Tag Archives: hong kong burgers

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Honbo

IMG_20171010_194444

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.

Honbo
6-7 Sun Street,
Wanchai,
Hong Kong
+852 2567 8970
Tagged , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: