As some of you may have heard, Cafe Causette in the Mandarin Oriental had a limited time pulled (slow-cooked) burger “early bird special” where you’d get five mini burgers for $88! Value! Diners would vote on two winners which would then go in the regular menu, thus finally exercising their right to universal suffrage in a defiant protest (the Chief Executive election was just reaching its frenzied peak). Thanks to my friend we managed to catch the last day of the special on a Saturday evening.
I saw quite a few diners were there for the same reason as us, as trays of mini burgers floated around the restaurant. Each mini burger set came with a $58 side dish option, being either a mixed salad, French fries or coleslaw; for us it was one salad and two fries sets. To wash it all down I had a fresh honeydew melon juice ($78) and my friends had a Chianti ($110) and a chocolate mint tea ($65) (which apparently didn’t taste much like chocolate).
The juice wasn’t as sweet as I’d hoped and was very pulpy. Good back for your nutrition buck.
Some bread with tomato/onion chutney and herb butter spreads. There was also a little hollow cavern in the bread with some melted cheese at the bottom. Not bad, something different.
Then came the main attraction, with each flavour labelled. OK so they’re basically cute little sliders which you could down in one bite, but given the variety and presentation I thought the $88 was still worth it, and they still filled us up later on! In order of presentation and eating (and from left to right below), they were:
- Pork belly, with kimchi and freshly shucked oysters
- Confit corn-fed pulled chicken leg, with North Carolina BBQ sauce and hot pepper mayo
- Stewed pulled lamb shoulder, with east Texas BBQ sauce and mustard mayo
- Braised pulled pork culottes, with Kentucky BBQ sauce and XO mayo
- Slow-cooked short rib pulled beef, with Kansas City rib sauce and bone marrow mayo
I’m sure you’d agree the pork sounded the most interesting on paper, with kimchi AND oysters. It was definitely juicy and moist, with a hint of oyster, but the proportionally oversized pickle overshadowed most of the taste and I couldn’t really tell there was kimchi or pork in there. Unfortunate.
The chicken got a tangy kick from the sauces and you could actually taste some meat, albeit fleetingly as two small bites and the thing was gone.
The lamb was my fav, with a possible bias from my love of the occasional lamb chop. The mustard was a nice touch. I voted for this (forgot my other choice).
The pork was a bit too sweet and again kind of overwhelmed by the pickle.
The last one was the beef. Maybe it’s a red meat thing but the central flavour shone through as well in this one. The “bone marrow mayo” was also an interesting concept, though it just tasted like mayo.
The mixed salad was normal, as any mixed salad will probably be…
…but I just couldn’t stop eating the awesome fries, with their crispy, firm goodness, and not salty at all either. I think these are hard to beat. Thanks to another friend for recommending this.
The buns for all the burgers were soft and fluffy, albeit cold by the time we got to them cause they were so small.
As we had a handy Amex card to snag us 15% off everything but the burgers, the total before service was $427, and the final bill was $430 after service. Together with the three $88 specials (plus 10%) that was a grand total of $720.70 or about $240.20 each. Not bad considering the regular full-sized burgers range from $188 to $248. Drinks are where they get ya though.
Service was all round reliable.
I’m curious about what the full burgers will taste like so I guess an eventual revisit is in the cards, plus I hear their signature Hainanese chicken rice is decent…
Restaurant rating: NOM NOM NOM NOM (out of five).
Address: M/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central 中環干諾道中5號香港文華東方酒店閣樓
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 6:30am-23:45pm
Tel: 2825 4005
I promised a friend to post more in Chinese, so hopefully I can do that next time (especially if it’s Hong Kong/Chinese cuisine)!
Next time though, we have some more pizza!