Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dining in the Next Normal: Chef Mike Santos Unveils His New Burger Creations at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse

Chef Mike Santos is serious about his burgers. One look at his creations and you'll see why his burgers are making waves on the net and your social media feed. Scroll down for a closer look at the new burger line-up at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse...

For over a year now, Nanka Japanese Steakhouse along Mother Ignacia corner Roces Avenue has become a dining destination up north under the helm of Chef Mike Santos. With their wide array of Japanese-inspired savory offerings from succulent seafood to prime steaks, Chef Mike continues to create and expand his menu and he's been busy. The new Nanka Burgers offer even more reasons to visit this hidden gem in Quezon City.

Chef Mike Santos continues his culinary journey for bold, fresh and clean uncomplicated flavors using the finest and freshest ingredients for all his dishes at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse. It's a personal style that redefined the restaurant's character and tone (for more on Chef Mike Santos and Nanka Japanese Steakhouse, see my earlier post, A Passion for Clean, Uncluttered Flavors Re-Ignited at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse). And it's this passion for real flavors that inspired his novel take on burgers.

That day, Chef Mike let us sample some of his other new creations like the Salmon Croquettes served with Wasabi Aioli with the buttery soft texture of premium salmon draped in a delicately crisp layer of breading... well as a familiar dish, the Garlic Prawn Pasta, one of many popular favorites at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse. Soft yet firm to the bite, the noodles are evenly coated with the rich and nutty butter garlic sauce with the fat and plump prawns delivering that layer of briny sweetness to complete the flavors. Simple, uncomplicated but packed with flavor, Chef Mike teases the palate before serving his latest offerings at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse.  

I've always thought of burgers as one of those quarantine-proof meals, conveniently packed and can be enjoyed anywhere that's guaranteed to satisfy any appetite. And Chef Mike elevates the bar with his inventive take on the classic burger with not just one but three new savory offerings, the Premium Angus Burger, the Fried Chicken Burger and the Ebi Burger

Each juicy patty for the Premium Angus Burger is made from a single grind of prime ribeye and brisket consistent with Chef Mike's culinary style of fresh and real flavors from the finest ingredients. This ensures that each patty delivers all the juicy, bold beefy notes with its savory richness in every bite. You don't have to complicate a beef patty when you start with premium Angus ribeye and brisket.  

The Premium Angus Burger is then meticulously constructed topped with grilled onions, fresh and tart tomatoes, sweet and crisp cucumbers slathered with Japanese mayo and Sriracha mayo with house pickled jalapeños on a fresh and soft house made brioche bun. One big bite brings all these components together in a burst of contrasting flavors and textures, and yes, you'll need one real big bite for this Double Premium Angus Burger (full menu, burger options and prices detailed below).

The silky smooth Japanese mayo adds to the indulgent savory richness of the premium Angus beef patties, perfectly tempered by the Sriracha mayo with its lingering yet soothing heat followed by the fresh and clean flavors of the grilled onions, tomatoes and cucumbers capped by the sharpness of the pickled jalapeños. That whisper of smokiness from the grill adds the finishing touches. And the flavors just get more intense with each succeeding bite. 

The house made brioche is the ideal vessel for Chef Mike's burger creations, dense yet soft absorbing all the flavorful goodness of the different components while maintaining its form all the way to the last bite. And that's why the new burgers by Nanka Japanese Steakhouse are causing quite a buzz on social media. But there's more...

The new burger trifecta created by Chef Mike for Nanka Japanese Steakhouse includes other savory options with the Fried Chicken Burger and Ebi Burger. Sure, you've had chicken and shrimp burgers before, but Chef Mike sets his creations apart using fresh and seriously large chicken and shrimps that makes these real burgers. 

Take Chef Mike's Fried Chicken Burger, made from unground whole chicken breast. Coated with a delicately light and crisp layer of crunchy breading, the chicken breast patty is juicy and tender delivering fresh, clean and richly seasoned notes completed by a range of flavors from the shredded lettuce, grilled vegetables and house pickled jalapeños slathered in mildly spiced and silky smooth aioli. The subtle notes of chicken make it pair well with a variety of flavors, but Chef Mike keeps it intact with his seasoned whole chicken breast for flavors that just pop in your mouth.

Using the whole chicken breast makes all the difference with the Fried Chicken Burger. And just like the Premium Angus Burger, the house made brioche buns completes the flavors with its light buttery notes. If you prefer the light and delicate notes of chicken, this one hits the spot with its delectable play on both flavors and textural contrasts. All the other components bring their unique hints for a seamless weave of real and honest flavors.

The Ebi Burger is a seafood alternative for your burger cravings. Using large, plump and whole prawns, you get that fresh snap and a burst of briny sweetness with each bite. Evenly coated with a crisp batter and deep-fried to a golden crunchy finish, the flavors are much richer than the usual shrimp burger using ground shrimps. It's that snap that follows every bite that makes Chef Mike's Ebi Burger a serious burger.  

And when the succulent prawns are wider than the bread, you just now you're getting all that briny freshness with every bite. The rich flavors of the breaded prawns are complemented by the shredded lettuce, grilled onions, cucumbers and tomatoes for that layer of flavorful freshness perfectly finished by a generous slather of Wasabi Aioli to bind everything together. 

Choosing just one burger can be difficult, but depending on your mood and craving, Nanka Japanese Steakhouse has it covered. Premium Angus beef, tender and juicy chicken breast or succulent prawns?

Whatever you choose, prepare for a burger experience that will make you add these new creations by Chef Mike to your list of burger favorites.

The new burger line-up at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse is a welcome addition to an extensive and varied menu that includes comforting pasta dishes...

...vegetable dishes, savory mains and rice meals... impressive selection of premium steaks from Wagyu to Black Onyx beef... sumptuous and convenient Steak-At-Home Kits and Frozen Kits in response to the change in consumer dining habits in the new normal...

...and much more. And yes, all dishes at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse are available for dine-in, pick-up, take-out and delivery too (simply call Nanka Japanese Steakhouse for available options). 

A lot's been done to burgers, and the metro is filled with a variety of tempting options. Chef Mike Santos keeps his burgers at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse simple and uncomplicated using the freshest and finest ingredients like single grind Angus ribeye and brisket for his Premium Angus Burger, tender and juicy unground whole chicken breast for his Fried Chicken Burger and fat, succulent whole prawns for his Ebi Burger. And all it takes is one big bite to add these burgers to your list of favorites and find out why Chef Mike is serious with his burgers... 

Nanka Japanese Steakhouse is located at 1810 Mother Ignacia Avenue corner Roces Avenue, Quezon City or call 0977 621 8472 and 8921 6772 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their Facebook Page at for more updates.

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