TOKYO — The first Kuro, or black, burger had a signature black bun and sauce. Last year's edition, the Kuro Ninja, added a slice of (non-black) bacon to the signature black components. Now Burger King Japan is going black on black.
The fast-food chain added black cheese and deepened the color of the other ingredients in the special burger duo added to menus Friday. Marketing Manager Kana Ienega said Burger King Japan wants people to try the burger and find it tasty even though it may look unappetizing at first.
WHAT'S IT MADE OF?
The Kuro Pearl is simple with a black pepper beef patty covered with Chaliapin (onion and soy) sauce infused with squid ink. Its black cheese and buns are colored with bamboo charcoal. The Kuro Diamond is the same burger, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and mayonnaise.
HOW DOES IT TASTE?
Peppery. If you can get past the shocking color, it's not bad. The black pepper in the patty hits you at the first bite and complements the tangy sauce, with its hint of squid ink. The Kuro Diamond is juicier, with extra sauce and mayonnaise. But if you're expecting a totally different taste just because of the color, it might fall below expectations.
WHAT DO CUSTOMERS THINK?
Eating one in Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district, Kuah Kia Wei, a 14-year-old student from Malaysia, says, "I like it because it has a very interesting taste to it and it's nothing that I've tasted before."
Bernice Chua, a 25-year-old fashion designer and illustrator from Singapore, says, "the best part is actually the sauce, it's not really about the buns because you don't really taste the bamboo charcoal inside, but I think the sauce really makes up for it."
Julien Tirode, a 37-year-old event planner from France, says, "I'm a little disappointed because to me, it has no special taste or anything. Yes, the burger is black, the cheese is black, there's little black stuff in the meat, but (other than that) that, there's nothing special to me."
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
The burgers are available in Japan until November. The Kuro Pearl retails for 480 yen ($4.39) and the Kuro Diamond for 690 yen ($6.31). It's not clear why black burgers are a hit in Japan, but quirky food and drink products such as square watermelons, green tea candy bars and ice cucumber Pepsi are commonly sold.