honbo - hong kong
Rating: 8 / 10
On the proverbial hunt for a decent burger, yes, even in the culinary megalopolis of Hong Kong, rumours had reached the table of a new joint hidden up in the concrete steppes of Wan Chai. With a slight wind steering the humidity in any direction I turned, I made the vacant journey, subterraneously, under the sea to the side of business and capitalism. Waiting rather a few tram arrivals to catch an old skool one (lost in perpetual memory and nostalgia) I rattled from Central - Wan Chai in the packed downstairs.
Hopping off the back subsequently close to the tiny enclave I wished to explore, I set about navigating the streets and happened upon a charming old tea shop. With milk tea blossoming a spurt of energy, I made it to the alleyway where Honbo stood in blue and white painted glory.
In an act of predestined calculations, the shop was empty but for a pitiful ex-pat American who sat chastising his 4 year old son with the intentions of someone who regrets fatherhood. Murder had crossed my mind, but I decided to feast on bovine carcasses instead. The very friendly Filipino server came over, took my order, and handed the slip of paper through the small window. Sizzling of fatty meat hitting a hot flat top instantly made me hungry.
The burger was placed in front of me on crockery mimicking the facade. Clear white and cold blue. I forgoed the itch for french fries, since I had already feasted at Yat Lok earlier that afternoon. It felt sufficiently weighty in my hand, an honest calculation. With nic-nacs and jewelry you can often tell if something is counterfeit by it's mere resistance to gravity. A good burger can sometimes be judged accordingly.
Biting into it the floodgates of moist, tasty meat came seeping in mixed with a balance of crisp and crunch and slight sweetness from brioche. If i'm to nitpick I would have allowed the cheese to die a little longer above the heat, and coat the patty in a more luxurious spread. However, it was a burger that could challenge the best in any of the great cities of our realm. I shall make it a point to visit each and every time I am fortunate enough to spend quality minutes in Hong Kong.
All these recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"