Classic diners serve up a ‘blast from the past’ on Jeddah Season’s City Walk
JEDDAH: Two classic 1950s Hong Kong-themed dining options have made their way to Jeddah Season’s grand theme park, City Walk.
With vintage music playing in the background, staff in “soda jerk” uniforms, and a one-page menu of burgers, fries, and shakes, Burger Circus offers visitors a “blast from the past” experience.
Burger Circus and Butter’s Patisserie arrived on May 5 and will remain for the two months of Jeddah’s season.
Both outlets are owned by Black Sheep, a Chinese company that has about 35 restaurants in Hong Kong and one in Shanghai.
Black Sheep COO Jonathan Leung explained the concept behind the two outlets, adding that it is “an honor” to operate in Jeddah.
“Burger Circus is an American restaurant from the 1950s. One of the co-founders of Black Sheep, Christopher Mark, grew up in Toronto, Canada, and his family owned restaurants, so he spent a lot of time and grew up in a restaurant,” he said.
“So it’s a bit of nostalgic childhood memories. He always wanted to open a restaurant.
In an American restaurant, Leung said, the menu has a wide range of choices for breakfast, lunch or dinner. “We just wanted to focus on just two burgers, but in an American restaurant theme,” he said.
Burger Circus also offers two side dishes, two milkshakes (vanilla and chocolate) and two drinks on its menu.
“We want to bring good food and good stories to Jeddah; we just want to do that,” he said.
“People in Jeddah or Saudi Arabia are open-minded to try new things. There’s room for everything here, we love it here,” he added.
Speaking of Butter, Leung said the background story is about a single mother with two children, who works very hard at a restaurant to make ends meet.
“She is strong and generous, but she is also very sassy. It’s Butter, he said.
“Burger Circus and Butter go together and go very well together, it kind of comes from the same era; diners prefer the classic American cake,” he added.
Luke Barry, Leylaty Group Culinary Director, worked with Black Sheep in Hong Kong for six years.
“I’ve always loved Black Sheep restaurants. We have a very good relationship, so I thought Jeddah Season was a good opportunity to bring them here,” he said.
“They have 30 to 35 restaurants, niche burger restaurants that are very strong and conceptualized, and Saudi Arabia has a lot of room for what they do. They have amazing restaurants, from casual to premium to Michelin star,” he added.
Barry said they tried to replicate Hong Kong’s Burger Circus in Jeddah as much as possible.
“We spent 16 hours painting a wall (which is identical to the Hong Kong branch), the exact posters you find in Hong Kong, and the uniform is almost exactly the same,” Barry said.
“It was very important for us to use the exact same playlist, to bring Hong Kong’s Burger Circus here,” he added.