Every so often a new spot pops up that we just can’t rave enough about, a place that excels in not only food, but also beverage offerings, ambiance and service. This month, that place is Starling, a new F&B joint in Foshan from the Shenzhen-based lads behind Magpie, Woodpecker Smokehouse and a number of other popular spots located to Guangzhou’s east.
Styled much like your cliche American diner, Starling is admittedly a bit of a commute from central Guangzhou, although we can personally attest: it’s worth the journey.
In homage to the great American diners of, well, America, Starling’s food and beverage offerings are unquestionably simple: burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and ice cream sundaes.
The ‘classic burger’ will hit your wallet for an easy RMB35, but you can add an extra patty for RMB15. You can also boss it up with extra toppings, including avocados, bacon, caramelized onions, mushrooms, jalapenos and an egg, among others, for an additional RMB3 per topping.
Image via Starling
On our visit, we opted for one classic burger and one burger with the works. Both arrived wrapped in an on-the-go-style paper wrapper and, before even taking a bite, the eatery’s standard burger immediately rubbed us as a slightly fancier version of an In-N-Out burger. The every-topping-in-the-book burger was a beast, with a solid 2 inches of goodness set between two fluffy, made-in-house buns.
Image via Starling
Both burgers exceeded our wildest expectations, juicy and packed full of flavor. Starling’s burgers fall in the soft spot located between a fast food burger and something more gourmet. They were so good, in fact, we got one to go to eat at home later. (Three minutes at 400 degrees and Starling’s burgers are as good as new).
The every-topping-in-the-book burger, with a solid 2 inches of goodness set between two fluffy, made-in-house buns. Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s
Milkshakes come in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry (RMB15), with add-ons such as gummies, M&Ms, cotton candy, pop rocks and Oreos available (RMB5 per topping). Alternatively, order yourself up a ‘Starling soda’ for RMB5 or a glass of Estrella Galicia or 8 Wire Hippy Berliner for RMB25.
While the menu was limited to the abovementioned food and a few other desserts on our visit, Starling is set to launch all-day breakfast, along with pub favorites like chicken wings and onion rings, in the coming weeks.
Casual is king here. Starling is unpretentious, with friendly staff and a clean, cool environment. With an open kitchen area, you can watch your burger being prepared and banter with staff as the job is being done.
Again, while this new diner is a bit of a commute, we’re confident you won’t regret the RMB100 Didi ride from Zhujiang New Town (RMB25 with three friends).
Price: RMB35-70 per person
Who’s going: Shunderen, day-trippers, diner lovin’ dudes and dudettes
Good for: a taste of American-style burger glory
Nearest metro: Shibi (Exit A), 30 minutes’ drive
Open daily, 11am-10.30pm; see listing for Starling.
[Cover image via Starling]