GRILLMAN is a burger joint by day, and a restaurant by night, with a wide selection of craft beer and Japanese wine. It is owned by Sake no Okadaya, which also runs Y. Market Brewing, Keg Nagoya and some other locations outside of the city. The full menu of burgers is only available at lunch, and at night, even additional toppings are off limits. This is a regular lunch spot for me because it’s near my office.
There are two burgers I order regularly at GRILLMAN. The first is a regular burger with Gorgonzola and bacon toppings. Back in November of 2004, on a warm Tokyo evening, walking through Shirokane, my wife and I went to Burger Mania. I ordered their “ULTIMATE BLUE CHEESE BURGER” and it changed me. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but this was it.
Burger Mania “ULTIMATE BLUE CHEESE BURGER”
Anyway, back to GRILLMAN! The bacon is thick and soft, and the blue cheese is the perfect complement. GRILLMAN does a good job of toasting their buns, something you expect that is sometimes forgotten in Japan.
GRILLMAN’s patty is a good thickness, and the quality is almost on par with Handsome Burger. The only thing lacking is some onions.
They have a large beer selection that changes regularly, and a pint will set you back over 1,000 yen. Since October 2016, they have been offering a free baby beer, or a discounted half pint (JPY 500) and pint (JPY 800). This came after “Octoberfest” in October (rare in Japan), where they gave away a free half pint at lunch.
Presten Ale Brewery IPA from Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
The atmosphere is simple, and when the weather is good the front of the shop can be opened up. The only drawback is it is a little expensive. A burger and pint can run you about JPY 2,500 at lunch.
Warning: cash only