ALL NEW 100% WAGYU BEEF BURGER
[Seriously, Hooley’s, give this burger an actual name]
- Fried egg Sunny Side Up
- Cheddar cheese
- 7oz. Wagyu beef patty
- Homemade bun
Guangzhou Grub is here, so forth with the fourth food for thought! Last time I took you to the sports bars of Zhujiang New Town where the Guangzhou Opera House is parked like a spaceship near the Pearl River (for that is what Zhū Jiāng (珠江) means), but this time we’ll explore Liede. Just a stone’s throw away from The Brew and clogging the arteries of Guangzhou’s heart, Liede is where you can tap into the pulse of the city’s nightlife scene and feel at home no matter where you come from, especially if you come from very far away. Here you can stop for some Turkish coffee and meze style appetizers, hop to the nearby Russian restaurant for a wholesome meal and end the night sipping on high end/high price cocktails at, say, Revolucion Cocktail. OR, you can do what I did and stop at Hooley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant and really feel at home. It is perhaps the busiest, non-stabby Western establishment in Guangzhou, and with an outside patio, three floors of fun, and tons of GREAT local bands it’s no surprise that sooner or later everyone get a hankering for Hooley’s.
Hooley’s has only one burger on their rather large menu, and it is subtly called the All New 100% Wagyu Beef Burger. Did they have an old incarnation of this carnal creation? Is the patent for the name still pending or something? Who knows…
Maybe one day you’ll get a pretty name, dear AN100WBB, but until then you’ll have to make up for it with how delicious you are. And at ¥106 for a fully stacked burger with cheese, bacon and a fried egg, it is by far the most expensive burger I’ve seen in Guangzhou, though it does come with some pretty good fries and the world’s smallest salad. You can easily take all the greens and baby tomatoes and just put them inside the burger.
Name and price aside, this is quite a large burger, and the very first bite was sufficiently rewarding enough to make it well worth the money, though it may have been due to the fact that it was the first bacon I had eaten in well over a month and a half. The bacon here is barely cured which means that it isn’t very salty or sweet with all the hickory/apple wood craze that we’ve got going in the States. It’s just bacon and it’s all it ever needs to be in order to be jawesome, which it was. The same annoyance I had with The Brew’s Aussie Burger applies here, however, in that the fried egg was not over easy, so its purpose on the burger was wasted on me, but even though it was not runny I still ran with it. And, once again, it was served with a toothpick to hold in in place, but I paid less attention to it because the cheddar cheese somewhat made up for the transgression. Besides the eggs always being Sunny Side Up or damned toothpicks, I’ve also noticed some other curious similarities in the way burgers are served and presented here in China. For example, the usual lettuce-tomato-onion garnish combo is placed under the burger, on the bottom half of the bun, which is usually opposite from what’s commonplace in the States. Additionally, lettuce is placed under the top bun and on top of the bottom bun and that seems to be unique to the burger culture in China. Interesting, huh?
Back to AN100WBB. There are TWO very important things here that make this burger outstanding, and they are arguably the most important things on a burger. First was the 7oz. of Wagyu beef, which was actually prepared somewhat medium rare and had that great balance of meat and fat the way only Wagyu style beef has due to its increased marbling. It was once again very gently seasoned, letting the mayonnaise condiment act as the complement, and the entire execution was so hearty and pleasant and well, well, well worth the cost. And last but not least, au contraire, best? The homemade bun. I don’t think I can express my excitement over this, but I’ll try, because Hooley’s deserves the effort and you deserve to know. Every bite of the AN100WBB was augmented by the warm, chewy and toasted nature of the bun, which was so fresh, warm and delicate that it just begged to be pulled apart and eaten on the side. It actually took quite a while for my burger to arrive, but I am now convinced that it was not because they were still slaughtering the cow, but because the bun was still in the oven, baking to perfection, and that’s a detail that is well worth the mention.
Overall, this was an excellent meal and a half and so far Hooley’s can easily boast for having the best beef patties and buns in Guangzhou.
So, if you are new to the region and are craving a legit burger you should pay a visit to this wonderful Irish pub and pay the price for what is truly some delectable Guangzhou grub.