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Xinle, The Worst Burger In Xuhui?

By Jan 8, 2016 Dining
In the last few months, Xinle Lu -- also known as the "mistress street", because so many of them have clothing shops there -- has seen two diners open up. Neither are diners in the American sense, as they're not cheap and they don't serve bottomless brewed coffee. While the first diner, Al's, has many reasons to return, including some of the best ice cream in town, new "diner" Xinle has perhaps the saddest burger in Shanghai. How bad? Real, real bad.



All began well enough: a seat by the window, Motown and soul at a low volume, sunshine, and a smiley waiter. The menu reads:

"The mix of moods, genres and flavors is arranged by a French DJ, Emmanuel Santarromama who was also running a restaurant in Paris, accompanied by local socialite Michael Shen. As our Chef Leo Shi, we always take care of the quality and the freshness of the food we serve in our restaurant. Enjoy!"

During the entire dining experience, a man who appeared to be the foreign partner remained parked at the bar, gazing into his laptop. Was this the French DJ? There was one other occupied table in the small restaurant. Not only did this fellow not greet us or ask about the meal, but as the entire burger dilemma unfolded, he remained silent.



A meager chicken Caesar salad came out first, followed by fish and chips. Definitely not bad, but not memorable either. For 55rmb, a Caesar deserves a little more chicken. But these are small complaints compared to the 80rmb burger.



Raw, cold in the middle, black like the hearts of cheating cab drivers, and filled with more overpowering onion bits than actual meat. After cutting this into three pieces and taking some test bites, we sent it back, complaining of coldness. "It's because we took the meat from the freezer", says one of the staff. The whole time, laptop guy is just sitting there.



Then, ten minutes later, they bring back the same burger, still cut in pieces, just slightly more cooked. Most places would likely cook a new patty and offer up something presentable. This is a twelve dollar burger.



No apology, no offer to bring something else out. Nothing. So we just take the burger to go, hoping to find someone in the neighborhood to give it to.



But not even she wanted it. Bottom line, a "diner" that can't do a decent burger is like a graphic designer who doesn't know how to use Photoshop. This is 2016 -- it's not like 1998 where one would accept any simulacrum of a hamburger because that's as good as it gets. You've got a dozen better and cheaper options in a three-block radius, and Xinle needs to step their game up if they wanna survive in this market.

TELL EVERYONE

11 comments.

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  • santachina

    Dear Smarshanghai gang,

    By the way...
    As a journalist you should try to write the entire truth.
    My chinese partner told you the meat was in the fridge, not frozen :-)
    As we buy imported meat from South America, it comes frozen. We cut it ourself. How could we froze it again ??????

    It's pure tenderloin, fat free, almost 0%. It's our choice. That's why it has this color.
    Sorry the meat was under cooked. It happen sometimes, even in really fancy restaurant. Most of waiters are confused between "Medium rare" and "Medium well". The best is to use the chinese way (San fen, Wu fen, Qi fen). You live in Shanghai since many years, i am sure you know that.

    So really, I don't see any burger dilemma... Burger drama?

    My chinese partner took care of you. Why should I, if i was working on something else on my computer?
    Because i am a Laowai and you are Laowai too?
    It's a problem for you if... It's a chinese who take care of you. Remember you are livng in China guys...

    I hope you will publish this comment. As we all know that you never do it when we desagree with you.

    Anyway, i like the picture with the monkey :-)

    Regards,
    The Lap top guy.

  • santachina

    I really like your attitude...

    The Lap top boy.

  • santachina

    Dear Smsh...

    By the way.

    As journalists, you should try to write the entire truth...

    My chinese partner told you the meat was coming from the fridge, not "frozen".

    As we buy imported meat from South America, it comes frozen. We cut it ourself. How could we froze it again????

    Our meat is pure tenderloin, fat free, almost 0%. It's our choice. That's why it has this color when it's rare.

    Sorry the meat was undercooked as it happen sometimes. Even in really fancy restaurant. Waiters are sometimes confused between "Medium rare" and "Medium well". As you live in Shanghai since many years you know that. Sometimes it's better to use the chinese way (san fen, wu fen, qi fen) when you can tell that the waiter is not sure.

    When you complained, my chinese partner took care of you. Why should i if i was working on something else on my computer?
    Because i'm a Laowai and you are Laowai too? It's a problem for you if... It's a chinese who take care of your table? Even the owner? Remember you are living in China guys...

    So... Really, i don't see any "Burger dilemma"... Burger drama?

    And by the way, what about the taste of the burger when it comes back well cooked ???

    My chinese partner still really don't understand why there is so much anger in your article. I tried to explain to him what is an attitude...

    Anyway, I like the picture with the monkey :-)

    I hope you will publish this comment as we all know you never do when we desagree with you.

    Regards,
    The Lap to guy.

  • handoogies

    lol, fat free burger.

  • santachina

    @handoogies

    I didn't say "Fat free burger"... I WROTE the meat is not blended with fat. It's our choice. Problem with that?
    There is plenty of places with 30% fat blended with the meat. You have the right to go to those places.
    But you are also wellcome to try our Burger: The Worst Burger In Xuhui and maybe you will have the chance to see me gazing into my laptop :-)

    Cheers,
    Emmanuel

  • santachina

    Anyway... Thank you.
    Negative publicity can increase sales when a product or company is relatively unknown simply because it stimulates product awareness.

  • Kiss of The Badger

    This place is "Plan-B", for when you can't get into Al's. The burger is tasty; nevermind the near-histrionics expressed in the article. The croque monsieur is also a decent choice. The service is competent. The atmosphere; relaxing.

  • bumba_claat

    Dude you are defending an epic fuck-up in the worst possible way.
    An 80rmb burger should be perfect. If it's not it needs to be replaced with a new one in an extremely polite and deferential manner.
    If you don't follow these basic tenets of western service you get a terrible reputation that spreads very quickly - and at worst, you offend someone who really 'matters' and you get .... this.

  • Wowzers Unverified User

    Wow... You think THIS kind of negative publicity will boost sales? The exchange going on in the comments section is reason enough NOT to go. Even if you think there are discrepancies with what the author has written, this approach doesn't reflect well on your establishment.

  • Jean Paul the 3rd Unverified User

    The attitude of the owner is for me an other reason not to go... Man, you screwed up your opening, you need to improve, fine, we can understand. The way you are reacting here and on Bonapp is just...so lame. Learn from the comment, try to improve, spend less time defending yourself instead of bitchy crying like a kid and things shall get better...

  • Dextrum Unverified User

    Never mind about lap top boy...i want to meet lap dance girl

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