Hong Kong: How (and Where) to Eat Hamburgers Without the Guilt

Foodie Friday

Is it possible to eat a hamburger without the guilt? A fast food chain in Hong Kong offers  set menus with a choice of French fries and green salads. By subsituting the salad for the fries, you’ll cut your calorie count in half!

Following a strenuous workout in San Francisco a few years back, my personal trainer advised me rush out and eat a hearty lunch that included protein, carbohydrates, and fresh vegetables.

“Sounds like you’re talking about a hamburger!” I said hopefully. And this was his response:

“A hamburger would be a very good choice! Hamburgers get a bad rap. The only thing wrong with a hamburger is that most people eat them with French fries, which is bad, because they are deep fat fried. If you eat a hamburger with a green salad instead of French fries, you’ve got a well-balanced meal.”

Another personal trainer weighed in on the same topic.

“I’m not saying you should eat them every day, but when you crave a hamburger, my advice is to go to McDonald’s,” he said.

“Contrary to popular belief, their hamburgers are better for you than the hamburgers at fancy restaurants. The reason is that McDonald’s uses leaner beef because it is cheaper. Expensive restaurants use beef that has a higher fat content because it’s tastier. But it’s also not as good for you as the leaner cuts of beef that McDonald’s uses.”

That advice was fine in San Francisco, where McDonald’s and most other fast food chains offer at least one set meal with a healthy alternative to French fries. But it is not the case in Hong Kong.

Introducing Mos Burger

Most restaurants serving hamburgers in Hong Kong practically impose French fries on you because all of the set meals include them. And set meals always represent better value.

If you order a burger and a soft drink ala carte, you feel as though you’re getting ripped off because it costs almost as much as the set menu, which includes French fries.

Sometimes the price is equal. So you end up ordering the set menu so as not to feel cheated.

Which brings me to Mos Burger, a Japanese hamburger chain with only a handful of outlets in Hong Kong.

Mos Burger offers diners a choice. You can choose between French fries and a green salad – both for the same price! You can also opt for iced tea rather than a soft drink at a HK$3 surcharge.

The no-nonsense Mos Burger is my favourite. In addition to the beef patty and the bun is a thick slice of tomato and that yummy sauce, which defies description. I honestly have no idea what’s in it. But it sure is tasty!

Calorie Count

According to MyFitnessPal.com, the basic Mos Burger has 259.8 calories as well as 7.2 grams of fat, 34.3 grams of carbs, and 14.2 grams of protein.

That puts it roughly in the same league as your basic McDonald’s hamburger. But I think it’s much tastier. AND check this out …

By swapping your French fries for a green salad, you will cut your total calorie count for the meal in half! Not to mention an even greater reduction in your total fat input! Plus you’re getting some fibre.

Okay. I’m the first to admit that a Mos Burger cannot compete with a Whopper or a Quarter Pounder on taste. But it CAN satisfy your hunger for a burger – without the guilt!

Please note: the advice I received had nothing to do with weight loss. I had just finished a VERY intensive session of circuit training, and the trainer said it was important eat a hearty (but healthy) meal following such a workout.


Mos Burger Hong Kong, APM, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2705-6116.

The restaurant is a short walk from the Kwuntong MTR station. There are more than a dozen outlets scattered across Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories.


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