In my mind, something called an “Original burger” should include a patty, toppings such as tomato and onion, and a bun. It should not include a slathering of what looks and tastes like – and might well be – Thousand Island dressing. Which is what came on not only my “Original burger” (RMB48), but also the “Nicoise burger” (RMB48) ordered by 8 Songs at Let’s Burger last night.
On the first floor of new Nali, Let’s Burger opened last Friday and is a long, narrow, and airy venue with Spartan decor and a friendly staff.
Here’s how the place works: You order at the counter, grab a table number, sit down, and wait for the food to be delivered. The burgers come in baskets. (Note: Fries are extra – starting from RMB20.) Both the beef and pork patties are tasty, the toppings fresh if simple, and the bun pretty much nondescript. The seating is comfortable enough, especially, given the weather of late, the tables outdoors.
A self-serve station includes about a dozen condiments in squirt bottles, including “bao bao hot dip,” Mexicano, and Wasabi mayo, though incredibly no mustard. (This is where that Thousand Island / burger dressing should be.)
Let’s Burger offers a small but decent selection of beers, from Grolsch at RMB25 to Old Speckled Hen, Newscastle, and Kona’s Pipeline at RMB35-38, though the wine appears to be limited to house at RMB38.
For another diner’s take, here are 8 Songs‘ notes:
When all you want is a drink while waiting for friends, it’s a little strange that you have to go up to the counter and order. Once the beverage has been selected, you are given not a drink but a numbered table tent so that the waitress can find you. Next time I won’t bother. [Note: The beer, but not the wine, is "take away."]
The décor was not quite American 50′s, not quite modern, not quite flowing, not quite right. Though the smell of the cooking induced hunger.
The drinks selection was interesting, but only one wine – a nondescript French cabernet. RMB36 for it was over the top, especially since the glass was well below half full.
As for the burger itself, my de la Nicoise (the menu board has the spelling wrong) was built on a nice slice of pork. But the toppings left me disappointed. If I wanted thousand island dressing on my burger bun I would have asked for it. A smear of coleslaw should have been aside the meat, not on top of it.
This must be the first restaurant that doesn’t automatically at least offer fries to go with the burger.
Presentation of the food was okay, with my burger on a white plate. But no cutlery. Since we were sitting beside the sideboard, I helped myself to a knife and fork.
The food arrived within 2-3 minutes of us ordering. That means the burgers must be on the hotplate in anticipation of an owner. Pity help it if I wanted mine cooked rare.
RMB48 for the burger was at the low end of the spectrum according to the menu board. And on the low end of the spectrum in terms of value for money.
To summarise, in a town where the flavour of the month barely lasts 3 weeks, this place is in danger. They seem to have a great feel for the meat, which of course makes the burger, but the rest of the offering is not likely to make it a drawcard among Beijing’s fickle diners. Let’s burger? Let’s not.
To be fair, this place has been open less than a week, so I’ll soon return for another try.
Note: Let’s Burger currently opens daily at 5 PM.
Let’s Burger: It’s On. 5 PM. Today.