Taipei City – Caliburger

Value for money: 7/10
Cleanliness: 8/10
Service: 10/10
Quality of food: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

 

Caliburger is situated around the backstreets of Eastern Areas busy 忠孝東路 ZhongXiao East Road. Just behind 捷運忠孝敦化站 ZhongXiao DunHua station, you can’t ask for a much more popular location in Taipei, really. Actually, 西門町 XiMenDing is possibly more popular so naturally Caliburger’s response? Next month they are opening a store in XiMenDing – win, win.

 

Caliburger is a relatively new fixture in Taipei, arriving from (surprise, surprise it’s in the name – California, USA). The owner, Taiwanese, opened Caliburger to provide Taipei with the relaxed burger joint feel that has become such the norm over in The States.

 

Caliburger also makes use of a Smart TV on one wall, providing a live stream from Instagram using: #caliburger

Upon walking into Caliburger, the lights are kept fairly well dimmed throughout the day, there is ample seating, there are a mixed selection of comfy sofa-style seats in booths, table seats with hard chairs and also window seats with raised up chairs.

However, the two things that impressed me the most were:

1. The cleanliness of the entire restaurant, including the dining area and the kitchen.
2. The menu only has 4 dishes on it. Caliburger is so clearly convinced by its own dishes that there is no need for over-elaborate pages upon pages of variations on the classic burger that is so popular, the world over.

Here’s what we ordered: 

1. Cali Double $225 w/ Fresh Cut Fries + Cheese $80+$20 

2. Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich $165 w/ Fresh Cut Fries $80

3. Chocolate shake $80

4. Strawberry Shake $80


Looks good, right?





1. Cali Double $225 w/ Fresh Cut Fries + Cheese $80+$20 

 


Two patties, lots of cheese, lots of onions, lettuce and some pickles in there, too. This burger is almost bursting out of the paper! The patties are hand-crafted from minced Australian beef and weigh in at 80g. Caliburger uses 80% lean beef and 20% fat in each of its patties. The burger was very tasty and the bun was pretty good, too. No complaints, at all!
Tomato sauce, Mustard and BBQ sauce: all essential when eating these fries!
The fries are quite special, though, I would say. Potatoes are brought in from ChiaYi 嘉義 especially into Caliburger. They are not fully peeled before they get put through this mean looking hand-pull:
After the potato is put through the hand-pull, it is collected in a tray and dropped into 70degree warm water and kept like that until its further 10minute deep-fry.
Due to this process, it is unlike many frozen to deep-fry fry that you may be used to. These fries are a little hard and a little chewy on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside. They are cut very thinly, so maybe 4-5 of these constitute 1 of the fries that you normally eat. Also an impressive part is that there isn’t a lot of grease with these, so they feel quite ‘healthy’ (if that’s possible with fries).
The less-healthy option would be to add cheese to the fries. The nacho cheese comes with what tastes like a burger sauce, on top, with some fried onions. It was good, but I would just stick to the Fresh Cut Fries next time.

2. Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich $165 w/ Fresh Cut Fries $80

 


This chicken burger had a little spice from the Chipotle sauce used on it, but it remained sweet due to the thick slices of raw onion. Ideally, you want a very tender, moist chicken breast which then contrasts with the crispy bacon and crunchy onion. However, here, the chicken was a little dry and didn’t go together with the bacon as well as it could, because of that.
If you’re talking about flavour, it definitely delivers on that and I would be happy to give it another shot and give the chicken breast the benefit of the doubt.






3. Chocolate shake $80

4. Strawberry Shake $80


I’m not usually a shake orderer with my burger, but it was the weekend, so why on Earth not?

The strawberry (left) shake uses a strawberry syrup/jam as the flavouring, and ice cream and fresh milk for the body. Only 3 ingredients go into the milkshake, which has to be a positive. The strawberry flavour is a little sour but with a sweet finish and the ice cream gives it that rich thickness you want in a milkshake.

The chocolate (right) shake was very similar to consistency to the strawberry shake and similarly uses only 3 ingredients: milk chocolate powder, ice cream and fresh milk.

The milk is brought in from a dairy farm in Southern Taiwan and has a good richness to it. I would strongly suggest ordering a shake with your burger!

But, it doesn’t stop there! 

Condiments are what transforms a good burger, into a great burger. Jalapeno Chillies preserved in vinegar are absolutely the order of the day! Unfortunately, they’re imported, but I don’t really care as they taste great! They’re spicy, they’re a little sweet and they have a good vinegary taste, too. A triumph! (I just wish it was possible to be made in-house).

This is possibly the only thing Caliburger does throughout its restaurant to cater for Taiwanese people (in a good way, it stays true to American burgers), and that is to provide a phone charging service. Ask at the counter for a plug-in compatible with your device, and place your device on/near the little circular pad you see on the table, allowing your phone to be charged. Ideal!

Overall, I was very impressed with Caliburger, and shall certainly return in the future. The fries are enough to make me return, alone, but the Double Cali was a wondrous thing, too.

Best dish: 1. Cali Double w/ Fresh Cut Fries + Cheese

Dish I wouldn’t order again: I’d order all of them again, even giving the Chicken a 2nd chance.

Caliburger on Facebook

台北市大安區忠孝東路4段205巷7弄7號

No. 7, Alley 7, Lane 205, ZhongXiao East Road, Section 4, DaAn District, Taipei City.

 

Happy Eating!

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