Hailing from Santa Monica, The Counter boasts that it's made over a million custom burgers since its founding in 2003: the pimp-it-yourself burger chain has a few dozen outposts in the US, and has also expanded as far afield as Ghana, Ireland, Malaysia and Mexico.
Now adding to that tally is the brand's first Japan branch, The Counter Roppongi, which opened on March 31 on the basement floor of Midtown and offers relief to local patty-munchers hard hit by the 2016 closing of Baker Bounce. We headed over for a quick assessment on whether it's actually worth all the fuss.
The Counter's ordering system is both a picky eater's dream and a decision-phobe's worst nightmare: absolutely everything – bun, patty, toppings and condiments – involves a choice between multiple options. You'll be given a sheet with a whopping 80 different things to choose from; just check the ones you'd like to pile on, and you're good to go.
Still, the thing that surprised us most is that the price stays the same no matter how much you manage to stuff into one burger. That's because prices are based on the patty size (¥1,190 for 170g, ¥1,390 for 227g, ¥1,590 for 312g).
This means that whether you want to keep it clean and just add a few pieces of garnish or hope to branch out into 'Epic Mealtime' proportions, the price won't fluctuate (bar a number of 'premium' fee-carrying toppings). Now that's service.
If the idea of so much choice makes you break out into hives, don't despair: The Counter has such situations covered with a selection of signature burgers. Choose from the eponymous The Counter Burger, the fully vegan Sprout Veggie or some of their other fuss-free options.
It's back to choosing with their custom shakes, which you can craft to your liking with three different flavours; other side menu items include fried pickles and grilled veggie skewers.
The Counter certainly fills the gaping hole left in Roppongi's burger scene after Baker Bounce closed, and as it offers more than enough choice for you to keep coming back over and over, we're pretty sure this one's here to stay.