Nakamuraya @ WeST PArK CaFE (Ramen and Burger), Shimokitazawa

East Meets West

This has to be one of the weirdest combination of food I've seen in a while: Ramens and Burgers served in the same establishment. Then again, if these were served in a random restaurant, I'd be VERY suspicious about the outcome, but we're talking about a famous Ramen joint "Nakamuraya" and an expat favorite West Coast style restaurant "WeST PArK CaFE" collaborating, so it got my taste buds rather excited.
By the way, you should know that the owner of "Nakamuraya" (famous for its salt-based broth), Shigetoshi Nakamura, has spent some time in the US as a teenager and also opened in 2009 a Ramen joint in Los Angeles called "Ramen California". It should therefore come as no surprise if he has been interested in mixing genres and cultures again.

The stylish shop opened beginning of January and I can't say it's been drawing crowds yet. Does it need more word-of-mouth or is it just potential customers being dubious about the combination of cuisine served there? I'm not sure yet. All I can say is that the burger I ordered was pretty good, so chances are the bowl of Ramen is worth it too. But that'll be for another occasion.

Stylish interior

There are two chefs in the kitchen: one seems to be in charge of the Burger menu and the other one looks at the Ramen noodles. Though I've been to WeST PArk CaFE countless times, I've never tried their burgers, so I decided to have the former cook get to work by ordering the Bacon Cheese Burger. (For your information, every burger comes with some fries)

The Bacon Cheese Burger

In about ten minutes came a rather tall burger with a promising look. The pictures don't do the burger justice in terms of size and color, but I can guarantee you that from the fresh tomatoes, lettuce and grilled onions to the juice-dripping beef pate and melted cheddar cheese, everything was pretty mouth-watering. The white sesame-topped buns are quickly toasted over the grill and (if I remember well) a hint sweet. Good bread. As far as I know, WeST PArk CaFE bakes its own bread so I would assume the bread here is homemade as well.

The buns soaked in meat juice

The charcoal-grilled pate is made of 100% Australian beef and there are no eggs, bread crumbs neither onion mixed in the meat : just plain meat so you can appreciate its taste. The beef was good and juicy, seasoned with salt and pepper only. There was a little bit of mayo-like sauce on top of the lettuce, but that's the only seasoning I could find besides what I mentioned. If you're the type of person who likes his/her burger simple with as little sauce as possible, this place should suit your taste.

The long and sweet French fries

There were not a lot of French fries on the side, but the few ones on the plate were thick and a good 4 to 5 inches in length. They tasted a little bit like Japanese sweet potatoes, so it was slightly surprising at the beginning. Good nonetheless.

The Bacon Cheese Burger costs ¥1,400 so it's not the cheapest burger around but it was a satisfying dish, both size-wise and taste-wise. Will try to review the famous Ramen next time!
In the meantime, Bon Appetit!

Nakamuraya @ WeST PArK CaFE is open everyday from 11:30am to 23:00pm (L.O. 22:00pm)
Setagaya-ku, Daizawa 5-32-13
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