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Eat Drink Asia Podcast

Podcast: Hong Kong burger wars and Wagyumafia’s US$100 sandwiches – Eat Drink Asia

  • We talk about Shake Shack opening its second Hong Kong outlet, just down the road from Washington chain Five Guys’ first city restaurant, also soon to open
  • Meanwhile, we bite into a giant wagyu beef gourmet sandwich
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2018, 8:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 3:11pm

In the first episode of our Eat Drink Asia podcast, we covered the Hong Kong debut of famous New York burger chain Shake Shack at IFC Mall in Central, and in episode seven we look at how the burger wars are heating up again.

Shake Shack is opening its second location in the Pacific Place mall in Admiralty, and a few hundred metres to the east in Johnston Road, Five Guys from Washington opens later this month.

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If burgers aren’t your thing, what about a gourmet sandwich that is one of the most expensive in the world? We are talking about Wagyumafia, which is famous for its cutlet sandwiches – a giant slab of prime wagyu beef seared and placed between two slices of toasted bread. That’ll be US$100, please.

It’s one very rich sandwich – so rich that even a quarter of one is enough to satisfy you. So who’s going to eat these decadent snacks? Don’t worry, Hong Kong has gourmands who are willing to pay any price for good food.

Someone who has seen the culinary scene in the city evolve over three decades is chef Gray Kunz. The Swiss chef was born and raised in Singapore, and in the 1980s he worked at Plume, the fine-dining French restaurant at The Regent hotel in Hong Kong, which is now The InterContinental.

In 2009 Kunz returned to Hong Kong to open his restaurant Cafe Gray Deluxe in the Upper House, with its stunning view of Victoria Harbour. He talks to us about his career, and his love of flying.

A recent visitor to Hong Kong was Jeffrey Bell, general manager of PDT or Please Don’t Tell, a famous speakeasy in New York which this year opened its first overseas branch in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

He talks to us about the different drink preferences of American and Hong Kong customers, and Hongkongers’ habit of drinking hot water, whatever the temperature outside.

If Netflix is your thing, look out for a reality cooking show that premieres on November 20. The Final Table will see 24 star chefs compete in pairs in country-themed challenges set by masters of each cuisine.

The end game is to reach the “final table”, where sit nine culinary icons, including molecular gastronomy master Grant Achatz of Alinea.

My co-host Alkira Reinfrank speaks to two of the show’s Hong Kong representatives – Shane Osborne of one-Michelin-star Arcane in Central, and Rafa Gil who was at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong during filming last year.

Follow us on Twitter:

Bernice Chan: @beijingcalling

Alkira Reinfrank: @alkirareinfrank