Work ’ Dem BUNS
From Hainanese chicken to falafels to deep-fried cuttlefish, Rainie Lam scouts out the 10 most unusual burgers in town, and separates the tasty toppers from the half-baked.
1 Ramen Burger
An invention that’s made its way around the world in the past few years, the ubiquitous ramen burger takes two of the junkiest snacks and mashes it up into one tasty handheld bite. Head to the New York subway-inspired Street Meat for a taste of their ramen burger ($68), with deep-fried instant noodle “buns” encasing beef and kimchi. It’s just crazy enough to work… although we can’t promise you’ll be getting your day’s nutrition.
2 Cuttlefish Charcoal Burger
A hidden gem in Tsuen Wan, The 5B Private Corner is owned by a former designer who’s slinging casual, western-style eats out of an ex-industrial space. Go here for the homemade cuttlefish charcoal burger ($88) which is stuffed with a thick piece of deep-fried cuttlefish and dressed with tangy honey mustard. We love the slight smokiness of the charcoal bread, which boasts a crispy top with a soft and dense interior.
3 Stuffed Cheese Pork Egg Burger
Besides being a mouthful to say, the homemade stuffed cheese pork egg burger ($42) at Burger B is a mouthful to eat as well. Instead of topping the meat, the cheese is melted directly inside the thick and juicy pork patty: The addition of bacon strips makes this one geared towards raging carnivores.
4 Pork Belly Bao
Little Bao brings a burger-like bent to Chinese baos by stuffing them plump full of juicy meat, pickled sides and crunchy condiments. The highlight of the menu is the pork belly bao ($88), stuffed with a fatty slice of tender, slowbraised pork belly with a golden ratio of fat to meat. A bit of sesame dressing and hoisin ketchup elevates the blend of east meets west. Round off the meal with a green tea ice cream bao ($48)… go on, you know you want to.
5 “Wu Tang Style” Burger
The Butchers Club Burger is no stranger to bending burger laws, and more often than not they hit a homerun. The Wu Tang Style burger ($120) blends Japanese and Korean ingredients with their dry-aged beef patties for a fusion flavor bomb. Tempura sweet potato, Kewpie mayo and a whopping handful of kimchi make this one for the adventurous—and the hungry.
6 Soft Shell Crab Burger
Seafood lovers should make a pit stop at
Burgeroom, which offers up burgers filled with fresh ocean produce. The soft shell crab burger ($108) is definitely a stand-out, with a whole deep-fried soft shell crab dishing up a satisfying crunch in every bite.
7 Japanese Eel Burger
You’ve probably never thought of putting eel in a burger, but the concept isn’t so far-fetched… after all, a sushi roll is just another kind of carb sandwich, right? At Seafood Stand, two golden buns hold premium Japanese eel, grilled and glistening after a quick trip under the broiler. The teriyaki sauce adds a umami punch, while tomato, mayo and a handful of frisée completes the effect.
8 Falafel Burger
What’s the best way to jazz up a veggie patty? Dip it in the deep-fryer, of course. The Veggie Falafel ($82) at BLT Burger scores high on flavor and texture. Wellseasoned with parsley, cayenne pepper and garlic, the falafel boasts a crunchy outer layer juxtaposed with soft slices of creamy avocado. It’s enough to make us go vegetarian (for a day)…
BUN-O-METER Shop B224A, B2/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay, 2506-1500.
9 Hainan Chicken Rice Burger
With only seven seats available at May Day Burger, you’ll have to exercise a little patience for your order to arrive, but the Hainan chicken rice burger ($65) is worth it. Flavorful, oily rice is pan-fried to a golden color—slightly burnt around the edges—and stuffed with tender chicken and refreshing cucumber. A dab of spicy sauce caps off the winning combo of hot, cold, savory and pickled elements.
BUN-O-METER Shop B, G/F, 117 Ivy St., Tai Kok Tsui, 5437-1969.
10 Angus Beef Cubes Burger
A family-friendly joint decorated like a yellow school bus, Burger Bus offers more than just gimmicks: Their Angus beef cubes burger ($69) is a juicy, flavorful bite that swaps out a regular round patty for individual beef chunks, which supposedly helps to lock in the flavor. As for us, we just enjoy skewering the pieces with toothpicks, like mini kebabs…
BUN-O-METER Shop 1066, 1/F, Discovery Park, 398 Castle Peak Rd., Tsuen Wan, 2242-2798.
BUN-O-METER G/F, 50 Wyndham St., Central, facebook.com/streetmeat.hk
BUN-O-METER Various locations including Shop 10, G/F, Rialto Building, 2 Landale St., Wan Chai, 2528-2083.
BUN-O-METER $83. Shop 11, G/F, Eastway Towers, 59-99 Shau Kei Wan Main St. East, Shau Kei Wan, 2529-2522.
BUN-O-METER G/F, 66 Staunton St., Central, 2194-0202.
BUN-O-METER Room B, 5/F, Tsuen Tung Factory Building,
38-40 Chai Wan Kok St., Tsuen Wan, 3956-3926.
BUN-O-METER Shop D, G/F, Food Street, 50-56 Paterson St., Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, 2890-9130.