Tag Archives: burgers

Feeling Tai Hang(ry)? An Afternoon at Stone’s

1It was with the promise of “Hong Kong’s best burger” that I joined my friend Earl to check out one of his favourite Tai Hang haunts… Earl was the photographer for Bakker’s Bites 2nd Birthday photo shoot, so it was a foodie reunion, too!  🙂2About ten minutes walk from Tin Hau station on Lin Fa Street West, Stone’s, an American diner, was our destination. And, of course, the day we chose to go, it was pouring with rain. 3While I  can’t comment on whether or not Stone’s restaurant truly has the best burgers in HK, what I can tell you is this: the food, atmosphere and owner are all certified awesome.

First of all, Stone’s boasts some remarkable artwork. These include…

– John Wayne (signed silk screen) by Andy Warhol
– Chinese Portrait (oil on canvas) by Feng Zhengjie
– Jim Morrison with Treble Meanings No. 6 (acrylic on canvas) by Chan Yu
– 1335 (original print) by Xanti Schawinsky

…and more!4The menu at Stone’s is dominated by a hearty burger selection – and although there are other American classics on the menu, burgers are what both Earl and I opted for.5My choice was Burger #3U.S. Prime Beef Patty / Crispy Onion Rings / Crispy Bacon / Pepper Jack Cheese / Lettuce / BBQ Sauce / Pickle.

I gladly devoured this burger, which was cooked exactly as I had requested: rare. In true American style, the portion was huge and generous. Mixing up the sweet BBQ and onion rings with salty bacon and cheese was oh-so-indulgent, in all the best ways.

Happily, I was allowed to get a “bit of both” when it came to a side of either French Fries or salad. The fries were great: crispy but not too oily, which came as a relief because I already had to eat bacon, beef, deep-fried onions and cheese!6Earl went ligher with Burger #4 Grilled Chicken Breast / Grilled Pineapple / Jack Cheese / Apple Cider Dressing / Mixed Greens

Let me tell you something: that apple cider sauce is incredible! Just try not dipping every bite of your plate (from burger, to french fry and salad) into it… I dare you, I double-dare you!

Cooked perfectly tender and matching the pineapple’s sweetness, this option is good for a lighter burger – which I realise is a total oxymoron 😛7Little did we know, we were in for even more of a treat when Joel showed us his very special signed Campbells soup can and vintage 1982 edition of Playboy magazine. I was delighted to see such a relic from the golden days of journalism – before the internet changed everything!8And if you thought Playboy was a “dirty” magazine, think again! Yup, that’s right: an interview with opera legend Luciano Pavarotti was beautifully preserved inside the copy.9After sitting for at the bar for ages, eating and discussing writing, art and famous celebrities from yesteryear, owner and super nice dude Joel Bess insisted we try their version of chocolat fondant. Just as he promised, it had a whole lot of ooze…

A perfectly sweet way to end the meal, it came piping hot and was garnished with some cute fruit, including blueberries, strawberries and a ground cherry.10Before lunch was over, another regular of Stone’s showed up with an even older copy of Playboy; this time from 1973!!! This resulted in about half an hour more of looking through it in amazement – what a treat looking through all those vintage ads, and fantastic pre-PhotoShop photography.

Named after Joel’s mentor, Mr. Harlan Stone (who encouraged Joel to open his dream restaurant), the kind of clientele that this hidden gem attracts is great, and something tells me that weird and wonderful things happen there all the time… 

If it was dinner, I would have certainly indulged in one of the many exotic beers available at Stone’s11But, I guess that’s a whole other story… 😉

Bakker x


Lifting the Hood

My brother and I, enjoying the late afternoon sun back in the day... (food's never far away) 🙂

As if to make up for the amount of time I will be spending outdoors this summer, I have taken quite a liking to ordering in food lately.  There are two ways to do this:

1. Directly (e.g. you call Pizza Hut and order)
2. Through a delivery service (when you want to order from normally non-delivery restaurants)

Option number one usually involves the big fast food players: McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Yoshinoya and so on… Fun with a group of friends every once in a while, but toxic if repeated too often.

That’s when option number 2 comes in!  Through my friend Samantha, I became acquainted with Cuisine Courier Hong Kong.  The following has been my consistent experience with CC:

1.  I make my order online
2. Cuisine Courier calls me to confirm the order (helpful and with awesome fancy British accents)
3. Browse the internet and ignore my rumbling stomach (OMG!! My stomach actually rumbled in real life when I typed that… scary…)
4. Around 45mins later a CC deliveryman will arrive via scooter.  My last order was during the HK Rugby 7’s and the delivery guy was so nice and chilled out despite the obvious stress of his job on a very busy weekend.

Trying BLT Burger for the first time, ordered online!! Modern times...

The food is usually packaged in generic plastic tupper-ware boxes, or if the resto has their own to-go packaging, then you’ll get that instead.  The other day my BLT Burger delivery arrived complete with some very serious wrapping (note the futuristic honey-comb print on the outside paper).

As you can see, the inside of the wrapper is lined with aluminium to insulate heat. Did it work?  Not as well as I expected, but for my order…

Salmon Burger: Salmon Atlantic , Avocado, Red Onion, Arugula, Zesty-Cayenne Tartar Sauce

…the lukewarm to warm temperature was just right!  As previously mentioned in Brunchin’ For Luncheon post, the cross-section of an omelette is a good indicator of how tasty it’s going to be.  For burgers, it’s more a matter of lifting the hood, like a car.
It’s was all sticking together in a big generous clump of sauce meets salad meets garnish.  My first taste surprised me with its citrus blast.  They weren’t kidding with their “zesty” sauce description.  Lemon works great with salmon AND avocado, so it was a nice combination.  The salmon patty was quite thick but would break off into bitesize pieces.

However, it was still a challenge to get a whole bite out of this burger, so I ended up taking off the bottom bread (which had no sauce on it, by the way) to make my feast a little lazier :).
CC has a minimum order of 100 dollars, so obviously one burger wouldn’t be enough.  Luckily I had some company, so another burger and some shared sides were in order:

I’m 100% sure that the waffle fries (what a GREAT name) and the deep-fried mozzarella sticks (no words to describe the glory) would have been infinitely better if we had eaten them freshly fried at BLT’s shop.  But, hey that’s the sacrifice you make when you order anything in.

Overall, I liked it.  The fact that they take a “novelty” burger like a Salmon burger seriously and make it good deserves respect.  It was on par with the classic beef burger for sure.  Cuisine Courier is great, but the next time I eat a BLT Burger meal (inevitable), I will go to their restaurant instead to get that perfect experience.