Hambaobao – Well-Known Burger Stall Returns With Artisanal Burgers & An All-Dessert Menu in Jalan Besar!
For those of you who’ve missed Hambaobao since their closure in 2019 and their much sought-after pop-ups following that, good news! The ex-hawker stall from Beauty World Food Centre has found a permanent home in an air-conditioned haven within the TRIO building along Sam Leong Road.
Outfitted with green tables and chairs, counter-top seats and tiled walls, the eatery has a very industrial feel to it. The seats towards the back are graced with floor-to-ceiling windows, bringing in tons of natural sunlight with a view overlooking the shophouses below. There’s also an adorable cat mural outside the eatery to add a cheerful splash of colour.
Just like how it was when they were at Beauty World, the menu features the same five beloved burgers such as The Classic Beef ($7.50), What The Fish! ($8), Crispy Pork Belly ($8), Spiced Pulled Pork ($7.50) and Ayam Buah Keluak ($8). The only difference is the slight increase in prices and the addition of an all-new dessert selection — all made in-house! — with quirky names such as Darkangel__1992__ ($4.50), Not Cream Pie ($5) and Dee’z Booze Balls ($4.50).
You can never go wrong with a classic, which was why I had The Classic Beef with a side of hand-cut fries ($2.50). Sandwiched between two soft, pillowy buns is a decent-sized beef patty with fresh crisp lettuce, pickles, cheese and homemade tomato sauce. The patty was well-seasoned and balanced out by a myriad of salty and tangy flavours.
What pleasantly surprised me were the hand-cut fries. These babies were fried with their skin still on and seasoned beforehand, so you’re not just chomping on plain ol’ potato.
The Crispy Pork Belly is a stellar burger that you should definitely try. This beautiful mini-tower is packed with thick cuts of meat with generous drizzles of hoisin sauce and English mustard, and cucumber slices. It reminded me of the pork belly served in expensive Chinese restaurants; the quality was certainly of that level! The sweet sauce can get a bit much if you’re the type to deconstruct your burger so make sure you take bites of the bun in between.
A traditional Peranakan favourite with a little twist, the Ayam Buah Keluak comprises a minced chicken patty marinated with keluak nut, coated with rempah, and finished off with chap chye. It’s a shame the explosive flavours were slightly masked by the overly-charred patty; otherwise, this could have made for a fantastic meal.
Amongst the desserts available that day, the Pineapple ($5) was my favourite. The upside-down cake had a fluffy sponge cake layer with a slightly caramelised crust. Kind of like a cake version of pineapple tarts, but better. This humble-looking dessert is topped with a pineapple ring and candied cherry.
The Monsters Inc-looking Apom Berkuah ($5) is also another Peranakan classic. The bright blue imprints on the fluffy swiss roll are made from butterfly pea flowers and the sweet, creamy filling is a combination of coconut milk and bananas.
The standards of the burgers remain at an all-time high and with the desserts being right on par with them (maybe even better?), you’ll be at a complete loss over what to order. We’ve also heard that craft beers on tap might be making an appearance soon. Burgers and beers, what more can you ask for?
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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