I’d like to think of myself as a burger connoisseur. I had my first Happy Meal at the age of three and have sampled all the fast-food joints within my reach. And in recent years, I’ve been heading to quaint designer bistros and burger bars for my burger fix.
Many of the burgers I’ve had in the past provided exciting bun, topping and sauce options. And they had great patties too. I’ve ordered a pork burger with grilled pineapple and caramelised onions and another with grilled banana and peanut butter. The meat was all essentially prepared in the same way, though it was dressed differently.
It’s time for a change. And Monaco’s Grubers is set to revolutionise Hong Kong. They have created seven patty blends and coined a burger mantra: the secret is inside. Each patty is infused with a Grubers special concoction of Giraudi premium beef, toppings and seasonings and their own sauce accompaniment. I scanned the menu and spotted the options: classic grilled, chimichurri, jalapeño, truffle, crispy chicken, veggie and the special blend of the month.
We got down to burger business as important lunch decisions had to be made and ordered double combos of jalapeño and truffle to try. There was also a selection of add-on toppings to accentuate the flavours of the chosen blend, from bacon, to pickles, to sautéed mushrooms.
The truffle cheesegruber was monstrous, and I had to align (and squish) all the elements together for a perfect vertical bite. Both the truffle patty and truffle cheese sauce went well together, and it tasted rich overall. I added on mushrooms to intensify the funghi flavours. While they provided a great texture, I could barely taste the ‘shrooms through the flavoursome truffle sauce.
The jalapeño cheesegruber also had succulent patties with a great chilli taste, perfect for those who love the pepper’s intensity but are unable to handle the punch. There were more jalapeño bits in the cream sauce, and we could also taste the pickles, red onion and mustard. But we wanted some heat for a full-on jalapeño burger bang, so we also included additional jalapeño slices on the side.
Next, we tried a Grubers sensation: sexy fries. No, they don’t resemble anything like legs. But they are risqué and sensually deep-fried nonetheless. Each fry was relatively thin and gave the right crisp and, at the same time, had enough potato flesh for chunky-fry lovers. I couldn’t resist adding cheese on mine because there’s nothing better than gooey Cheddar on chips.
Another side option that comes with the combo is the kale salad cup. The double combo’s bowl features a generous portion of vibrant greens, topped with deep-fried onions and a side of sesame dressing. It could also easily have been a takeaway lunch itself for those on the go.
My dessert included a sampling of passion fruit meringue pie and salted caramel cheesecake.The curd in the meringue pie was refreshing, with a light kick, though I wished the biscuit base had had a little more crumble. The cheesecake was also beautifully luscious and had decadent caramel swirls, but it was very rich and I only had room for a few bites.
This affordable meal left me in bur-gatory. Grubers designed their concept to integrate the service of fast-food joints and the lovingly made-to-order burger preparations in cafés and restaurants. I liked the quality of the beef in the patties and the options for the meat blends, but it was their sexy fries that took my breath away.
If you fancy a burger combo, a single cheesegruber (à la carte at $65) with a soft drink and a side of sexy fries or salad goes for $88, whereas a double cheesegruber (à la carte at $95) goes for $118. If you can stomach more, go for the chicken nuggets (5 pieces at $28). Desserts can be ordered separately at a range of $15–35.
Or better still, try it for yourself on Tuesday, 19 December 2017 at 12pm and Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 5pm when Grubers will be handing out 100 of their classic grubers free of charge.
Shop P21, Telford Gardens, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay, 2111 0595
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.