Big Mac Tacos & More! 2 New Menus: The Hai & Tacolicious

By Sophie Steiner, December 2, 2023

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The Hai

Matty Waters is a name you might remember from when the now closed The Smokehouse x The Camel (RIP) was offering the tastiest bar food in the city (yeah, that was Matty’s doing).

Well, he's done it again, but this time at The Hai.

What used to be Kangaroo Bar – a neighborhood dive on Yongjia Lu – was acquired by new owners in 2020 and reopened as The Hai, a similarly easy-going watering hole with sports bar undertones.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

For years the joint didn’t have a food license, and was left allowing carry-in or hosting pop-ups, but all that changed this past season when they welcomed consulting chef Matty on board to launch a slew of comfort eats that rival the best of ‘em.

Think burgers, wings, sandos, pizzas, and bowls, with a whole lotta specials and deals (more on that later). 

Let’s start with the burgers. Burger porn to get your day going. You love to see it. Because The Hai’s burgers deliver the goods, and then some. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Situated at the cross section of Shake Shack and Five Guys, the Smash Burger (RMB58) is a masterfully executed rendition of the OG fast food burger of drunk choice-filled university nights of yore.

Covering all the bases – grilled onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo, and oh-so-much “secret burger sauce” – this is still one you can wrap your jaw around, taking it all in in one bite, thus proving bigger isn’t always better.

And, if it's more meat you're after, get a Double (RMB68) or Triple (RMB78) – the same toppings setup, just skewing the meat-to-accoutrement ratio with more patties. 

WechatIMG1083.jpegImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

Or, go for one of the other calorific combos, like the Cowboy BBQ Burger (RMB78) – a duo of beef patties stacked with bacon, cheese, zingy BBQ sauce, mayo and fried onions.

One bite, and an avalanche flows from between the two buns, coating each finger in molten meaty goodness.

It's not the most structurally sound sando the world has ever seen, but getting half of it all over your face is – well – half the fun. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Whether you're soaking up yesterday evening's booze or prepping your stomach for tonight, the Teriyakiyaki (RMB78) has got you covered.

A teriyaki-marinated beef patty with a togarashi fried egg that oozes down the side is souped up with fried onions, nose tingling wasabi mayo and a sprinkle of furikake seasoning.

For the vegetarians, the menu also offers three veggie burgers – the Fried Mushroom (RMB68), with Swiss, honey mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and pickled onions; the Make it Buffalo (RMB68), with fried oyster mushrooms, hot sauce and slaw; and the Black Bean Veggie (RMB68), with a black bean, lentil, chickpea, beetroot, mushroom, and smoked cauliflower patty, plus all the fixings. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

You’ll also find chicken burgers (or chicken sandwiches in a bun, if you want to get technical about it), like the Buffalo Fried Chicken (RMB68) – a behemoth of a breaded and fried chicken thigh, dripping with excess Buffalo sauce, atop a bucketload of mayo-thickened coleslaw, finished with pickles and ranch.

DSC01857.jpgGrilled Honey Mustard (RMB68), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

All burgers can add on fries for an additional RMB15. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As for more deliciousness between bread, there’s a handful of classic sandwiches and hot dogs, our personal favorite of which is the Pastrami Reuben (RMB78).

A textbook example of this American institution of a sammy sees house-cured pastrami, Swiss cheese, creamy coleslaw, Dijon, and a thick slathering of Russian dressing nestled inside toasted sourdough.

The poster child for the quip, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” this Reuben magnificently hits every note. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Missing Matty’s signature smoked meats?

The Not a Cuban (RMB68) satisfies that craving with mojo-marinated roasted and smoked pork belly in place of the more customary pork shoulder, thick-cut bacon instead of ham, as well as Swiss, homemade pickles and sauces, all pressed between a toasted hoagie bun. 

Meatball Sub (RMB78),
 Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

It’s not bar food without Chicken Wings (RMB55/5, RMB100/10), a mix of flats and drums, available drenched in your choice of *deep breath* Buffalo Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Korean Angry Sauce (a fiery cousin of gochujang), Teriyaki Sauce, PB&J Satay (a piquant crushed peanut paste, accompanied by a BBQ berry jelly for dipping), Honey Mustard, Garlic Parmesan, and Naked Crispy Fried.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Like a hands-friendly version of a twice baked potato-meets-poutine, the Bacon Cheese Loaded Fries (RMB58) are a cobbled together spread of bacon bits, ranch, a trio of cheeses, and scallions liberally coating an order of twice-fried fries.

Other loaded fries span Chili Cheese, Peanut Satay and Friet Special – with curry sauce, mayo and chopped onions. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Rounding out the roster, there are cracker crust pizzas – the charred edges acting as the ideal base for a slew of ingredients.

Case in point, the B-Boy Combo Pizza (RMB98) – red sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, banana peppers, parmesan and mozzarella…

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

… or the Four Cheese (RMB98), sporting a white sauce augmented by a quartet of cheeses – mozzarella, parmesan, Swiss, ricotta – dribbled with basil aioli and an herbaceous gremolata sauce. 

DSC01907.jpgGinger Pork Bowl (RMB68), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

'Tis the season for overeating, a task made easy with Matty’s two holiday specials, available every day through the end of the year. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

First up, the Turkey Sammy (RMB88) is what holiday leftover dreams are made of; a mash of stuffing and potato purée are molded into a patty and thrown on the flat top with turkey shmaltz.

Assembled with turkey, a shmear of cranberry jam, gooey Swiss, mayo, and crispy onions, this jaw-breaker is best enjoyed dunked in a smarmy gravy dip that brings together the entire Thanksgiving spread in one glorious bite. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The most ingenious makeup of a waffle we’ve sampled to date involves cramming as much stuffing into a waffle maker as humanly possible, slamming it shut, and letting the magic happen.

The result, a savory stuffing waffle, plated with an ice cream scoop’s worth of mash and gravy, a generous heaping of carved turkey and gravy, and cranberry jam on the side as the Turkey Waffle (RMB78).

WechatIMG1081.jpegChocolate Chip Cookie Pizza (RMB68)Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

If this star spread of elevated pub grub hasn’t enticed you enough already, The Hai’s got deals.

So many deals.

All the deals.

Every day of the week ending in ‘y.’ 

  • Monday is all about the BOGO burgers, plus all day draft beer happy hour

  • Tuesday offers half price wings and all day mixers happy hour

  • Wednesday is half price bowls plus RMB128 bottles of wine

  • Thursday sees any burger, fries and a drink for RMB88, plus trivia night with happy hour running until 10pm

  • Friday has half price appetizers from 4-6pm

Finally, there’s a daily 4-8pm happy hour on beers, wine and mixers.

The Hai, 35 Yongjia Ly, by Maoming Nan Lu, 永嘉路35号靠近茂名南路.


It’s not earth shattering news that Tacolicious makes the epitome of a damn great taco – living up to the restaurant’s cheeky tagline: ‘Making Tacos Great Again.’

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Well, co-owners Logan Brouse, Saira Shahzad and Thijs Oomens are at it again, this time with a streamlined menu for taco, burrito, and quesadilla fillings – dropping down from 16 options to eight, plus three seasonal filling flavors.

There is also a smattering of new salads, a deconstructed burrito bowl, fajitas, enchiladas, and – get this – some stellar burger offerings that have us crossing our fingers for a venue spinoff, Burgerlicious. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Starting off with the new Tex-Mex offerings, there’s Enchiladas (RMB78) and Fajitas (RMB98-108), each available with your choice of filling – marinated steak tenderloin, spice-rubbed and grilled chicken thigh, harissa mixed mushrooms, and grilled shrimp.

Or, if you can’t decide, there’s even an option to pick three of the four proteins for either meal.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The corn tortilla enchiladas come smothered in a fiery salsa roja, sheathed by a gooey layer of melted mozz and cheddar, while the Fajitas arrive sizzling, accompanied by Mexican fried rice, refried beans, salsa, flour tortillas and lime. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The greatest menu change sees the aforementioned burger upgrade, a necessity that grew from the cult following for the until now Wednesday-only Smash Burger (RMB68) – two in-house ground, griddle-fried beef patties consisting of a sirloin steak, chuck and brisket mix, with the addition of gooey cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles on a homemade toasted bun.  

The people have spoken.

The Tacolicious gods have listened.

And now every day is burger day for the smash burger lovers of Shanghai.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Also on the burger menu is the Birria Burger (RMB68), an open-faced patty perched atop a heaping scoop of shredded lamb shoulder and beef birria, a moat of Oaxacan-spiced birria jus soaking into every nook and cranny of the toasted bun  like a burger ahogado, if such a thing existed.

The final homerun is a gloopy nacho-cheese like sauce, gluey and dense in the most gluttonous of ways. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Chef Thij’s Chili Cook-Off award winning secret recipe chili con carne has also found a new home, stirred together with copious quantities of that lick-the-plate-clean cheese sauce, this time between two buns as the Chili Cheese Burger (RMB68).

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Is it a burger?

Is it a taco?

It’s neither and both at the same time.

Meet the illustrious Big Mac Tacos (RMB68), a Frankenfeast of a creation that stemmed from reverse engineering an actual Big Mac using Tacolicious’ special modus operandi.

The result is a smash patty glued to a stretchy, sesame seed-speckled naan-tortilla hybrid, finished with pickles, shredded lettuce and Big Mac sauce (the secret ingredient of which is dehydrated then rehydrated onion – who knew?)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

It’s undeniably the nostalgia-inducing flavors of a Big Mac, just in taco form.

Like all burgers, these Big Mac Tacos are also served with fries and a side salad, included in the price. No surprise fees here. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Tacolicious is also branching into the world of salads, with health-conscious offerings like the Smoked Salmon Salad (RMB75), Marinated Steak Tenderloin Salad (RMB75), Grilled Chicken (RMB68), and Harissa Mixed Mushroom (RMB68).


Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Similarly, in place of the previously offered Taco Bowl, the Burrito Bowl (RMB78) has made its debut, a more veg-forward meal sans the fried taco shell bowl.

Encircling a sour cream-filled avocado half, diners can mix and match Mexican fried rice, refried beans, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, a bean-corn-cheese salad, and diner’s choice of protein (chili, fried fish, harissa mixed mushrooms or grilled chicken), all atop mixed greens.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The ‘lazy man’s’ alternative to the beloved chicken wing, the Popcorn Chicken Bombs (RMB60/6, RMB110/12, RMB200/24) are boneless wing meat – lollipopped and stripped from the bone – then battered, fried, and doused in your choice of wing sauce.

The menu is set to launch around Christmas, a holiday gift from Pancho Claus himself, aka the Tex Mex Santa. And Christmas can’t come soon enough, as it will also see the launch of an upgraded brunch menu, available every Saturday-Sunday from 11am-3pm. 

The classics, like RMB40 tacos, RMB50 quesadillas, and RMB55 burritos will remain, but newcomers will also be included in the lineup (think Eggs Benedict Tostada (RMB68), Huevos Rancheros (RMB58), Sweet Heat Fried Chicken & Waffles (RMB68) and more).

Brunch is also still accompanied by one of the best free flow deals in town – RMB150 for four hours of Mexican Mules, Frozen Margaritas, Corona and Tacolicious Pilsner.

You just can’t afford not to. 

Tacolicious, Room 104-105, 34 Yuyao Lu, by Xikang Lu, 余姚路34号1幢104-105室, 近西康路.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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