Selling burgers, hot dogs and BBQ, TOFO is the diner you've been waiting for in downtown Hangzhou. With service and prices in line with a fast food joint rather than a restaurant, prices vary from 30RMB to 60RMB for DIY or house recommended burgers.
Situated at 243 North Zhongshan Road (not far from Fengqi Road), the shop is clean and bright with seating for 30. Friendly staff greet guests warmly and bring water and menus quickly. TOFO Burger’s English menu is well written or you can scan a QR code to order by WeChat or Alipay.
TOFO’s burger menu features 12 basic burgers with 14 DIY options. As well as burgers there is a full menu of sides and mains including BBQ, roast chicken, hot-dogs, pastas, salads and drinks. While we read the menu we saw some very tasty sides and mains going out to satisfied looking groups of diners.
We started our lunch with coffee, Caffe Americano (22RMB) and Latte (28RMB). The milk was a good temperature and the espresso was extracted perfectly.
Ordering for two, we shared Fried Mozzarella (28RMB), tasted the Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce (35RMB) and Texas Style Smoked Ribs (96RMB). The fried mozzarella was a good choice, it arrived to the table quickly and came with a very nice tomato sauce. The Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce was served in a pan for one.
Our burgers arrived soon after the Lasagna and were juicy and filling. Today we tried the Tempura Shrimp Burger (62RMB) and a classic Bacon-Cheese Burger (42RMB).
We were impressed by the jumbo tempura battered shrimps that appeared in the Tempura Shrimp Burger and drizzled with the house-made miso sauce. I was very happy with the cheese and bacon selected for the Bacon-Cheese Burger and appreciated the buttered and toasted bun. The burgers had a satisfying texture and were priced fairly. Burger patties are made daily from imported Australian beef and the store’s buns are their own recipe. Each burger was served with a delicious trio of juicy roasted cherry tomatoes.
The Texas Style Smoked Ribs were the last item to arrive. They came quite a long time after the burgers because the preparation was quite involved. The fridge marinated ribs went through several stages of smoking and roasting, so allow more than 30 minutes for the ribs.
During our meal we chatted with Sawyer, the inspiration behind TOFO Burger. Sawyer developed his obsession for cooking while he was studying computer science in the US. His passion for food, took him to France before returning to cook at an Italian restaurant in Shanghai. Since then he’s opened stores in Wenzhou (2017), France (2018) and Hangzhou (2019).
I’m always happy to grab a good burger so TOFO will stay on my radar. With Kirin draft beer available at (18RMB) per glass and a selection of imported bottles (Corona Extra 18RMB, Sierra Nevada 32RMB), I know a lot of diners that will be satisfied. With freshly squeezed juices, coffee and milkshakes, TOFO will appeal to many.
If you find a car park on North Zhongshan Road, buy a lottery ticket - otherwise check the side alleyways.
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