The One With Shake ‘Em Buns – Great Burgers, Deplorable Service

When one thinks of burgers, the usual suspects come to mind. Burger King and McDonald’s took the lead of my very short list; even though burgers served at the commonplace char chan teng is usually pretty decent, I was always intrigued by unfamiliar sounding burger joints. Perhaps I was hungry for a truly American experience.

Enter the Groupon experience for a more-than-half-price burger deals at Shake ‘Em Buns, located along Wellington Street at Central.

Shake 'Em Buns

Let me get started with the food, ‘coz that’s easily the best – and only good – thing about this place.

The menu looked promising, with an extensive selection of burgers and finger food such as fries and wedges. At first the whacky names for burgers (Dolly Does Dallas, anyone?) was rather charming, but after some puzzled minutes studying the menu, we were rather exasperated not knowing what to choose.

So we went by the price.

Missionary ($52)

Shake 'Em Buns

A classic 1/3 pounder beer burger with mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce. My choice. The bun was toasted to a perfect crisp, the beef patty was juicy and retain that “beefy” flavour which other burger joints seem unable to do (I blame that to factory-made meat), and the dressing generous but not to the point of overwhelming. A definite thumb up, though I can’t see what so missionary about it.

Guitar Shop Special ($65)

Shake 'Em Buns

Yet another beer burger, this one with smothered green pepper, onions, mushrooms and cheese. My better half’s choice. It certainly looked good, and whatever got those discerning lips smacking in satisfaction gets my vote. But why guitar shop?

Spicy Onion Rings ($39)

Shake 'Em Buns

Originally we ordered chili cheese fries, but only upon collecting our order were we told that they ran out of fries (for a burger joint? epic fail!) so they offered onion rings instead. Since we have already paid, I didn’t want to make a fuss and accepted the replacements. Which were nothing special and rather ordinary, bordering on over greasy. And they wrote on their menu that they “ran outta cool names” for this one. I’ll say!

Now a word of the restaurant.

Shake 'Em Buns

Who, in the right mind, would only have one staff doubling up as cashier, cook and cleaner all at one go during dinner time at a place like Central? They even have you take a number for your order, even though the place could hardly fit twenty diners. The pace of service, needless to say, was so slow I wondered if my fellow customers would threw a mutiny at that place.

It was towards the end of my meal sitting at the very tiny and uncomfortable table when another staff joined the crew. Like, hello, about time.

Now that I ranted about the inefficiencies of service, I have to say I rather like the feel of the joint. Very American, very whacky, and just nice for a quick dinner or a grab to bite while you are on the go.

Shake 'Em Buns

Like my better half said, great for the Groupon price, but hardly anything to shout about.


Shake ‘Em Buns
76 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
2810 5533

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