Category Archives: Local burger

Brando’s Burger Joint


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Brando’s Classic Brando Burger is a decent hamburger. It is a burger promising loads of hamburger potential, but delivering a portion of the burger pledge. In a city where the local burger scene has diminished from its 2014 – 16 pinnacle it is great to see new local burger joints popping up, and this burger has hyped itself onto a good start. It isn’t bad, but with what they already have, it could be so much better. It could be the burger experience to satiate the need for more and better hamburger joints in Hong Kong.

This burger began on a lull with its unrequested ‘cut-in-half’ presentation and tepid serving temperature. For some a minor nuisance, but a grave inconvenience for other burger aficionados. A lukewarm burger served as two halves doesn’t offer the same burger taste or feel as holding a complete hamburger. It offers a mediocre start, with all hype gone in a single bite.

One could add that perhaps this was due to a mix up in orders… perhaps one could give it the benefit of the doubt… but it was a certain stumble.

The hamburger potential is pretty clear from the well off set of flavorful ingredients. But when the potency of some is more pronounced than others, we are left with an unbalanced burger taste balance. The patty is a pleasant savory endeavor on its own – aptly seasoned to a clean beef taste that crumbles with each bite, it accentuates proper preparation. Likewise, the bun – which I can only imagine feels better as wholes, is soft, subtle, and absorptive. But richest of all, with its uncompromising tangy charred-ness that overpowered all the other burger components, was the relish. All else… the cheese, caramelized onions, veggies, and the beef all became subjects to what felt like an un-relishing condiment.

Then there’s the marginally cumbersome burger construction. In a continued theme of untapped burger potential and made visible by its ‘half-way-cut’, the patty’s circumference, thickness and girth feels slightly short to the ratio of the bun. Resulting in a few of the dreaded ‘mostly bun, no patty’ last bites. While not terrible, it is not the complete burger taste balance taste one would like to have as a last bite.

For HKD 230.00 (plus 10%) the Classic Brando is just a decent burger. Should one try it? Hard to say… maybe once, out of simple burgeriosity. The rosemary fries were a bit too salty and the portobello mushroom felt and tasted microwaved. The thing is that the Classic Brando is not a bad burger; but it needs to strive to be better, to deliver a prodigious hamburger experience. The potential to be one of the greats is there! So maybe try it when it becomes that.

Brando’s Burger Joint

DM them on Instagram for the next location @brandosburger

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Josef Burger Bar


Josef burger.png

Josef’s classic burger from Josef Burger Bar is a decent hamburger. It’s a serviceable burger with plenty of mouthfuls of common flavor that are overshadowed by an off-putting construction that tips the hamburger’s burger taste balance towards bread. It is a burger for which an obese amount of some ingredients suddenly takes over to deliver a messy burger experience. Thus, the ensuing burger struggle, unbalanced taste, and awkward construct places Josef’s burger a little above mediocre.

The first bites of the burger are defined by pure bread, followed by some salad and sauce – loads of sauce, if for anything, this is one saucy burger. It’s all optional though, as this is a hamburger one can pick and choose for. It won’t be until a few mouthfuls when one finally has a chance to taste the double beef patties… The buildup would not have been more exciting if it took one more bite of bread to reach, but it wasn’t; the result is a decently flavored meatloaf beef patty, without a strong taste of clean meat and a mixture of other ingredients. And as one might expect from an overtly seasoned patty, a somewhat rubbery texture.

The rest of the ingredients are experienced in parting bouts, as they appear and disappear from the burger while one contests to keep it together. The sauce intermixture of cream with a large dollop of BBQ and sprinkled coriander and chopped onion freshly explodes from within, engulfing the burger and one’s fingers in a zesty ridden mess – delivering more taste than one would appreciate from any of these. The vegetables – the tomatoes and the lettuce, are crisp and tasty, but one is left with the arduous role of forcing these in place in order to enjoy a three star rating burger taste balance.

This isn’t a bad hamburger, once you figure out to break and reposition the patties as to cover the whole area of the bun; which by the way, has a splendorous spongy feel and taste to it. But the whole process of reconstructing the burger and mediocre ingredients detract from the overall hamburger experience, taking away from its enjoyment.

For NIS 58.00 (HKD 125.50) Josef’s burger is actually worth a try if you’re in the area and desperate for a hamburger. The fries are alright. It’s a neat little experience – enjoying a burger in one of the world’s oldest cities, that like the burger, has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt several times over.

Josef Burger Bar
123 Agripas,

+972 77-527-7070

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Top Blade Steak Lab


Top blade steak lab

Top Blade Steak Lab’s ultimate burger is an exquisite hamburger. The burger substantiates itself as a capable hamburger experience – showing an astute range of ingredients and intricate planning to result in a well balanced burger taste balance and a polite burger construction. Off the beaten path, somewhere in Mong Kok East – a place not known for many burgers, this hamburger sure deserves a sampling.

The ultimate burger arrives in its upmost manner, up and tall, and with a blade pierced through its core – a testament to it’s size. Placing the knife aside, a grasp of the burger’s contour fills one with an aptitude of burger-love it has been given, a comfortably conformed bun-to-patty ratio. What follows, a studious burger taste balance of laborious studies, is a testament to the ‘lab.’ The burger feels and tastes soft, each segment, from patty to bun, is delightfully tender with a savoreous sweetness. The bun, glistening in shine, is pliable and with a bready hint of palatableness; though with time, all too delicate and too soft – a detriment to the burger’s build.

The beef patty shares the ethos of the lab, it is clean and well put together, and with only a handful of diced shallots to assist the taste. It’s seasoned with a hint of pepper and salt, all with the hypothesis to bring out the beef cuts in the hamburger. The parts feel soft and tender, slivering with every bite. Nothing in the hamburger’s burger taste balance is overbearing – the caramelized onions, sautéed in red wine, add a frivolous acidity onto the burger; and the cheese, gooey around the patty, is soft and emanatingly mild, enough to provide a subtle cheesiness to the whole endeavor.

Then the nacho bits came to play… in a hamburger so soft there should be some sort of a crunch – was the thought. Something worthy of a mark in changing the texture of this ultimate burger. The nacho bits did just that… simply in a weird an awkward manner. The nacho-flavor, their texture and sogginess after moments – all had no place in this burger, it was an experiment with an maladroit result.

For HKD160.00 (HKD80.00 during lunch time) this is a burger to try. The fries, which come in unlimited quantities and with a hint of truffle, are a welcomed addition. The ultimate burger, as stated in the menu, has received maximum love. Carefully planned, the hamburger is a great experience for the most – the nachos was a risk worth not taking.

Top Blade Steak Lab
No. 4A Soares Avenue
Mong Kok
+852 3956 2011


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A tour of some of Hong Kong’s very local burger joints

Hong Kong is a city that savors burgers as much as any other city – one can find the usual suspect scattered around in almost every corner, there are plenty of home grown burger joints playing the city’s burger-politics, and hamburgers are on the restaurant menus of cha chaan tengs, Michelin starred locales, and everything in between. With that in mind, recently, together with Eat and Travel and Apply Daily, I visited four very local burger joints… four honkie hamburger places.

We visited 時新漢堡飽 (Sze Sun Hamburger), which has been around since the 60s and is Hong Kong’s first dedicated burger joint; as well as 嘉寶漢堡 (Kabo Burger) that first open in 2015, far up in the New Territories, and now has a second location in Tsim Sha Tsui. We toured 新嘉美茶餐廳 (New Ka Mei Restaurant), which has the most exquisite cha cheen teng hamburger one can try, and tried our luck at 樂景快餐店 (Lucky Snack House), where one might encounter Hong Kong’s most disgustingly repulsive burger.

A word about Hong Kong burger culture…

Hongkongers, both foreign and local, experience a delightful fervor with the arrival or opening of a new burger joint. Yet, they also tend to take hamburgers for granted – not overanalyzing a burger’s burger taste balance or the burger construction (probably true for most people and most foods), a burger is just a McDonalds away (which isn’t a bad thing). With good and bad options and a global set, Hong Kong has a rich burger culture, but the thing that stands out the most is it’s burger-duality.

One might not realize it, but I find that there are two types of burgers in the city – hamburgers that cater to western tastes and burgers that serve to satisfy local ones. The difference is simple – it’s all in the patty. The former, the western burgers in Hong Kong, tend to have a clean minced beef patty, slightly seasoned with salt and pepper and with little handling of the beef. The local taste is represented in the form of a meatloaf patty – heavily seasoned, laboriously handled, and with a springy texture.

It’s really down to the preference of the individual, both minced beef and meatloaf patties can refine or sabotage a burger if not handled correctly. Personally, I’m more of a purist.

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HonboHonbo’s cheese burger is an exquisite hamburger. Its simplicity is what makes this burger special… no frills, no phooey, no nothing but a simply good hamburger with a patty and bun to please. The honbo (which, by the way means burger in Cantonese) showed up late to the hamburger scene and set up shop in Wan Chai, amongst the reigning big boys of Hong Kong’s burger spot. It wasn’t until a second try of the hamburger, several months after its initial opening, that Honbo decided to make a stand for itself – thoroughly delivering on the hamburger promise every burger joint pledges.

Honbo’s burger taste balance is smart and solid. The ingredients, mostly locally sourced, all work together to show great care in the making of this hamburger. From the buns to the beef, and across the veggies and cheese, sauce and bacon, the burger delivers a goodness that’s only lacking a bit more beef… the modestly thin patty barley makes a stand against the rest of the ingredients; but when it looms it is a delightful appreciation for a meaty beef flavor touched with a slight of seasoning to highlight what’s already there.

The bun is then the more prominent attraction in the hamburger. Made with potatoes and milk, the bun fits as comfortably in one’s hand as it does cradling the innards of the burger and its balance. Soft, starchy and downy, the bun mellows with a defined doughy tang. The rest of the ingredients play their parts… the usual veggies – lettuce, onions, and tomatoes, are crisp and round with a sweetness that will be embraced by anyone’s tongue; the cheese drapes across in both shape and savor; and the sauce nips with a rich piquancy. And then there’s the bacon, the hulkiest of them all… it is a crisp chewy empowerment, making strides that leave a salty goodness behind.

The burger construction is hearty… this honbo will hold itself together beyond the few moments of panic were a seemingly flimsy patty could tear itself, it doesn’t… except when one bites into its soft tenure. With care and thoughtfulness one should be able to endure and accomplish what is a 呢個漢堡包真係好正 (really good burger experience).

For 98.00 HKD this is a burger to try, and for 15.00 HKD add the bacon. The fries are just alright. Take the gamble… visit Honbo and explore a new burger, you might not go back for a while, but eventually you’ll return to this little burger joint that’s making it right.

6-7 Sun Street,
Hong Kong
+852 2567 8970
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The trucker burger from Burgerman is a decent hamburger. The burger is big… like a mighty truck. It stands up with a hulking burger construction, a freight that brings familiarity and desire for that big burger gratification feel. The feeling of holding and commanding something huge and burly, a massive hamburger that’ll dampen one’s sense of taste, and eventually leave behind a feeling of glut that was never asked for. Regrettably, the handling and consumption of the burger is ditched on its first impression; after a few bites the trucker burger becomes a pile-up of past decent hamburgers, of the many home made burgers that may satisfy but aren’t all that distinctive.

The burger’s burger taste balance is steered by a range of commonplace ingredients; the same hamburger items that many have experienced before, that have shaped countless burgers with a sense of placidness. The purity of the beef taste is driven out by heavy amounts of seasoning, trucking a taste of hamburger mediocracy. The cheese being hauled is nothing more than a couple of singles used to add a cheesy feel to the load. The fried egg has burnt-out beyond its greatness, drying up the runny goodness that is the yolk fluid. And the bacon handles with a crisp chew that is dimmed by a single strip.

The burger construction, rolling in impressively at first, disappoints with the first grab and bite… each mouthful is a constant breakdown of components that haven’t been stacked or planned for. One has to back the hammer down as meat chunks of sizeable proportions fall out of the burger. The meat’s better half, the bun, hauls itself with a great taste before it backfires from the barreling size of the hamburger. Nearing the final marker will be a messy plow that requires many stops and continuous burger repairs.

For 100.00 HKD, which includes some good fries and a drink, this burger is a drive down a long and familiar road, one that has been driven on countless times, that doesn’t offer any new experiences. If anything, this hamburger might make a trucker out of its handler… operating big equipment, knowing when to stop and speed up, getting down and dirty, and getting the whole thing into that tight spot. Once the trucker burger is served one’s in it for the long haul.
65-71, Yen Chow Street
Sham Shui Po
Hong Kong
+852 2361 1330
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