Burgers at Joy City mall
Joining the outcrop of eateries on the roof of Joy City is UD Burgers & Grill, the reincarnation of the former Urban Diner, offering up classic American fare with a modern twist.
The space is fresh and casual, with white subway tiles and simple, modern decor. The outdoor seating area boasts an obscured view of Sky Ring, the mall’s rooftop Ferris wheel.
UD’s menu is all about burgers—we tried the Urban Diner Classic Burger (RMB68), a yardstick for judging any burger joint. The classic burger fulfilled our craving with a juicy and well-seasoned patty, offering plenty of melted cheese and a bun that was soft yet held everything together.
Our favorite is the Mustang Sally Burger (RMB78), oozing with emmental cheese and topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, green peppers and garlic aioli. The flavor combo reminded us of French onion soup.
The Campfire Burger (RMB78) is another solid choice; it’s piled high with streaky bacon, though it could have used more of the tangy Campfire BBQ sauce. Each burger comes with a side salad or perfectly crispy skin-on fries with fluffy innards. Unlike some of the gargantuan belt-busters around town, we appreciate UD’s regular-sized burgers, designed for the average diner rather than an Olympic-level competitive eater.
We had high hopes for the Chipotle Braised Beef Neck Nachos (RMB88). The vibrantly colored dish was a feast for the eyes, but ultimately fell short of the expectation despite the portion of smoky beef. We would have liked more cheese, and the refried beans listed on the menu were all but absent from the dish.
No diner experience is complete without a frosty milkshake. The thick and creamy Coffee Milkshake (RMB50) hit the spot with bold coffee flavor, but the spiked Bourbon Vanilla Milkshake (RMB70) lacked any essence of bourbon and was addled with chunks of ice.
UD Burgers & Grill also has a daily lunch set for RMB68. They also offer weekend brunch, serving up American classics such as eggs benedict and chicken and waffles. Other menu items we didn’t get the chance to try include chicken wings and mac n’ cheese.
The burger competition is tough in this town–and while we would happily dine again while exploring Joy City, the burgers alone don’t warrant a special trip.
Address: No. 903, 9/F, Joy City, 166 Xizang Bei Lu (near Qufu Lu)