There’s something very cute about mini burgers, every time I see one I have to resist the urge to go ‘aww’, as if I’m looking at a ball of fluff like a puppy or kitten. When the Mandarin Oriental announced that they were launching five different mini-pulled burgers at $88 in Café Causette to celebrate the Hong Kong Sevens and the two years since starting their FB page between 12th and 25th March, my mouth started watering immediately. It’s especially interesting as diners had to select their top two choices to be added to the menu as a permanent fixture from the 2nd April.The burgers were dinky little things, and I had to try my best to take lady-like bites instead of wolfing each one down and looking like a pig. It also took a lot of will power not to demolish the fries that came with them and their cheesey bread. Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky created five very distinct burgers:
Braised Pulled Pork Culottes, Kentucky BBQ Sauce, XO Mayonnaise
Slow-Cooked Short Rib Pulled Beef, Kansas City Rib Sauce, Bone Marrow Mayonnaise
Stewed Pulled Lamb Shoulder, East Texas BBQ Sauce, Mustard Mayonnaise
Confit Corn-Fed Pulled Chicken Leg, North Carolina BBQ Sauce, Hot Pepper Mayonnaise
Pork, Kim Chi, Freshly Shucked Oysters
Obviously everyone has a different palate and preferred meat, and in my case, I had my taste-buds tingling in anticipation of the lamb and beef burger.
I started with the pork burger with kim chi and oysters. For starters, the ingredients are very un-burger-like and I was intrigued but not entirely convinced that the ingredients would work together very well. Although the kim chi spiced it up a bit, I sadly couldn’t really taste the pork as the shucked oyster totally overwhelmed the flavours.Next up, the chicken burger with the hot pepper mayonnaise was good. The chicken was lovely and tender and I like the hot pepper mayo, but for me, chicken isn’t a strong enough meat in burgers, but that’s just my preference. The braised pulled pork was great, I loved the innovative addition of XO Mayo and the smoky BBQ sauce. My two favourites were the beef and the lamb, though, if I had to pick just one, I’d go for the lamb. The pulled beef was so succulent and I was really intrigued by the bone marrow mayo (who would’ve thought of creating that?!). The lamb shoulder burger was a real winner for me. I don’t know if it’s just the way it was stewed, but the meat was utterly moreish. I was quite sad when I finished, 2 bites were not enough! I generally don’t have a natural pull towards sweet tasting sauces, so between the sauces for the beef burger and the sauces for the lamb, the mustard mayo and the slightly piquant ketchupy taste of the East Texas BBQ sauce worked in perfect harmony for my palate.
Now, I just have to wait for the MO to announce that my lamb burger has been picked for the menu next month. Let’s hope that all those awesome flavours aren’t lost when the mini burger grows to adult size.
Café Causette, Mezzanine Floor, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: 2825 4005