Does Sango hit the Spot?
Sango's busy store supports their claim of being the "burger master".
Sango's first branch at the Creekside Mall in Legaspi Village opened in 2006, with Japanese nationals frequenting the burger joint. Not too long after, the brightly-lit fastfood pitstop became popular, with curious diners checking in to see what Japanese burgers are all about.
Now they have a total of four branches: Alabang South Supermarket, Pearl Drive Plaza and at the Powerplant Mall, with the original store still enjoying brisk business. Minimalist interiors, efficient service even during peak dining hours, J-pop on a TV screen and a selection of manga books, all make up for a fairly enjoyable dining experience.
Dining tip: Don't miss out on the express kiosk at the counter, you can actually skip the long line and just order via touch-screen, dragging the food items you like to your virtual tray and slipping your money into the kiosk, which resembles an ATM machine. Your food and change are delivered to your table a few minutes after.
The bathroom also reflects the ingenuity and technology that the Japanese are known for: just press buttons to flush, wash and dry.
What we ordered:
The Master Cheese Burger (P130) is a take on their best-selling Master Burger (P110), with cheese sandwiched in between the soft buns, a fat, tasty and juicy burger patty with a big slice of tomato and lots of finely-sliced onions mixed in with the "master sauce." The burger gets a little sloppy, with sauce and onions slipping out with every bite but the tasty, filling burger explains why it's a bestseller.
The Master Chili Burger (P125) was disappointingly not as spicy as we expected. It had the same elements of the famous Master Burgers, with a generous slathering of their spiced meat sauce.
The Fishburger (P95) is a healthy choice but tastes like your normal filet-o-fish found in other fastfood places. Their bestselling Master Fries (P95 regular/P110 for the larger serving), with plump large-cut fries topped with the ground-beef based master sauce, onions and ketchup served on the side, complements the burger meals best.
You can ditch your usual order of soda or juice drinks at Sango with drinks like the Yogurt Shake (P60 regular/P85 large), which is very thick and has almost no sour aftertaste. Not very good as a quick thirst quencher, but excellent on its own.
The latest push-button technology at the Sango restroom.
Sango also serves strawberry soda, shakes (in coffee, green tea and honey dew flavors) and milk tea options to choose from. Interesting cornflake shakes in strawberry, blueberry and Maccha Azuki flavors are also on the menu.
When to go: Sango is almost always full during lunch and dinner so best to head out at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and 6:30 p.m. for dinner. Service has been known to be consistently efficient so don't worry about waiting for your burger for an hour.
What we think: While not everything on the menu is outstandingly special, we like Sango for its novelty, burger and drink options and enjoyable dining experience.