This is my second review of fries from the creative minds at Katsu Burger. My first review was of their Nori Fries. I liked them, but I thought that the potatoes were sliced too thin and that the seasoning wasn’t aggressive enough. These Twelve Spice Fries were another story but ultimately couldn’t crack a 7 on my rating scale.
I had heard wonderful things about the burgers here, and people weren’t exaggerating. The original restaurant has been around for quite a while but never quite sparked. A new owner inspired a resurgence and now they have several locations around the Seattle area.
The lightly breaded and fried burger patties are delicious, and the toppings are both creative and tasty. The fries are unique due to the fact that you can choose from some Asian inspired seasonings. The quality of the fry itself will feel very familiar.
Whereas the Nori Fries were bland and subtle, the 12 Spice Fries were bold and punchy. I found the amount of seasoning they used to be perfect. The spice blend gives the fries an aromatic quality. Nothing in the restaurant claimed what the 12 spices were, so I’m going to guess.
- Nori (the green flakes)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Garlic salt (or powder)
- Dry thai basil
- Gun Powder
- Instant Lemonade
- Sea Monkeys
- Pixie Stix
Those might not all be right, but they’re probably close. They’re not obscenely spicy, but it’s hot enough that you’ll keep eating them as a natural instinct to keep the heat at bay. I enjoyed it, and this would probably be my go-to in the future.
The problem with the 12 Spice Fries was the same problem as the Nori fries. This measured in at 6mm, but they’re thin enough that the texture of the individual fry is lost. There’s a very little bit of crust, the inside is sort of shrunken and hollow, and the remaining texture is a bit starchy and gummy. These are about average french fry quality. There’s nothing special about the potatoes that they use, there’s nothing special about their cooking method, the only saving grace is the dusting of seasoning you select.
The dipping sauces help the fries out a bit. The tonkatsu sauce was my favorite in this round of tasting. It was a savory sauce that tasted somewhat like a Worcestershire. The tangy salty sweetness paired well with the fiery 12 spice blend. The spicy mayo wasn’t bad, but they were pretty stingy with it. I got a full cup of tonkatsu and only about a 1/3 of spicy mayo. I bet they would have offered more if I asked. Full disclosure, I didn’t even finish the third of a container, so I have no right to complain. It just felt like an injustice next to the other sauce.
As I mentioned in the other blog post, I really enjoyed my burger and the restaurant in general. I’d probably get an order of fries again, but they’re not nearly the draw that the other menu items are. The 12 Spice Fries earn a 6.9 out of 10. That’s a freckle better than the Nori Fries, but I still think they need better fries, a different cooking technique, or some other magic to crack a 7 on my scale.
Sampled on 1/2/2017 at the Lynnwood, Washington location. Fries were about $2.50.