange kind of crazy that brought me to this city park on this cold May day... an anonymous tip and a whole bagful of trouble later and I was about to make the biggest collar of my crime fighting career. Baby-L, as he was known to the seedy underbelly of Sapporo, was about to meet his maker. Literally.
His first mistake was stopping off to smell the flowers...
"Gotcha, Baby-L... reach for the sky. Your days of filling up diapers with ill-gotten gain has come to an end... and the streets of Sapporo will be smelling the sweeter for it"
"Alright, copper, you got the drop on me... but ya got nothin' on me, see. So here's what I'm gonna do..." and he proceeded to tell me exactly what he was going to do, and how he was going to do it. He even drew some crude crayon drawings to illustrate it for me as well. He wasn't known as the baby-faced-silent (and not so silent) assassin without good reason. But he had not taken into account one small detail. My nose for trouble.
...And he had been stinking of comeuppance. Yes, he'd made one mistake that day... he just couldn't resist the sweet teriyaki flavour of the MOS Burger. I had heard from my snitch where Baby-L's favourite joint was. Sapporo. Downtown. With the help of Google StreetView, we had set up our web... and had waited for our fly to get the munchies for yummy burger.
Cleverly disguised as a somewhat ill-fashioned tourist, I had carefully observed Baby-L casing the joint. He looked pretty casual as he sucked on his camera case, but I knew that behind that lovable cuddly exterior beat the heart of a true hamburger-holic. Before I could yell, "Inai Inai Baa", he had cleaned the joint out of burgers and had made his way to Odori Kouen... little suspecting that he had been followed all the way.
After a short, somewhat violent struggle...the great Baby-L was apprehended. After quick search of his person (you don't want to know where I had to search), the evidence was located. How ironic; Capone had his tax evasion, and Baby-L had his hamburger addiction.
"This is it, Baby-L... or whatever your real name is. Two hot MOS Burgers will be enough to send you off to the Big House" (where no doubt we'll buy some yummy dinner for tonight... yes that's the name of one of the supermarkets).
"Yes, your love affair with the juicy, flavoursome freshness of the MOS has finally been your un-doing. You'll be staying behind wraps for quite some time" (or at least until we get you back home, that is).
And so, as legend would have it, the infamous Baby-L was taken down by Inspector B. And even today, the Mountain-Ocean-Sun (MOS) Burger is one of Japan's best-loved burger joints, and in fact is second only to the mega-conglomerate of McDonalds in the fast food stakes in Japan. Their slogan is "Making People Happy Through Food"... which is good, because they wouldn't be making people happy through fast service and full stomachs. They pride themselves on their freshness, so that does tend to mean that everything is made when you order and not before. What a novel idea. Unfortunately for a hungry Aussie lad, their serving size is pretty petite even for Japanese standards.
They're famous for their hamburgers (which are actually on a rice-flour bun, and some of them at least are made from Tasmanian Beef... Tasmania being part, admittedly a small, funny shaped part, of Australia) - but they also do a number of other foods.
Their menu includes the following (at least in Sapporo)... which is just the start... check out here for their full hamburger menu.
The MOS Burger
Hamburger with "Demi" sauce
Southern Vegetable Burger (actually not vegetarian as far as I can see)
Teriyaki Chicken Burger
Prawn (Shrimp) Burger
T-chan swears by them as being the best hamburger you can buy. Me, well I'm not that clued in when it comes to hamburger quality. The ingredients are very tasty, and yes the meat is mouth watering. So, yes they're fresh... but for me a hamburger is also about giving into a bit of naughtiness (like Baby-L), and I'm not sure I want to have a healthy and fresh burger when I can have something that's going to make me feel I've done something ever so slightly wrong.
Still - if you're in Japan then you MUST try MOS Burgers. Just look for the big M sign. No.. the other Big M sign...
Note: for the record, no babies consumed hamburgers during the making of this post.