If it doesn’t get all over the place…
Burgers were all the rage about 2-3 years ago with burger joints popping up left and right all over town competing to be Beijing’s best.
And though the race still continues on theBeijinger’s annual Burger wars to win the highly sought-after Burger Cup title, I can’t say there are that many new contenders this year. Last year, Home Plate Bar-B-Que narrowly won 1st place over Plan B, which was followed by The Local and Great Leap Brewing not far behind in 3rd and 4th place. This year, I’m pretty certain these 4 burger joints will remain among the top 10 rated burgers but I’d definitely like to highlight a recently discovered burger joint in Gulou worth mentioning.
This year, theBeijinger will be narrowing down a list of 64 burger joints and I’m pretty sure Katchup will be a top contender this year.
“You’ll be able to vote among 64 different burgers when voting goes live on August 25, which will then be wittled down as the weeks go by.” – Robynne Tindall, theBeijinger’s Dining Editor on this year’s Burger Cup
In the spirit of supporting fat, juicy burgers, I ventured out to try out Katchup, a place that specializes in hearty American-style burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts. Located on the west side of Jiaodaokou Nandajie, it was opened by Chef Michael Song, the same chef who started the very popular Burger Counter in Gulou.
Katchup is simple and straight-forward, there’s no fluff, the design follows a clean and basic diner style with its first floor divided between an open flame kitchen space and a long row of tables but upstairs is a massive, open-air rooftop with plenty of seating and lounge space.
Service is friendly, the food is fresh and the prices are super affordable. Whether or not you’re a burger aficionado, these burgers are satisfying and definitely worth trying. And if you’re on a diet? Just remember that you’re allowed a cheat day every now and again and this burger is definitely worth indulging.
LDS Snapshots of Katchup:
An Easy Find: Entrance faces the street on the west side of Jiaodaokou
Inside Katchup: Open Kitchen on your right and rows of busy diners on your right
2nd Floor Rooftop Dining
We had the rooftop all to ourselves!
Katchup offers a handful of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts but the main menu show-stealer is their list of 7 types of signature burgers with prices ranging between RMB 48-68 and a special offer for a combo salad/soup + burger/sandwich + soft drink for RMB 88.
See Katchup’s menu here -
Katchup’s Menu Breakdown Highlights Burgers
On the backside, they list standard soft drinks for RMB 10, Dr. Pepper and A&W Root Beer for RMB 18, freshly squeezed juices for RMB 18 (a steal!), 7 types of beers (RMB 18-28), and coffee (RMB 18-38).
Seeing the size of Katchup’s burgers, we knew we wouldn’t be able to stomach more than a burger each. Salads, sandwiches and ribs will have to wait another time. We each ordered our own burger and the sheer monstrosity of each one is jaw-dropping. It’s not the biggest burger ever but I’ve been in China a really long time and these babies were ginormous. (I’m sure they’re actually just a normal-sized burger in my homeland America where everything is super-sized, but these burgers really are satisfying and won’t disappoint.) The only thing I didn’t love was the batter on their chunky chips. It was some kind of egg batter that just didn’t need to be there. And make sure that you order plenty of fresh juice as the burgers were all a bit salt and pepper heavy.
With super juicy beef patties with fresh veggies/fried goodness piled high, expect your lunch to be a hot mess. My strategy – press down to compact, slice in half and that makes everything much more manageable. In the end, it was still super sloppy and everything got everywhere but it was delicious and we all left happy humpty dumpties.
LDS Snapshots of Lunch at Katchup:
Freshly squeezed Pineapple Juice (RMB 18)
Garden Basil Pesto Soup (RMB 20)
Mushroom Swiss Burger (RMB 58)
the big bleu burger with bleu cheese, caramelized shallots, crisp bacon and fried onions (RMB 58)
You can count on everything being fresh because everything runs out so quickly. I wanted to order their BBQ pork ribs for lunch (listed under Big Plates) but they were sold out already for the day and then I wanted to order another glass of fresh pineapple juice but apparently they ran out of pineapples and would need to go to the fruit shop next door to get more pineapple, so I saved them the trouble, canceled my order and just asked for another glass of water. I could have been annoyed, but I really wasn’t because they were sincerely friendly, they were helpful, service was on point considering we were the only table upstairs (not the usual out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality) and everything else was fantastic.
*Note: Order at least 1 day in advance steak cuts – 9 ounce tenderloin filet (RMB 150), 12 ounce New York Strip (RMB 198), 14 ounce Center Cut Ribeye (RMB 220)
Katchup Contact Details:
Address: 53-1 Jiaodaokou Nandajie and Qianyuenensi Hutong intersection, Dongcheng district
Tel: 8403 5772
Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday 11:00-22:30 (closed Mondays!)