Second Helpings: Beef & Liberty

What: A homage to hamburgers
Where: Rm 111, 1/F, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu. Tel: 6289 5733. Web:
Why: To sample the new beetroot and goat’s cheese patty

After being rebranded from the much-loved Gourmet Café, the restaurant made its mark on the Shanghai F&B scene in 2013 for beef patties hailing from Australia, where they is certified 100% Black Angus, which are ground in-house twice a day. Now, almost three years on, we went back for second helpings and found that if the concept ain’t broke, there is no need to fix it.
Beef & Liberty continue to grill their hefty, medium rare burgers and pack them with a variety of different toppings before placing them between custombaked white rolls (from RMB 75). Their mouthwatering burgers are some of the best, and juiciest we have tasted in the city. Along with the standard burger order, we also sampled the restaurant’s new sticky BBQ pork ribs (RMB 68), made from USA pork, slow braised in the oven and slathered in house BBQ sauce. The meat fell away from the bones as we ate, and we dipped every remaining morsel of meat in the excess BBQ sauce.
The standout burger for us on this trip was the seasonal beetroot and goat’s cheese burger (RMB 72), which is unfortunately only available until the end of February. This 100% vegetarian burger is made from shredded beetroot, brown rice, kidney beans, cumin, chilli and coriander and topped with goat’s cheese. The moist patty is rich in flavour, you could almost believe that it was meat, and helped us stick to our healthy living New Year’s resolution. Although this particular patty’s swan song is brief, the seasonal menu is changed every six weeks, so we hope to see some other strong vegetarian offerings in the future.
We finished off our meal on a high, a sugar high to be exact, with a warm skillet cookie and cream (RMB 58). The cookie comes to the table steaming hot, and served in a skillet, before cream is generously poured on top. The cookie doubled in size as the cream was absorbed, and almost reached the brim of the pan, as we worked to quickly heap spoonfuls of the sinful treat into our mouths to avoid a cookie breach. This is one dessert that is not to be missed.