Martiniburger – owned and operated by New Yorker Eliot Bergman – aims to serve up authentic dishes in true New York style, in the unlikely surrounds of Kagurazaka. Standing on the spot of a former liquor store, the sleek interior has the look of an upmarket cocktail bar. But then that's what it's going for – an upmarket, adult restaurant for the lunchtime or post-work crowd to enjoy their meat washed down with a vodka cocktail (¥790) poured from a bottle of Absolut plucked from the backlit bar.
The evening menu ranges from steaks to meatloaf, lasagna and hummus – an eclectic list that might look like it's trotting the globe, but claims a uniting theme of New York comfort food. The indecisive diner might be better suited to the lunch selection, though: an uncluttered list that sticks to a small selection of burgers (from ¥800; lunch sets with choice of side from ¥1,000) and sandwiches named after the areas of New York. Try the 'Little Italy' – a thick beef patty topped with a chunk of fresh mozzarella, a thick slice of beefsteak tomato and pungent homemade pesto. Spicy tomato sauce is served on the side, and is best applied liberally.
Fresh, homemade ingredients support each dish, but, as with all good burgers, the linchpin of the whole affair is the meat. Made from Australian beef, the thick patties weigh in at 200g – a deliberate choice to ensure the centre remains medium rare. And these burgers are juicy: the burger bag is a necessary evil to avoid sticky hands (or a stained tie) as the bread – a slightly sweet, suitably chewy bun baked especially for the restaurant – soaks up the meat juices dangerously, and deliciously, quickly.
31 Nakazatocho, Shinjuku-ku
|Opening hours:||11am-11pm (Sun 11am-10pm) / closed Mon (except for holidays)|
|Transport:||Kagurazaka Station (Tozai line); Edogawabashi Station (Yurakucho line)|