Mash Burger: Best Burger/Worst Burger

Food: 2/5 Ambiance: 4.5/5 Service: 4.5/5 Cleanliness: 5/5 Bathrooms: 3/5

Good to Know:  A “medium” burger is really a “medium-rare”.

I procrastinated a bit because I am a bit sad to start with this one. I moved to Shenzhen 2 and half years ago and read that Mash Gastropub is the place to be for the best burgers in town. My first experience there did confirm this bold title, so I was excited to rally my friends to treat ourselves again. Still tucked away from the big streets of Futian, Mash hasn’t changed except for newer menus. Okay, I can deal with that. But when the burgers came out, the difference was day and night (night and day?)…

Food:

I’m trying to get better at being decisive so I quickly decided to try a new burger. The Chingonario burger description satisfied my curiosity for a spicy burger. The special red chimichurri sauce is comprised of a blend of smoked, sun-dried tomatoes and Mexican chilies, which actually did taste well with the creamy guacamole and sharp cheddar cheese. That was not the problem. Unfortunately, what broke the chain of good events was the beef patty! Yes, I know the chefs care deeply about the quality of the meat. It was apparent. But the issue was it was way undercooked (all 5 burgers were undercooked). I ordered a medium burger, but twice, it came out a medium rare. My husband ordered a medium-rare, but really, it was a rare (although he was too nice to send it back). What did I like? The bun. It held the patty and condiments and kept its integrity, and was toasted perfectly. What else? The fries. Seasoned-well, crispy but still mushy inside. Ask for the wasabi mayo dip. And the milkshake. Hand-crafted in front of you, loaded with toppings. Very American-diner like. There’s a fair selection of  craft beer, we didn’t see anything local at all.

Ambiance:

Mash Gastropub reminds me of a modern (hipster but not too hipster) restaurant tucked away in old hutongs in Beijing. It was a quiet and cozy place with people just serious about beer and burger. The lighting encouraged intimate conversations and there were plenty of room for indoor-outdoor dining. I would say this is a nice place for a 3rd date or so.

Cleanliness:

A solid approval of cleanliness. Seats, tables, and plates had no chips or dents. Tables were waited and cleaned appropriately. The bathroom was basic; all the necessities were there, and if you’re a woman, I hope you don’t mind staring into a urinal when you’re doing your business.

Final Thoughts:

I’d like to stay positive and think that we just had bad luck with our patties. Considering the burgers are on the pricy end (a basic Farm Boy was 85 rmb), I’d have to think twice before going. And if I do go, I would cross my fingers during the taxi ride.

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