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Open wide for a burger feast

By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu | China Daily | Updated: 2014-06-07 11:53
Open wide for a burger feast

Jiang Xiaohong enjoys one portion of the giant Wagyu beef burger at the Mooney's Restaurant & Bar in the Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu, Sichuan province. [Photo by Huang Leran/China Daily]

Open wide for a burger feast

Eat beat

Open wide for a burger feast

A feast of stones

Jiang Xiaohong got a pleasant surprise when the waiter at the Mooney's Restaurant & Bar presented a giant burger weighing 3 kilograms at his table.

"The burger was so unique and delicious. But six of us could not finish it," says the 12-year-old student from Chengdu No 4 High School, who went to Mooney's with his parents and three family friends last month.

The burger, said to be the largest in the capital of Sichuan province, consists of beef, bread, egg omelet, onions, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, melted cheese and tomatoes.

"The layer of juicy, tender prime Wagyu beef sandwiched in the middle of the burger alone weighs 1 kg, while the biggest burger in a fast food restaurant is about 500 grams," says Tendi Fan, executive sous chef of the Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu, where Mooney's offers the giant sandwich.

"To make the Wagyu grow well and yield ideal beef, the people who take care of them have to massage them."

The well-marbled Australian beef patty is 30 cm in diameter and 15 cm thick. The beef is minced, then mixed with French mustard, olive oil, sauteed onion, salt and black pepper before it's pounded on a board for up to 30 minutes and shaped into a patty.

Each side is pan-fried for between 7 and 8 minutes. Then the mixture is roasted in an oven with a temperature of 180 C for 20 minutes, Fan says.

While the beef is prepared, the chef is making the bun, which also weighs 1 kg.

When the beef and bun are ready, the chef puts lettuce, sauteed onions, fresh tomatoes and a four-egg omelet made with sauteed mushrooms, beef, bacon, melted cheese and tomatoes, between the two halves of the bun.

"With just one bite, you will savor a delicious combination of flavors," says Bruce Gilbert, a frequent visitor from the United Kingdom who teaches English in Chengdu.

The Mooney's challenge: Finish the giant burger priced at 228 yuan ($37) by yourself and you get it for free, says Sophie Meng, the hotel publicist.

Some 60 diners have tried to finish the burger since the rule was introduced earlier this year, but none has succeeded without help. The giant burger is designed to satisfy a table of four or five friends, says its creator, Peter Trewenack, executive chef at the hotel and an Australian who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years.

"Good food should be shared by good friends, and this burger is no doubt the best food for sharing," Trewenack says.

If you go:

Mooney's Restaurant & Bar

The Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu, 9 Binjiang East Lu (Road), Chengdu. 028-8888-9999 extension 6896.

Price of one giant Wagyu beef burger: 228 yuan ($37).

Price of the giant burger set: 498 yuan (including one giant Wagyu beef burger and free-flowing draft beer within two hours for four people).

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