Monday, December 11, 2006

Best Burgers in Town? - Main St. Deli

The festive season's come again and for some reason I'm getting hungrier and allowing myself to eat more. Yay for oversize clothes this season! Popped down to Main St. Deli at the Langham Hotel in TST for dinner - I'd been to their 'high-end' restaurant The Bostonian before and wasn't too impressed, so I wasn't really expecting much.

I think it was a Wednesday night - mid-week, nonetheless - but they were full. The waiter at the door asked to have my name to put on the waiting list and said it might be a half-hour wait because there were three to four other names on the list. (Possibly because of the trade fair on right now?) Really weird, because every time I walk past this place is near empty. Anyhow, seeing I had to wait for my aunt, I grabbed a copy of HK Mag and sat down. So my aunt (who suggested we come here and is pretty much a regular) arrives and is equally stunned that the place is full. She proceeds to hassle the girl (in a nice way - perhaps they recognised her), at which point a table leaves, and we get offered that table. So much for a waiting list haha...

The decor is, as the name suggests, very down-to-earth, although still quite American. Think Dan Ryan's with more lights plus a bit if art deco. The four-seater banquettes would be the best seats, but unless we wanted to be back on the lobby seats, a normal dining table it was.

The food - burgers, sandwiches, salads and grilled meats pretty much says it all; portions are at least 1.5 times of what is usually offered, i.e. very American. My aunt tells me that the Monster Burger is the best - a pretty 'standard' sort of beef burger with pickles, tomatoes etc. The burger varieties are pretty standard and if I remember correctly there's a vego one too. We order the most expensive one on the menu (one of the things you can do when dining out with aunties and uncles kekeke...), a wagyu burger with foie gras. Thank goodness we're 'supposed' to gain weight around Christmas. The wagyu, according to the manager there, is graded M7 - if that means Marble Score 7, then it's pretty damn good (max is 12, anything above 9 is great). In Australia, only really bad cuts and bad grades of wagyu are ground into mince for burger patties, and I've had a pretty bad one before at Urban Burger.

The foie gras is actually a foie gras terrine (which is usually cheaper and should have been indicated on the menu but wasn't), and although encased within the wagyu patty, makes no effort to stay inside it once you bite into the burger - it just comes oozing out. All very messy as the juices, oils and sauces start dripping and soaking the so-so bun, but at the same time extremely indulgent.

Along with a generously sized grilled chicken salad and a huge slice of NY cheesecake (both very decent), I felt like I didn't need to eat for the next three days (but of course I did and had custard buns for breakfast the next morning...)

I'd probably go back on a cold drizzly day when everything else seems to have failed me, because I know their burgers won't. Although I think I'll stay away from the foie gras (terrine) for a while.

I'm a little inspired for a burger hunt now. I've heard good things about the one at the Lobby Lounge of the Intercon...

Main St. Deli
Langham Hotel
8 Peking Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2375 1133

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