Eel Burger Slides Onto Ritzy Japanese Hotel's Lunch Menu

Japan's Ramada Hotel Osaka has whipped up an interesting lunch item prepared and priced to meet the culinary desires of the country's elite - or should that be, "eel eat" - diners: a unique variation on the humble hamburger made with wine-marinated Unagi, or domestic eel. Fries with that? Umm, no. 

The Eel Burger is one of several new lunch specialties served at the hotel's Tianshan Teppanyaki restaurant that lift the basic beef burger far above mere fast food, and match it with a complementary selection of wines by the glass to boot. 

Properly prepared Japanese eel is delicious - the hotel specifies only fresh domestic eel as imported, farm-raised, frozen eel filets from China have acquired a somewhat dubious reputation. Grilled with some sweet special "tare" sauce it's a true delight, but served on a bun? A purist gourmand may hold their breath (and their nose) but let's give the Eel Burger a chance. After all, it's not exactly a McEel - and let's all hope THAT concept never sees the light of day!

The "Japanese Eel Burger" offered at Tianshan Teppanyaki is built around domestic eel stewed in red wine, sandwiched between two slices of rustic whole grain bread. Garnishes include horseradish and fresh tomato salsa. The eel filet is topped with slices of lotus root, onion and turnip to give the Eel Burger a crunchy texture. Oh, and don't even think of asking the waiter for some ketchup.

A decidely normal side salad accompanies your Eel Burger. Last but not least, choose your wine; either red or white for 500 yen (just under $6.00) a glass, and go to town on some Eel: the other white meat that doesn't taste anything like chicken. Priced at 1,800 yen (about $21.00), the Ramada Hotel Osaka's "lavish lunch burger experience" is available weekdays from 11:30am through 2pm and weekends & holidays from 11:30am through 2:30pm. (via Walker Plus)