President Trump Set at Munch’s Burger Shack in Tokyo, Japan

Munch's Burgers Shack in Tokyo, Japan made famous by President Donald Trump
Munch’s Burger Shack in Tokyo, Japan made famous by President Donald Trump

When you think of Japanese food, you might think of ramen, sushi, or tempura. So why are people waiting in line at Munch’s Burger Shack in Tokyo, Japan, for over 2 hours to sample an American-style burger? Let me explain.

In late 2016, President Trump started his 12-day trip to Asia, stopping in Japan. On his visit, Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

For lunch, the pair dined on a cheeseburger from Munch’s Burger Shack, a chain of burger restaurants in Tokyo. And, if you are wondering, Trump ordered his burger well-done, the same way he prefers his steaks.

The international attention made Munch’s Burger Shack a must-visit restaurant in Tokyo, at least for those who wanted to sample the same burger President Trump tried during his visit. In the days after the visit, the line out front was upwards of three hours.

I only heard of Munch’s Burger Shack in Tokyo because President Trump visited Japan. So, I headed to there to try it out.

Like everyone else, I was curious: Was the burger worth the wait? How did the burger taste?

If you are looking for more information about Tokyo and Japan, I highly recommend you pick up a guidebook such as Lonely Planet Best of Tokyo 2020

Arrival at Munch’s Burger Shack

If you know me, then you know that I hate waiting in line for food. I will do it, but it is not something I enjoy.

I had a plan for my visit. First, I would visit on a weekday. Second, I would visit just 30 minutes before the end of their lunch service. I was hoping the line would be short at this time.

And I was correct. When I arrived, it was surprising to find no line. Only a couple in front of me were waiting to order.

I walked up the metal stairs and through the front door without a wait. At the door was a worker who asked me if I was eating in the restaurant or if it would be takeaway. I notified the worker that I would be eating in.

Even before I passed through the door and inside the restaurant, I saw poster after poster on the walls proudly displaying the President Trump Set.

This set, which President Trump ate on his visit to Japan, included a Colby Jack cheeseburger, French fries, and coleslaw. The single burger cost 1400 yen, while a double patty option cost 1800 yen.

A cashier was directly in front of me. It was here where I ordered and paid.

Interior of Munch’s Burger Shack

Interior of the restaurant, Munch's Burger Shack, Tokyo, Japan
Interior of the restaurant

After paying, I sat at one of the open tables in the restaurant. Since the restaurant was closing for lunch service, I was fine finding a seat.

The restaurant had a small, narrow open dining room. It felt cramped with so much going on, but it was bright.

A peak into the kitchen
A peak into the kitchen

Behind the cashier on the right, running across the length of the dining room, was an open kitchen. It was great to peek into the kitchen to watch the chefs prepare food.

Ordering at the cashier
Ordering at the cashier

With the kitchen taking up half the dining room, there was only enough space for four high-top tables with round bar-style stools.

The décor was modern with a chic, industrial design. The floors were concrete, along with wooden panels on the ceilings. I thought this was a nice touch.

Small, bottom floor dining room, Munch's Burgers Shack, Tokyo, Japan
Small, bottom floor dining room

I didn’t notice it until I left, but just down the stairs was a sseparate small dining room with a few more tables.

Munch’s Burger Shack Menu

The menu at Munch's Burgers Shack, Tokyo, Japan
The lunch menu at Munch’s Burger Shack

I didn’t even look at anything else on the Munch’s Burger Shack lunch menu. I came for one thing and that was the President Trump Set. They also have a full menu with other options if you want to try something else.

The lunch menu had a variety of burgers, including avocado cheese, bacon cheese, mozzarella cheese, double cheese, chili cheese, teriyaki, and a standard burger. For an additional charge, you could add extra toppings to your burger, such as more cheese, onions, and an egg.

The lunch menu featured a variety of items other than burgers, including steak, sandwiches, rice plates, salads, and side orders.

Colby Jack Cheeseburger (President Trump Set)

The President Trump Set featuring a Colby Jack Cheeseburger, Munchs Burgers Shack, Tokyo, Japan
The President Trump Set featuring a Colby Jack Cheeseburger

Everyone, including myself, was here to try one thing: The President Trump Set (1400 yen). This presidential set included a Colby Jack cheeseburger, French fries, and coleslaw.

The burger came out within minutes of ordering. With everyone ordering the same burger, I assumed that the kitchen was pumping these burgers out nonstop, and this explained why my food was ready so fast.

The burger was bigger than I expected . It was tall and took up nearly half the plate. Maybe it just appeared big compared to the tiny bowl of coleslaw and a meager amount of French fries.

The 100% U.S. Angus beef patty was thinner than expected but had a smoky char on each side. While not dry, the burger was not medium rare as ordered.

The patty was seasoned well with salt and pepper and tasted fresh, not frozen. It had a steamed flavor which I have encountered many times in Asia.

I enjoyed the fresh sesame seed bun. At first glance, it appeared the bun-to-meat ratio was way off. While the patty was thin, the chefs pounded the meat to the correct size to fit the bun.

Both sides of the toasted bun were crispy, giving the burger an enjoyable charred flavor. Inside, the bun was light, airy, and sweet and salty. What mattered was that the bun did not fall apart when loaded with the patty and ingredients piled on top.

Topping the burger was a thick slice of tomato, crunchy fresh lettuce, melted Colby Jack cheese, relish, and mayonnaise.

My favorite topping was the relish, which was crunchy and acidic and made from finely diced onions and pickles.

The taste and toppings of this burger reminded me of a Whopper from Burger King.

French Fries and Coleslaw

Close up of the Colby Jack Burger
Close up of the Colby Jack Burger

Served along with the burger were French fries and coleslaw.

While I enjoyed the French fries, the portion size was laughable. I saw the photo, so I knew what to expect. But, for 1400 yen, I expected more than seven pieces of French fries.

While basic and seasoned well, the fries were crispy and crunchy on the outside while steamy and soft on the inside. I just can’t understand why the portion of fries was so small with how cheap potatoes are.

The coleslaw was just as tiny. The slaw was simple. It was crunchy, acidic, and not overpowered by mayonnaise. As with the fries, I just wanted more of it.

Service at Munch’s Burger Shack

The service at Munch’s Burger Shack was friendly and efficient. With the rush of curious visitors from Tokyo and around the world, the workers appeared to know how to handle the media attention and rush of visitors.

Food arrived quickly and correctly. I also appreciated how fast the staff cleared tables and cleaned up after a guest departed, ensuring the line out front moved along.

Conclusion

Of all the restaurants in Tokyo, the last I expected to visit was Munch’s Burger Shack. But when I heard that President Trump had tried a Colby Jack burger from here, I was curious to try it out for myself.

While the burger was cooked well and flavorful, it was forgettable. The amount of French fries and coleslaw could have been more for the price.

Would I come back here again? With so many options in Tokyo, I wouldn’t. But if you, too, are curious, give the President Trump Set a try.

Pros

  • Burger was fresh and cooked well
  • Crunchy French fries
  • Friendly and efficient service

Cons

  • Expect a wait, especially during the busy lunch and dinner hours
  • Expensive for the amount of food

Last Updated on April 29, 2024

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Anthony
My name is Anthony and I am addicted to traveling all around the world experiencing new people, cultures, and foods. These are some of my stories.