Beef & Liberty's "Cluck Off!" took place at their Wanchai branch the other night, and even though we can't feed ourselves off of puns, I'm sure as heck going to try. The occasion celebrated the unveiling of their new chicken burger, Cluck Norris*, a special grilled chicken number to replace their previously unhealthier, deep-fried option, all in line with B&L's ethos of "every little bit helps" and their movement towards greener and healthier pastures (grass-fed Tasmanian beef, different salads, beetroot burgers, recyclable packaging, paper straws, low-energy lighting systems, Green Monday deals, bi-annual beach clean-up), you get the gist.
Packed out on a Wednesday night, this promised to be a good outing. The dim lighting and noisy chatter set the mood, and we were seated at a bar/kitchen high bench a little bit away from everyone else, so we didn't feel too claustrophobic despite the crowd. We were served the all-new Cluck Norrises and a couple of sides to complement. Their exclusive summer brew Lemon Saison from Moonzen Brewery was chosen as the perfect accompaniment to wash down the grub.
The Cluck Norris burger
Chilli cheese fries
Heirloom tomato salad
Whilst not the healthiest option on the menu, we loved the moreish chilli cheese fries. Smothered in, well, chilli and cheese, and a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkled with chives, this liberal portion was quite filling in itself. The fries were well-seasoned and balanced and provided the perfect snacking medium. The heirloom tomato salad lessened the load on our tummies and was a light, tangy bite, whilst the Lemon Saison beer proved to be quite light, with a hoppy and mild flavour that didn't bloat us while we prepared for our main course.
The Cluck Norris burger came sandwiched in-between fluffy signature buns, with layers of lightly-spread mayo, pickled jalapeño, crispy chicken skin wafers, a chunky slice of tomato, butter lettuce, grilled chicken thigh, and a generous slathering of avocado, respectively. It was a handful. The avocado was creamy and heavenly, supplementing the mayo as a buttery sauce, and the skin wafers were tantalisingly crunchy and salty. We definitely enjoyed the juiciness and tenderness of the grilled chicken thigh, but decided that the seasoning of the meat wasn't thorough enough, as we kept catching very flavourful chunks and then some very bland chunks with every other bite. And as much as we love avocado in our burgers, it was quite overpowering in taste and took away a lot of the influence of the chicken. The bun to filling ratio was on point, though, and we certainly appreciate it when our food's not spilling all over the place.
Depending on their audience feedback, the Cluck Norris can become a permanent addition to Beef & Liberty's regular menu. Why not try it out for yourself and see if it's worthy? It's available from 14th July until 4th September at their Wan Chai, Stanley, and PMQ pop-up outlets. We think the burger has potential and we like the choice of ingredients, especially the avocado and the crispy chicken skin, but it needs a bit of fine-tuning to get to the top.
* Other naming contenders included What the Cluck?, which I'm an equally big fan of.
Beef & Liberty
Tel: 2811 3009