Hambaobao Is Back @ Beauty World Food Centre - Till Next Year!

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Hambaobao (a direct translation of Ham Burger in Chinese) is the "new kid on the block", having set up stall at the Beauty World Food Centre about two years ago.

When I first got to know about this burger joint serving some asian-inspired burgers like Ayam Buah Keluak (sandwiched between two buns with Chap Chye, no less!) and Crispy Pork Belly (aka Sio Bak Burger), I told myself that I have to come try it one of these days.

However, the "one of these days" never did materialize as procrastination got the better of me.

Earlier this year, news about a mystery buyer buying over the food centre with intentions to redevelop it into an air-conditioned foodcourt were rife. Before I knew it, the food centre ceased operations.

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That was in February. My heart broke to smithereens when I found out about it as I did not get to have a last meal there or to even bade farewell.

Three months on, I was ecstatic to learn from this news article that the hawkers are currently back in action at their respective stalls - albeit briefly - till next year.

One of them is Hambaobao.

It seems like the the acquisition plan has been shelved for the time being. Not about to let history repeat itself, I quickly make my way back to the food centre.

I was half expecting only a handful of stalls to be opened for business and that the food centre would be pretty deserted but on the contrary, almost all of the stalls were opened and there were so much people it was hard to find an empty table!

I guess everyone have the same thoughts as me; to have a fill of their favorite food before their favorite hawkers are gone again.

Other than the Ayam Buah Keluak Burger and Crispy Pork Belly Burger, Hambaobao offers three other kinds of artisanal burgers: The Classic Beef, What The Fish!, and Spiced Pulled Pork.

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There seemed to be some changes made to the menu compared to the information that I have gathered before its closure. The price of The Classic Beef and What The Fish (previously known as Dat Dory Fish) burgers have gone up by 50 cents while the Crispy Pork Belly Burger have gone up by $1.

On the other hand, the Spiced Pulled Pork Burger and Buah Keluak (previously known as Ayam Buah Keluak) Burger remained the same. As for the Hand-Cut Fries (previously known as Fairy Fries), it is now $1.50. It was previously $1 with purchase of any burger or $1.50 ala carte.

I ordered the Crispy Pork Belly Burger ($5.50) and add on fries for $1.50 with the lady who wrote down my order in an exercise book. I paid up and was given a yellow slip of paper with my queue number.

I found a table and waited for exactly 25 minutes as instructed then went to collect my order which is placed in a rectangular receptacle on top of a brown sheet of paper.

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Sandwiched between two toasted buns were four pieces of roasted pork belly dressed in Hoi Sin sauce and English Mustard.

Each of the pork belly were thickly sliced but I realized it is a little difficult to eat the burger with all four of them stacked inside. I removed two pieces from between the buns for the burger to be more manageable. As I took a bite, it gave off a loud crunch which, I guess, is probably how the burger got its name.

Polishing off the last morsel of the burger, I still have two pieces of pork belly left. To be honest, I am feeling a little jelak at this point.

I like the pork belly but four pieces might be a little too much for one burger.

Here is a word of warning though: Real teeth is a prerequisite in order to attempt this burger because the pork belly prove to be quite a challenge to bite into and tear away without pulling the entire piece out of the burger.

How did the fries fare then? I guess they were passable; lightly salted but still enjoyable. If only they did not turn cold so quickly.

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Despite the slight increase in price, their most expensive burger at $5.50 is still so much easier on the pockets than those you would get from the cafes. Of course, operating at a hawker centre helps to keep overheads low so they could offer affordable food to their customers.

Run by two young hawker-preuner, I heard they make everything from scratch. Even the fries were hand-cut with the skin intact.

It is commendable for someone to be so passionate about what they are doing and taking pride in it. As the saying goes "Do what you love, and you'll never work another day in your life".

Do follow Hambaobao on their Facebook to keep track of their new location when they had to be evicted by the management office again in 2018.


HAMBAOBAO
Beauty World Centre
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road 
#04-49 
Singapore 588177

Website: https://www.facebook.com/hambaobaosg

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ceJcyBb1RAK2
GPS Coordinates: 1.3421827,103.7414082


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