Guangzhou Restaurant Review: 435

By Matthew Bossons, August 20, 2019

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The Place

435-logo.jpg
Image by Matt Bossons/That’s

Located south of Grandview Mall in the same trendy neighborhood that houses fan favorites Tristan’s CalMex and Urban Grill, 435 is a hip new eatery that offers Western-style cuisine, cocktails and craft beer.

When we arrive on a rainy Saturday afternoon, a considerable group of selfie-obsessed young women are busy snapping shots in front of the restaurant’s black and white exterior.

It’s obvious before we even enter that the place is popular, and after stepping inside it becomes clear that this popularity is due to 435’s eclectic design, which draws heavily on classic Americana. There is a hatchet on the wall next to a Hot Wheels banner, both situated above the restaurant’s numerical name – which is brightly lit up.

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Image by Matt Bossons/That’s

Other design accents include a risqué neon light, surfboard, crocodile skull and foot-tall action figure of Greedo, from Star Wars. (We weren’t lying when we said the place was eclectic.)

The low lighting and casual atmosphere immediately suck us in, but we know what you’re thinking – how is the food?

The Food

We’ll get this out of the way right off the bat: The menu here is littered with gibberish translations and, if you can’t read Chinese, you’d be wise to visit with a Chinese friend. To be fair, 435’s staffers are helpful and do their best to describe items, but we find that lots gets lost in translation.

We decide to order the ‘Périgord truffle foie gras beef burger’ (RMB98), ‘French oil seal duck leg burger’ (actual menu name, RMB68) and two beverages – Drake’s Brewing’s ‘Extra Brut’ and Cigar City’s ‘After Sesh’ – from 435’s craft beer selection.

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Image by Matt Bossons/That’s

The truffle and foie gras burger does not disappoint and lives up to expectations (as it should, considering the price). The foie gras imbues the black-bun burger with its trademark richness, while the gold leaf-topped truffle paste blends well with the savory beef and processed cheese. Also featuring are lettuce and green apple slices, the latter of which adds to the dynamic range of flavors and helps elevate the burger to near-legendary status.

The bizarrely translated duck burger is where everything goes south. Also set within a black bun, this sandwich arrives packed with lettuce, apple slices and a whole duck leg – bones still in. 

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Image by Matt Bossons/That’s

Unquestionably a hassle, the only way to properly eat this thing is to cut the meat off the duck’s leg bones and reinsert it into the burger. The process is frustrating and the end result is an anticlimactic burger that we would not order again – despite its passable taste profile. (Pro tip, duck lovers: Stick to 13Factories’ epic minced duck burger.)

Although we do not try it, 435’s ‘caramel bacon sausage burger’ (RMB48) looks almost as annoying to eat, if the menu’s photos are any indication. The ‘American classic beef burger’ (RMB68), on the other hand, looks true to form.

The Vibe

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Image by Matt Bossons/That’s

Despite our bony mishap with the duck burger, as well as the menu’s high prices and poor translations, we genuinely enjoy our visit to 435. Most of our intrigue with the place can probably be chalked up to the trendy design and ambience – although it’s worth noting the staff are friendly and the music decent.

Price: RMB150
Who’s going: selfie snappers, carnivorous types
Good for: bony surprises, a darn good foie gras burger
Nearest metro: Tiyu Xilu (Exit B), 10 minutes’ walk

Open daily, 11.30am-10pm; see listing for 435.

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