Morton’s Hong Kong review date: July 9, 2015
60 second review, so no score
It may have passed you by, but May was ‘national burger month’ in the U.S. No day goes by in the year without some tweet or post or email extolling the virtues of landmarks such as ‘national escargot day’ (May 24) or ‘national catfish day’ (June 25). And who’d dare to miss ‘national vichyssoise day’ on Nov 18?
Besides, does the U.S. really need a month to remind them of what is arguably their most famous food? I’m not wholly convinced, but it allowed the folks at Morton’s Steak House the opportunity to launch their ‘Million Dollar Burger’ for a month special. It apparently proved so popular that it has stayed on the menu in June due to popular demand and they invited me over the water to their Hong Kong outpost at The Sheraton in TST to try it out.
The burger is served in the bar, beloved of men in chinos and polo shirts enjoying happy hour sliders and good cocktails. It enjoys the same impressive views over the harbour to the lights of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. If they could only demolish the Hong Kong Museum of Art, then it’d be the million dollar burger with the million dollar view.
For $286 (which includes service) you get some pretty fine USDA Prime Beef on a brioche bun with a generous slice of foie gras, pulled braised short ribs, and black truffle butter on top. Matchstick fries and the usual suspects accompany.
The foie gras is decent quality and pan-fried, the butter noticeably truffled but the standout is the pulled meat from the short ribs, clearly slow cooked, deep and rich and a great foil to the competing flavours.
What’s also impressive is that the ingredients compliment one another. It reads on paper and looks in real life like a decadent excess, but the reality is that it’s a pretty harmonious all round burger experience, not an oil slick that you could be forgiven for imagining. No element dominates too much.
Gripes would be that the brioche bun doesn’t feel a million dollars in quality, but it holds up to the last, even through the onslaught. Although they’re very much playing a supporting role, a million dollar burger also needs million dollar fries. They were decent but not standout, while they should have been more generous in number and better presented on the plate to truly make it a feast for the eyes . The tomato, lettuce, pickle and red onion, along with the standard sauces of ketchup, mayo and mustard could again be re-thought and presented differently at this price point. Maybe a fresh tomato salsa or some special homemade ketchup from exclusive heirloom tomatoes, something to take it a notch above the ordinary sides you’d get with an ordinary burger.
But none of these compromise the overall experience which delivers a very solid burger in a room with a view, while the staff are the right side of friendly and engaging. A million dollars? For the price point, when compared to many joints in Hong Kong, it’s not too far off.