Sunday, 8 May 2016

Burger Joys - great burgers but a little too cheesy?

I'm always on the lookout for a new burger joint and moving to Wanchai has certainly opened up a few more options.

I'd been noticing posters all over the place advertising a place called Burger Joys, so set about tracking it down for a spot of lunch.

Wanchai is an interesting location, it's got a wide variety of dining options that range from three Michelin Starred fine dining restaurants, hip and happening 'now' spots, as well as down and dirty grungy bar cum restaurants.  

We'd moved away from the glamorous end of Wanchai to the much seedier side, where the nightlife runs from seedy bars to strip clubs.  Burger Joys finds itself right in the middle of the Wanchai red light district, which is pretty benign during the day and pretty darn racy in the evening.

I was pretty surprised by how small Burger Joys actually was, expecting something a little bigger than the 'almost' hole in the wall diner on Lockhart Road.  Small as it was, there was still room for a half dozen or so tables to be crammed around the serving area, which looked very much as if it doubled as a bar once the sun went down.  We'd arrived for a Saturday lunch and the place was pretty empty, so we had no trouble finding a table which surprisingly was managed by table service.

We decided to keep it pretty simple for our first experience at Burger Joys, I'd gone for the signature double cheese burger and the girl had chosen the single cheeseburger with bacon added. Of course we added fries to the order, my choice being the black truffle fries and SC choosing the sweet potato variety.  I finished off the order with a vanilla milkshake.

First out were our fries, which came in cardboard boxes with the Burger Joys logo plastered clearly on the side.  My first impression of the fries was positive, the golden potato fries smelling divine with flecks of black truffle.  The crunchy thin cut fries were superb, with a crisp golden outer and fluffy potato inside and they made a satisfying crunch as I shovelled them into my mouth. There was a nice level of seasoning but the real highlight was the subtle truffle taste that sat at the back of the palate and ensured the fries were addictive.

I've never been a fan of sweet potato but proceeded to have a taste of the slightly orange, yet equally golden fries.  Yep, I'm just not a fan, but it didn't matter because SC was happily munching away and assuring me that the Burger Joys sweet potato fries were just wonderful. Meh, I was pretty happy to leave them to the girl and keep on munching my black truffle fries.

Once the burger arrived, I quickly forgot about the fries and started to salivate at the prospect of tucking into my wonderful and perfectly formed double cheese burger.  I mean it was a thing of beauty!  Perfectly in proportion, the soft buns surrounding the double patties made from 100% USDA beef that were held together by the gooey melted butter.  Fresh tomato, lettuce and Spanish onion finished off the burger, leaving the magic ratio of ingredients in complete harmony.

My first bite was a little magical, the soft bun yielding easily to my razor sharp chompers and the strong flavour of beef and cheese.  As good as that first bite was, the rest of the burger just didn't quite maintain and a couple of elements started in intrude on my burger buzz.  First thing was the texture, it was just a little too soft overall and really could have used something a little firmer to help.  The cheese also quickly became overpowering, leading to an overly salty and greasy feeling.  I got just over halfway through before the saltiness got too overwhelming and I had to stop.

The girl's cheeseburger with bacon actually helped eradicate one of my issues around texture, the tasty bacon giving extra chew to the experience.  However, SC experienced the same overly salty and greasy taste from the cheese in her cheeseburger, it was great to start with but just became too much over the course of the burger.

I also had a little issue with the timing of our order, in particular my vanilla milkshake.  It became pretty clear when I was halfway through my burger that they'd forgotten the shake and I had to ask after my drink.  After a sheepish look, the counter staff got onto the shake pretty quickly and I have to admit that the whipped cream with a red cherry on top really added to a pretty decent shake.

There are some pretty good burger joints around Hong Kong and I think that Burger Joys has the potential to be great.  I'd probably not order a cheese burger in future, but the beef patties were nice and the signature bun was as good as you'd hope to see with a burger.  In fact, Burger Joys have really bet the house on their buns, enlisting decorated French pastry chef Michael Gillet to design the bun.

Melted cheese is one my favourite things in the world, when amazing cheese is used, so I was disappointed with the cheese aspect of my burger.  I'm not sure why, but it just threw out the balance of the burger and really stopped me from loving my choice.

I'll definitely be back to Burger Joys, although next time I just grab the standard burger and skip the cheese.

Plenty of boozy options as befitting a spot in seedy Wanchai
Quiet during the day - but the place is packed on a Saturday night 
Later the same night - crowds spilling onto the street


  1. Do you think they used the wrong type of cheese? Or just too much? Hard to get a decent burger bun these days I think. I'm not a fan of the brioche bun craze. Can't wait till they go back to decent Aussie buns. :)

    1. Probably Sherry, or at least a cheese that I didn't like! Can cheese bee too cheesy? Apparently! I don't mind Brioche when done well :)


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