@hambaobao has been on on my radar for five whole years, but the cosmos always intervened somehow. Initially, it was the far flung location, then they closed down, and then when they reopened in Jalan Besar, there were newer and more exciting dining establishments around. Enough procrastination, I finally decided to get myself a Hambaobao.⠀

Their superstar is the Crispy Pork Belly, which now goes at $9.50 nett a pop, and it made perfect sense why at first bite. Five exceedingly chunky slabs of roasted pork belly are drizzled with hoisin sauce, spicy English mustard and tucked between two halves of a burger bun and garnished with slices of Japanese cucumber. There’s so much pork belly, and it’s pretty damn delightful. The rind is severely crunchy, and every bite will result in a slightly deafening crunch as the roasted skin simply shatters. The meat is salted quite simply, but that’s the raison d’être for the hoisin sauce.⠀

The sauce is the ideal amplifier for the fatty pork belly with it’s deep, fragrant umami and tangy sweetness. The fragrance of the spices in the hoisin sauce are the perfect perfume for the simply seasoned pork too. The delectable heat of the English mustard restrains the fattiness & saltiness of the pork & hoisin, and the cucumbers provide even more crunch and a refreshing cleansing of your palate.⠀

The stunningly soft burger buns offered no resistance as I bit into it but I did, for the first time ever, find that the burger buns were too small to contain the meat between. I expended most of my energy futilely trying to hold the burger together, and it got real messy real quick. Cutting a pocket into the bun like it’s a pita would definitely help, but there’s no denying that this Crispy Pork Belly Hambaobao is a damn near perfect burger.

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