Everybody loves burgers. If there’s one food trend that keeps coming back year after year, it’s burgers. On one side of the spectrum, we have fast-food burgers and on the opposite side of the spectrum, we have gourmet burgers; somewhere in the middle there’s CaliBurger, which classes itself as a “better burger” joint.
As a general rule, I don’t eat much fast-food. Although I can certainly eat a hell of a lot, I am usually pretty selective and I try to avoid food that I know is 100% bad for me, which is why it’s been well over 10 years since I last ate anything from McDonald’s.
CaliBurger, which is of no relation whatsoever to Cali-mex, but rather a chain of burger joints around the world, prides itself on serving 100% all-beef patties, top-grade chicken and hand-selected, fresh produce. Something I noticed straightaway is that the patties are cooked to order in front of the customers, which immediately sets it above fast-food joints in my mind. As with your average burger joint, you place your order at the counter and pay upfront. You are then given a buzzer which indicates when your food is ready. No matter what kind of a rush I’m in, I’m very happy to wait five minutes for my food, knowing it’s been prepared freshly for me.
Once we had removed the thick circles of raw onion (there’s just no need for that much raw onion in a burger, in my opinion), the BBQ bacon burger was surprisingly tasty. The quality of the beef, though not quite gourmet, was certainly apparent, and I appreciated the lack of fat and gristle that can often outweigh the quantity of meat in fast-food joints. Of course the “real American” cheese was that nasty-yet-amazing bright orange processed cheese – but if you’re going to an American style burger joint, what else can you expect?!
I actually enjoyed the BBQ chicken burger even more (again, without the thick onion rings). This was literally a grilled butterflied chicken breast, without any unnecessary breadcrumbs, smothered in a sticky, sweet barbecue sauce. When I used to eat in burger joints when I was younger, I would always choose either chicken nuggets or chicken burgers – until I realised that not a lot of chicken actually goes into them! It was therefore refreshing that this chicken burger was genuinely a chicken burger.
Despite the neon orange glaze, I was more impressed by the buffalo chicken wings than I thought I would be. The skin was nice and crispy and the tangy sauce was highly addictive. Unfortunately, I only discovered the blue cheese sauce once I had eaten my share of the wings, but I then used it as a dip for the (annoyingly rather soggy) celery sticks.
CaliBurger’s fries were also impressive and dangerously moreish. We tried one set of regular fries, which were nicely seasoned and pleasingly crispy. We also tried the ‘wild fries’ which came smothered in melted “real American” cheese, grilled sweet onions and signature Cali sauce. These definitely contained an entire day’s worth of calories, but I just couldn’t stop eating them!
A standard burger at CaliBurger will cost you $60, or $80 including fries and a drink. At the end of the day, a burger is always a burger and there’s just no disguising that. We therefore both left feeling a little bit guilty, yet with that naughty satisfaction that can only be achieved through eating food that is most definitely not good for you. I can’t say you’ll see me at CaliBurger on a regular basis, particularly with our wedding date looming closer and closer, but if ever I need that little bit of naughty satisfaction, I know exactly where to go!
G/F, 59 Wyndham Street
Tel: +852 2420 4888