A creative and catchy name which means “burgers” in Mandarin, Hambaobao is known to serve interesting Asian-inspired artisanal burgers at an affordable pricing.
It first started off as a food stall located at Beauty World Food Centre in 2014 to relative popularity, and subsequently ended operations there during November 2019.
It is now back with a physical store at Sam Leong Road, Jalan Besar.
The news about the permanent closure of their stall in 2019 was sudden, as their business was brisk with their fair share of loyal customers.
However, Hambaobao wasn’t really gone for good as they could be seen at the various pop-ups such as the recent one at Yeast Side in July this year.
They are also behind the sandwiches serve at Asylum Coffeehouse – which happened to be just 5 minutes’ walk from this new location.
Located at Level 3 of Trio, Hambaobao is no longer a food stall but a full-fledged eatery with their own air-conditioned space.
The 30-seater space is decked in navy green, from the floor to the tables and chairs with an industrial look, equipped with a cemented bar counter and old-school white tiles.
Customers can choose to sit on the high stools along the bar counter (which can get a little smoky) or next to the floor-to-ceiling window seats with a nice birdie view of the area.
Their menu remains the same as their days at Beauty World Food Centre, with about $2.50 increase in price.
The increase in price is reasonable considering that diners can now eat in the comfort of an air-conditioned environment, without ended up becoming a sweaty ‘HanBaoBao’（汗宝宝）.
Bringing back their 5 signature burgers, they include The Classic Beef ($7.50), What The Fish! ($8), Crispy Pork Belly ($8), Spiced Pulled Pork, and Ayam Buah Keluak ($8).
Sides include their Hand-Cut Fries ($2.50) with optional add-ons Beef Patty ($2.50), Cheddar/ Mozzarella Cheese ($0.50) and Bacon ($0.70).
The What The Fish! ($8) came with 2 slices of dory fish topped with tartar sauce, zucchini and cheese.
Their buns are still as soft and pillowy as I remembered, giving a nice chewy texture in contrast to the firm and flavourful dory fish.
The grilled fish slices add a smokiness to the overall flavour, not too overwhelming yet adding complexity to this artisanal burger.
One thing to note, because of the sheer amount of fillings sandwiched between the soft buns, ingredients slipped out easily without cutlery provided.
Do prepare some wet tissue in advance when it can get a little messy.
The Hand-Cut Fries ($2.50) is worth a mention, made from real potatoes with the skin intact, deep-fried to a golden-brown shade that was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
To complete the meal, Hambaobao has introduced an entire new dessert menu that comes with funky names.
Choose from a selection of homemade pastries such as Mama G’s Sugee ($4.50), DarkAngel_1992_ ($4.50), Not Cream Pie ($5) which is a key lime pie, Dee’z Booze Balls ($4.50), Apom Berkuah ($5) and Pineapple Cake ($5).
The Apom Berkuah is a traditional Peranakan dessert made of mini pancakes with blue swirls from butterfly pea flowers and served with a banana caramel sauce on the side.
Instead of going the traditional way, the Apom Berkuah ($5) here is made in the form of a Swiss roll with blue swirls which seems to look like Minions at a glance.
I enjoyed the smooth and velvety banana fillings in between the layers of sponge cake, which are light, moist and fluffy.
Considering that burgers and fries tend to be more greasy, the desserts are definitely a good add-ons to the menu.
It’s a nostalgic feeling to see familiar faces returning back to the F&B scene after a hiatus, offering the same affordable classic items, same flavours from the same culinary team. Welcome back, Hambaobao.
Trio, 11 Sam Leong Rd, #03-08, Singapore 207903
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
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* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.