The Diner

The Diner

The Diner
G/F, 4-8 Arbuthnot Road (next to the escalators near The Centrium)
Central, Hong Kong

+852 2562 3181 (per the million fucking times it’s mentioned on their website NO RESERVATIONS, but call them if you want to order take away).

Burger was HKD135 (excludes service charge, gratuities go to the server).

The deal:
A few people (no, not PR peeps) have been telling me that The Diner has The Best Burger in Hong Kong – which is a pretty big fucking call.  I started researching and I came across the King of HK Burgers, Franny, who didn’t share the same sentiment re: The Diner.  FYI, his blog is fucking rad if you are after HK burger opinions, I mean this is a homie who claims he runs every day so he can continue to slam moar burgers.

While checking their story out, I gotta say there is something about the tone of The Diner’s website which gives me the right shits.  My teeth grinding at the following website statement “Please note we can get very busy during brunch so be prepared to wait a little bit longer than normal. Your patience is appreciated.”  Why the attitude Diner homies, maybe hire more staff for your busy times, make less excuses and add a smiley face and an exclamation mark to your text to help your tone a little?

So we rolled on in at 12pm on the weekend and The Diner was pretty packed but it didn’t have a ridiculous line.  ONLY the brunch menu is available til 2pm and the a-la-carte is only available post 2pm.  I think this is pretty fucking aggressive – is it unreasonable that I want more than one burger option after 12pm?  Call me a fucking pedantic stickler, I thought brunch was the inbetween period between breakfast and lunch – and lunch time should start after midday.  Semantics aside, like an office kitchen which has passive aggressive signs about “Clean up after yourself if you’re the type of person who wouldn’t take a shit in your sink at home”, The Diner has posted yellow + black road style signs on every table saying ‘ONLY BRUNCH MENU TIL 2PM SO DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT FUCKING ASKING FOR A-LA-CARTE BITCHES’ (ok, may be an approximation on the text but the sentiment remains accurate).  Amongst the fuck yeah looking buttermilk pancakes and breakfast burritos (and the sad ass egg white only omelette – what’s the fucking point?) on the brunch menu, there is ONE burger available, The Dime Burger.  Given we were here for burgers, we were pigeon holed into ordering the sole available burger without the option of a side of fried pickles.  FU TYRANNY OF 2PM END OF BRUNCH TIMES.

The Dime Burger comes with a medium beef patty (no, they won’t ask you how you want it – so if you don’t want medium, you better fucking ask), bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and mustard mayo.  There’s a side of french fries and some apple slaw.  Sides were solid performers – good crispy shoestring fries and some fairly standard slaw.  But in respect of the star attraction, the burger was pretty fucking solid – a fuck yeah beef patty and the ingredients held its shit together.  I won’t lie, I was pretty fucking happy – I mean, it shouldn’t be that difficult really to fuck up a combination of beef, bacon, cheese + tomatoes but some places still find a way.  Fuck yeah points for temperature execution, the beef patty was accurately cooked to medium as promised.  Fuck no to burger places who can’t execute their patties accurately.

The Diner burgers come on a “soft, brioche bun” and I gotta say, I’m officially not fucking down with brioche buns for burgers.  At least The Diner isn’t toasting their brioche, which renders an already inferior bun into a dried out mess.  Seriously though, why are brioche bun burgers even a fucking thing?? It always strikes me as something that was started one day when someone thought they’d be a little bit fancy but never fully thought through.  The brioche bun doesn’t add anything compared to a solid white bread bun and most importantly, it lacks structural integrity, disintegrating into a fuck no pink, soggy mess when it touches burger juice.  Fucking hell, leave brioche for French children’s 4pm tea time with Nutella and stay the fuck away from my goddamn burgers.


In respect of their service, while The Diner claims that they are the “first truly authentic American diner to open in Hong Kong” but they offer a “contemporary twist“,  I think that contemporary twist on the American diner experience is to slack off on the service.  Yeah Diner homies, nice claim that your brunch menus come with bottomless refills for hot brewed coffee but it counts for jackshit if no-one ever comes to check your mug and actually refill it. This contemporary twist on service is not a fuck no, achieving perfunctory and adequate levels, but no-one here is gunning to be Miss Sunshine 2014 or going for that all-American over the top diner style “Hello my name is Jacob and I’ll be your server today” vibe.

Overall, I was pretty fucking happy when I was eating The Diner’s burger – I wouldn’t say it was the best burger I’ve ever had in Hong Kong but it adequately hit the spot for a Saturday treat yo self lunch time affair.

Not the most spectacular burger in HK but solid enough to warrant a fuck yeah because I’d go back. Maybe at TWO THIRTY PM so I could be blessed with the honour of ordering off the fucking a la carte menu.

  • Brooklyn bad boy
    Posted at 14:29h, 23 October Reply

    finally there is someone writing that know what they are fucking talking about and that has very big balls. Love your style.

    • Sgt Noms
      Posted at 20:30h, 23 October Reply

      Yo, thanks for the props – I dunno if I know what I’m talking about but I know what I fucking like to eat. Keep strong and nommin’ the fuck on!

  • waterfallsandcaribous
    Posted at 16:01h, 23 October Reply

    Urgggghh sounds fuckin HORRID. Ps. Want to pick your brain about your top 10 in HK to see what we need to knock off in the just over SIX WEEKS we have left here…waaaah.

    • Sgt Noms
      Posted at 20:29h, 23 October Reply

      It wasn’t horrid – I’d still go back cause the overall burger was a fuck yeah. But it wasn’t the Most Spectacular Burger Experience in HK for all those fuck no points above for no good reason. I just emailed you – LET’S DO THIS ALREADY

  • Kilgore Trout
    Posted at 10:46h, 27 October Reply

    “Hi my name is Brittany and I’ll be your server! xoxox” is definitely American chain restaurant style. American diner style is more like “Whaddaya want, honey? And be fucking quick about it, I need a smoke.”

Fuck yeah or fuck no?

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