Hong Kong’s burger scene is in a lull and there are only a few places left in town where you can grab a decent patty. So we were salivating when Stone’s opened its doors. The gastropub’s menu is built around the king of comfort foods and its refined diner, adjoined to a sports bar, ticked our Wednesday-night-with-a-few-beers boxes.
But burger fans shouldn’t rush all at once to the venue. The food is good – but not life affirming. We start with a medley of calamari served with tartar sauce ($68), Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing ($68) and nachos with pico di gallo, sour cream and guacamole ($78). All hearty – but the squid is a little bland and the nachos need more cheese. However the Buffalo wings are flying, tempered by the tangy cheese dip.
There’s carbonara and sea bass on the menu – but we just have to tuck into the buns. We opt for a ‘chef’s creation’ wagyu patty ($138), packed with mushroom, arugula, parmesan and tomatoes. It’s big and the salad it comes with is tasty but the meat lacks flavour – literally, it needs more bite. The same goes for the US prime beef in a ‘build our own burger’, which we do with apple wood bacon, jalapenos and provolone ($108).
We finish with the warm chocolate pudding ($68), which is sublimely rich. Our spirits are also picked up by Italian waiter, Lory, who fusses around the diners and adds real personality to the place – but we’re worried that they’re planning to install TVs around the restaurant to show sports. Leave that next door.
So, we hope there’s improvement in the burgers as Stone’s finds its feet. Just remember – you need to have it your way… Matt Fleming
1-9 Lin Fa Kung St West, Tai Hang, 2570 6858; Tue-Thu noon-midnight, Fri noon-1am, Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-8pm, Mon closed. Dinner for two: around $600.
1-9 Lin Fa Kung St West, Tai Hang