I've tried a few times to get on the Beef & Liberty train when it comes to their burgers. My first time eating there was on a Monday, and it was BOGO night for burgers, but I was a little underwhelmed by my burger. It was fine...but not really memorable.
"Maybe it was an off-night", I thought to myself, so I tried again on a Monday a few months later, it was the same thing again.
"Well your problem is obviously that you're going on Monday nights, when they're slammed for those BOGO burgers" my friend said, in response to my griping about the underwhelming burger.
In an effort to address this possibility, I made a THIRD trip to Beef & Liberty on a recent weekday afternoon, when the restaurant was essentially empty and the kitchen would ostensibly be able to focus completely on my burger.
It was only then that I was able to conclude that my burger experience from the very first time had been thoroughly representative; Beef & Liberty burgers just don't taste very good. The main issue is that there's just no seasoning on the patty whatsoever. I don't care how high quality your meat is, or whether you've got the perfect blend of imported chuck, short rib and brisket or whatever...if you aren't putting adequate salt and pepper on your burger patty, then it's missing something. Sometimes a salty pickle or good bacon can replace the need for salt on the patty, but that wasn't happening here ether.
Aside from the lack of seasoning, there was also no sear on the outside of the burger, so no lovely maillard reaction savory goodness. It seemed like the burger hadn't been cooked on an adequately high-heat source to create a good sear, resulting in very little surface texture. It was just a poorly seasoned and poorly cooked burger patty - no way around it. Extremely disappointing for a 100 RMB burger.
The shoestring fries that accompanied the burger were completely unseasoned as well. What does Beef & Liberty have against salt?
So why the three stars, you may ask, and not lower?
Because after the second visit, I learned to hedge my bets, and so on this third trip we also ordered a pulled pork sandwich, and that was pretty delicious. Savory, juicy, slightly tangy with good crisp from the slaw on the side - exactly what a pulled pork sandwich should be. The side salad I ordered with it was also good. It seems the kitchen's disillusionment about appropriate seasoning levels only manifests itself in the burgers...
Besides this, the banoffee milkshake was a delicious indulgence, the fancy ketchup is tasty, the drinks were fine, and the terrace environment is really nice - quite the highlight. I would go back to enjoy these things, but not those overhyped burgers. There are many better options around town if you feel like spending that much money on a hamburger.
Lunch sets were slightly over 100 each.
Was in the neighbourhood of the Portman Centre, the rolling TV screen of Beef & Liberty caught my eye, so I popped in at 14h30 which was well past the regular lunchtime trade of the various F&B outlets that surround the perimeter of the complex.
Was greeted by the manager, as other employees appeared to be dining at the tables dotted around the outside edge of the restaurant, and taking their own late lunches.
Didn't fancy a meaty burger (too hot today) so gave their new beetroot burger a go, which consisted of a brown rice and kidney bean patty, topped off with a slice of beetroot, and garnished with goat’s cheese and it's well worth it, the brioche-style bun, was moist and springy, a lot to thank the French for here, I opted for the Liberty Fries, over the side salad, the Liberty Fries are crisp, full of flavour.
I also ordered the Scotch eggs, natty little Scotch eggs, the quail eggs were cooked to perfection, along with pork coating and breadcrumbs, no taste of stale oil at Beef & Liberty, the accompanying Wilkin & Sons Tomato Ketchup is a nice touch, slightly different style of ketchup.
I have eaten at Beef & Liberty a number of times over the years and can honestly say you can't fault the place for its consistency.
Damages for one 138RMB, and yes would recommend.
There are two locations of Beef and Liberty. I like the newest one in Xiangyang road but every time I am close to the one in the Shanghai Center I can’t avoid having a burger there. This location is smaller, cozier and quieter. It makes me feel like I am somewhere in the US.
Reviewing a hamburger is not easy because there are lots of facts involved -yeah, and opinions/tastes; however I am pretty sure that we all agree that it is one of the best burger joints in town. In my case, it is my favorite. Let me tell you why:
The burger: not huge, not small, it has the perfect size. You don't end up full like you can’t speak or walk out the restaurant. I had the cheese burger and my partner in crime the bacon cheese burger. The patty is tasty, juicy and again, perfectly sized. The buns are exquisite and soft - I dislike when the bread gets all threshed and also when you can’t hold the burger and bite it because it’s bigger than your mouth. The bacon is crispy –this is fundamental- and the quality of cheese is exceptional, you can tell by the way it melts.
The fries: you can choose to upgrade to sweet potatoes but I am more of an old fashion when it comes to fries so I stick to the classic ones. Crunchy and just enough to cover the portion of potatoes of the day, they are yummy yummy.
The staff is courteous and always remembers to ask how you want your meat cooked. Whenever I am craving a burger, undoubtedly I go to Beef and Liberty.