Tonight I decided to give Burgeroom of Causeway Bay another try after my visit last Thursday, which you can read all about in my post, Review: New Found Burger Joint. This time I tried their "Bacon Chicken Burger" and was surprised with a very juicy piece of chicken and Canadian back bacon. Of course they did not miss out the usual fresh thickly cut tomatoes and crisp lettuce. The one thing not as good with the chicken burger compared to the regular beef burger is the chicken texture, making it hard to bite off with each mouthful.

On this visit I found out an important point with regards to eating a Burgeroom burger, that is not to cut the burger in half before eating, even if the burger may be too tall for your mouth. This is because the bun and the over diameter of the burger are not very large large, so cutting them in half will cause the burger to fall apart almost right way when you bite into it.

BTW: I found out that Burgeroom has a Facebook page for fans to join.

Double Decker Burger @ Burgeroom

Originally uploaded by Vinko T.

Today I was introduced to a new "local" burger restaurant in Causeway Bay, called Burgeroom. By "local" I mean that it is an independent restaurant as compared to franchise or chain restaurant.

As many readers know, a few days ago I gave the new Fatburger in Wanchai a try. You can read all about it in my HK Fatburger Experience article.

Previously I pointed out there are four major "premium" hamburger restaurant chains here in Hong Kong. These being: Shake ‘em BunsTriple-O’sFreshness Burger and MOS Burger. I consider these to be a class above chains/franchises like McDonald's and Burger King.

Being a burger enthusiast I was surprise that I had not heard of this place until now. The number of choices on their menu is quite large for a burger joint, with 19 distinctive burgers, from the Classic Burger to Lobster Burger. They even have a heart stopper Foie Gras Beef Burger.

I chose the Classic Burger with Bacon this time. Biting into the burger I receive a suitably juice piece of all beef patty. Next my palate was surprised by a familiar yet unique custom sauce. Then came the fresh thickly cut tomatoes and crispy lettuces. With the lightly toasted kaiser bun running out the bite.

The photo here is the second thickest burger they have on the menu, Double Decker, which you may have difficulties biting into, as it is at least 6" high.

If Burgeroom survives this economic down turn, these other foreign hamburger invaders will have a strong contender on their hands.

Price: $$$$
Taste: 4Stars

On the weekend I walked by the new Hopewell property, Queens Road East, on Queen's Road East, and noticed the long boarded up store front of Fatburger is no longer boarded up. There's a buzz of activity, but I just finished shopping at Park N' Shop so it was not convenient for me to check it out. Instead I went there purposely to give Fatburger a try. As many readers and Twitter followers know, I favor burger joints and is a self proclaim burger connoisseur of hamburgers. Before Fatburger there are four main premium hamburger chains: the local "Shake 'em Buns", Canada's Whitespot "Triple-O's", Japan's two invasion "Freshness Burger" and "MOS Burger". By "premium" I mean more than simply McDonald's or Burger King.

With such well established competition the first impression is the most important, then comes services and finally the quality of the product. On approach the store is well lite, but strangely one of the two entrance to the restaurant was locked and a sign instructing patrons to use an alternative entrance.

After I walk in, I was surprise to find missing the aroma of cooking burgers, although the restaurant is 90% full in terms of seating capacity. There were two order counter to receive me, but the area between the door and the counter was fairly short. I can imagine line ups must overflow to outside during lunch hour rush. I was not rushed to order like I order counter staff at Freshness Burger or MOS Burger. Unfortunately, that was the end of my present experience at Fatburger.

After a quick browse of the large menu hanging high above and behind the order counter in English and surprisingly in Simplified Chinese (it is not unusual for a restaurant in Hong Kong to have a bi-lingual menu sign, but very unusual for the other language to be Simplified Chinese), both my friend and I had decided on what to have.

When I placed my order in bi-lingual (Cantonese and English), I found out why I was not rushed to order by the order counter staff. It is very apparent that the staff speaking to me behind the cashier does not speak English. Being a returning Hong Kong Chinese Canadian, I do not read Chinese well and definitely not Simplified Chinese, so the cashier and myself were not communicating, but the only English words I used were names of their products from their menu, and ingredients that are normally found on a burger.

I ordered "a[Cantonese] Triple Burger without[Cantonese] pickles" and "a[Cantonese] Veggie Burger without[Cantonese] pickles and[Cantonese] onions". The cashier repeated the order in Cantonese, but I have no idea if she got the order correct as she did not use any of the English names of their products. Nor did she mentioned any of the condiments that I did not want on the burgers.

I repeated my order and received confirmation from the cashier happened three times, and I even asked for the number of burgers she took as my order. When another colleague of hers said she now had 4 burgers in my order I quickly told the cashier to cancel everything and had someone else help me. This processes lasted about 10 minutes. Another, who appears to be more experienced staff, took over immediately, completed my order, confirmed it and gave me the exact change in less than 5 minutes. Strange that there would be more experienced staff, since Fatburger only opened for about a week in Hong Kong.

Next comes to the most important thing, the product! After a fairly short wait, our burgers arrived at our table. it was wrapped conveniently with half the burger exposed, allowing you to pickup the burger and take the first bite. This gives a fairly realistic presentation as pictured in their menu, but I do find this strange as the burger was sitting exposed on top of a paper place mat on the tray. The staff who brought us the burgers even reviewed a second tray underneath, which she then place in front of my friend. I found this totally unhygienic.

The burger itself was piping hot, which is good, but the juices that was pouring out was so hot it burnt my hand. The taste of the burger reminded me the ones I get at Freshness Burger, but the smell of the burger was still not that engulfing. After taking several bites I did not notice anything special about the burger, but it did reminded me of the kind I used to get in backyard barbecues in Toronto.

The triple patty burger I ordered was just slightly thicker than the ones I get at Triple-O's and Shake 'em Buns; the latter had since shrunk their patty substantially compared to just a month ago. The price was definitely way more at HKD80.00 without even cheese, bacon or egg.

So, after giving Fatburger a try I conclude that there are still four major "premium" burger chains ("joints") in Hong Kong, and Fatburger is not one of them. I question if I will give it a second chance too soon. May be several more months to give the operators (franchisee) time to get used to the operation and the staff to learn the menu.

Price: $$$$
Taste: 2Stars

Heard about this new restaruant on Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong called, "Bo Innovation", so I decided to go check it out tonight. Not sure if the chef/owner planned it that way, but the name "Bo innovation" sounds very much like "bold innovation". Unlike most recent new restaurants in Hong Kong; particularly the ones on Ship Street, this is not just an Asian fusion restaurant. It calls itself a "X-treme Chinese cuisine", which you will find, after a visit, is a very appropriate description.

Before going in, I had no particular expectation, except restaurants on Ship Street had become trendy and chic. As a result I was expecting nothing less.

To my surprise, Bo Inovation situated above Brasserie Le Fauchon & Wine Bar, was nothing special. The deco was contemporary, with the traditional dark wood floors and light coloured canopy.

After I sat down for dinner I was a bit surprised by the simple menu and high price. There were two main choices: A Taste Menu or a Chef Menu. The Chef Menu is a HKD1080.00 per person 9 courses menu and requires the entire table to have the same things. The Taste Menu is a minimum HKD680.00 3 courses menu including appetizer, main dish and dessert.

The appetizer had 4 individual courses.

Bo Shushi


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The manager decided to give us a free appetizer to try. It is a rice noodle cooked in mushroom sauce with a small amount of white ginger sauce. photo

The main course came fairly quickly like all other courses so far.

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According to the waiter each meal always comse with rice at the end of the main course.

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The dessert came in three Chinese style desserts; at least in initial appearance, with western variations in each, making every bite a present surprises.

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The dessert course concludes with a final pair of Chinese dessert concoction that looks like typical Chinese dim-sum but definitely taste different.

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The service was very good during the early evening hours, which is why I arrived at the start of their dinner sitting, 19:00. Although, this tentative touch became very lacking as the dinner rush begins.

Even though the dessert is the best part at this restaurant, and the ingredients used are the best quality possible, it is not worth the price it is charging. Especially ridiculous is the French mineral water (750ml) that cost as much as a glass of house Champaign at HKD120.00 per bottle and  glass respectively.

DinTaiFung

I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit the original "Ding Tai Fung" (???) restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan. This is located at No. 194 (corner of Yunkang Street), Xinyi Road Sec. 2, Taipei, Taiwan (+886.02.2321.8928). Its hours of operation are:

  • Mon ~ Fri 10:00~21:00
  • Sat & Public holiday 09:00~21:00

The specialty of this restaurant is Shanghainese food. There is one in Hong Kong: 3F Cailan Delicacy, Huangpu Garden, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, but even without comparing it to the original one in Taipei it is not one of the better Shanghainese restaurants in Hong Kong.

So I was delighted to find the food to be exceptional and the restaurant extremely efficient. When I arrived at 17:30 local time there was already a large crowd congregation outside the restaurant. Since I was looking forward to try the original restaurant I was willing to wait. The hostesses at the entrance greeting visitors were extremely friendly and professional at the same time. The kind you would expect at five stars hotels and definitely not from a busy restaurant. Definitely not the kind you find at any Hong Kong restaurants even five and six stars hotels.

The wait was reasonably short given the amount of people waiting and the continue arrival of tourist buses; dropping off 10 - 20 tourists at a time. All visitors are encouraged to choose from their menu while they wait outside. The hostesses would come around periodically to see if they can assist with orders and to collect completed orders.

When I was seated at one of table on the third floor among; just one of the four stores available, the process seems even more production-line like. Immediately the first dish arrives and then the subsequent dishes progressively arrive at the table. Within 33 minutes I was filled with great food, relaxed a bit and departed by paying the bill back on the ground floor.

The service throughout my 33 minutes was exceptional, with the servers anticipating my needs at every occasions while every tables on the floor was packed.

I absolutely did not expect the type of service I received and to top it off with great food, this is definitely a restaurant I recommend to anyone who visits Taipei, Taiwan.

Price: $$$
Taste: 4Stars
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AuthorVinko
Categoriesreview