Burgers Worth Burppling

Burgers Worth Burppling

Where the simple formula of a patty between buns takes the form of impressively "nomelicious" things.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

Crammed this beauty in after my Moderna booster because I knew I’d be slurping porridge the day after.
The SmokeShack has replaced the Shackburger as my favourite at this popular chain. Love the juiciness, heat and acidity from the cooked cherry peppers as well as the slices of applewood-smoked bacon. They add lots of texture to contrast with the sauced up soft beef patty and buns.

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(Tasting)
Step aside McSpicy. The “Indian Fried Chicken Burger” ($18 for a single thigh, $21 for two) is everything you lovers of spicy fried chicken didn’t know you needed in your life. So of course, this mindblower deserves a standalone post.
As explained by the earnest and very lovely Yuji (@cocktailmahout), Founder of @elephantroomsg, the ridiculously flavourful, juicy and tender chicken thigh meat is the result of being brined for two days in Indian buttermilk (a concoction steeped in fennel, green chili, curry leaves) and then marinated in garlic and ginger. In contrast is the most shattering of crunchy battered coatings I have come across. Then there’s what the fried chicken thighs get dressed in. There’s curry aioli, gunpowder spice and pickled onions - all in spot-on proportions. The explosion of deliciousness can hardly be contained between the soft brioche buns, which by the way, are toasted not in butter, but ghee - a crucial ingredient in Indian cooking.
It seems a few customers have requested to have the fried chicken sans buns, but I highly recommend enjoying the whole burger as it’s meant to be. A lot of thought and effort went into creating and perfecting this stunner.

P.S. I really loved it with the “Pina Rasam” cocktail ($24).

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@burgerlabo’s latest creation goes by the name of #BagaSando. Christened by @foodiebouba, it’s a hybrid of the Wasei-eigo (which means "Japanese-made English") version of the words: “burger”and “sandwich”. And the product is exactly that, on top of being buttery soft madness.
A construct of genuine cleverness, it has A5 Toriyama Wagyu Tenderloin cut into slices of even thickness, so there’s more surface area that gets to hit the grill, which translates to multi-fold oomph between those pillowy soft buns by @bakerybrera. This also gives Chef @markerpenn plenty of space to slather on his 3-month-old housemade beef garum with vinegar and fermented mustard seeds, and red wine jus. Interspersing the perfectly-cooked Wagyu with all these is brilliant because although the cut of beef isn’t the fatty sort, the tang and crunch from the additions create more excitement on the palate.
At $88 before tax, the Bagasando is not exactly cheap but you do get what you pay for.

Note: I wolfed this down in the car right outside Naked Finn, immediately after picking it up because I believe that is when it tastes the best.

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The legendary Sanger ($21.40 nett) from @burntends_sg isn’t diminished by travel time. Its smart construct allows this slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich to hold up really well even as a takeaway. Those cheddar cheese-embellished brioche buns are soft yet they can withstand the onslaught of tender meat lavished in plenty of chipotle aioli, pickled jalapeños and purple cabbage slaw, and let me assure you, those come together as a mighty force of tastiness.
Bought a few for lunch today and my parents who tried it for the first time, loved it too.

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Some time ago, @kevin_the_hiak had mentioned to me that his friend and ex-colleague, Chef @sebastiansjl whom I’ve also met, was starting his own cafe. Then recently, I began seeing via Instagram Stories, @fionatingx frequent this charming cafe near her home that serves tempting looking food. I put two and two together and realised it was one and the same. So yesterday, T.H. and I dropped by there to have a quick lunch.
The cafe is tucked away in “The Yards at Joo Chiat” (it used to be a school many, many years ago if I am not wrong) and has a lovely laidback feel. We chose to sit indoors but there is seating outside as well. Right next to the cafe is a magnificent Kapok Tree said to be more than eighty years old.
It took a while to decide what to order as many items in their menu beckoned. Eventually, the Breakfast Burger ($20) won. Mostly because I saw it contains scrambled eggs and I know for a fact Head Chef Sebastian does a most excellent one. Sealing the deal was the knowledge that the pork sausage patty is also made in-house.
What a winner this Breakfast Burger turned out to be. Bigger than I’d expected, the ratio of all the components was 100% on point. While the signature scrambled eggs was a fat cushion of creamy silkiness (it’s every bit as perfect as I remember!), the pork sausage patty was thick, juicy and tastily-seasoned. Even the amount of caramelised onions, ketchup and mayo in between those toasted brioche buns was perfect - not too much, not too little. I highly recommend ordering this.
We plan to return soon. Not just because it is conveniently located to where we live but honestly, there are many more items on their menu we want to try.

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Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the “Laksa Lobster Burger”!
Available NOW, this limited edition, saucy seafood sensation is a collab between myself and the team at @meatsmith.xpress.sg. Shocking, I know since I don’t cook 😆 But after intense brainstorming, R&D-ing and taste-testing with Head Chef @kurt.sombero and his team (thank you guys for being so patient), we’ve come up with a burger that I hope you will enjoy. Allow me break it down for you:

1. Customised brioche buns by Head Baker @tart-tatin and the @burntends.bakery_sg team with a smear of chilli butter.
2. Laksa sauce made from scratch - There’s plenty of it.
3. Tandoor-roasted lobster tail - The smoky, springy and succulent chunks give a really satisfying mouthfeel.
4. Crispy cubes of pork fat because I love me a little lard.
5. Basket-grilled bean sprouts - Often found in a bowl of #laksa, the vegetable is prepared in an alternative way to complement the burger.
6. Laksa leaf and marinated cucumber - More laksa ingredients represent! And they add oomph and a refreshing crunch.

On the side is a heap of crunchy-fried rice noodles seasoned with laksa leaf and prawn powder, plus a belachan aioli dip to use as you please.

Get your hands on this limited edition burger today by tapping on the link-in-bio on Meatsmith Xpress’ or my Instagram account:

http://xpress.meatsmith.com.sg/

P.S. I am not making money out of this. It is purely my honour to be invited as a Guest Chef and besides, I knew it would be fun creating something really tasty with Chef Kurt and the Meatsmith LittleIndia / Xpress team 😄

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I returned to @miznonsg within 4 days of my first meal there because their food is too irresistible. Plus I wanted T.H. to give it a try. Almost regretted bringing the man because he ended up stealing my “Folded Cheeseburger”! Yup, Executive Chef @orhakmimi made it so ridiculously delicious T.H. refused to return it to me after taking one bite 😂 Blame it on the juicy housemade beef patty cooked on the plancha to a perfect medium-rare pink, and the brilliant lacey, crispy sheet of cheese that half-wrapped it. Also contributing to the magnificence - fresh tomato, sour cream, aioli, pickles, a fried egg with a proper runny yolk and the fluffiest pita. Everything about this $22 #burger, as unconventional as it sounds, made it incredible.
In case you are wondering, nope, I didn’t go hungry because I simply took over the “Abu Kebab” I had ordered for him. And it was as gooooooood as the first time.
But I am definitely returning for Miznon’s “Folded Cheeseburger” 🤤🤤🤤

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G I F T
For someone who only recently learned to appreciate and enjoy lamb, I must say, I found this LIMITED EDITION Lamb Burger ($18) by @burntends_sg’s Executive Chef @patrick_leano, very good.
Top marks for how tender he got those double lamb patties. And whatever subtle gaminess my sensitive nose picked up, the luscious feta and mint aioli he loaded on, in and all over, did the trick of neutralising it. Needless to say, the soft #burger bun by Burnt Ends Bakery’s Head Baker @tart_tatin was the bronze gloriousness (barely) holding everything together.

Available only via online order, it is the first collab of the “Guest Chef Series” by @ms.xpress.sg (they are part of @meatsmith_sg). Tomorrow’s the last day you can get your hands on it, so hesitate and you’re too late.

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Did I hesitate to take up my friend Dinesh’s standing offer of feeding my craving during my recuperation from Dengue, regardless of what it might be? Nope! 😊
And that’s how I found myself, slightly shaky with joy, clutching a Double Patty “ShackBurger” last Sunday evening. Thank you Dinesh for this meal delivery - you made me very, very happy 🤗🤗.
I threw myself at my burger with a mixture of slight disbelief at my luck and the thrill of a dream coming true. And almost shed a tear of joy at first bite. The smoky char of the tender, juicy beef patties, salty melted cheese, incredibly soft buns, crisp lettuce, sweet tomatoes and just the right amount of sauce... it was unadulterated ambrosia for this hungry lady.

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Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed by @momstouch.sg fried chicken BUT their burgers were a different story. Definitely enjoyed them way more.
Coming in top of the three I tried was the “Mom’s Thigh Burger” (try and ignore the sounds-so-wrong name). Even with the time it took for the delivery to reach me, the piece of fried chicken remained crunchy and was terrifically juicy and tender. Crammed in between the buns with it was a hefty amount of fresh crisp lettuce, a few slices of raw onions (major love for the heat they add!), pickles and housemade spicy sauce. Together, they tasted really satisfying.
In second place for me was the
“Deep Cheese Burger” ($6.80). Rather than sliced cheese, a housemade cheese sauce was used. It reminded me of the kind you dip nachos in. I think if it weren’t for the pickles and fresh lettuce, this could be quite “jelak”, so it’s great they found a way to balance it out.
The third-placed burger (only because it’s so big I had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite 😅😂) was the “Incredible Chicken Burger” ($9.80). With ham, a fried egg, pickles, plenty of crisp iceberg lettuce stacked on the fried chicken thigh, it was a fully loaded thing. There’s quite a bit of sauce but like an efficient sheepdog, it herded all the components to form a hugely flavourful bite.

Thanks again @sakeambrosia for treating me to this meal.

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Launched less than a week ago at @nakedfinn, the Blue Cod Fish Burger ($17) is what you could call an “atas” (premium) version of the Filet-o-fish by you-know-who. I feel it is the sauce that brings everything together to make this burger so craveable. Think of it as a gregarious social butterfly, lubricating the conversation between the crunchy, thick slab of blue cod and the soft brioche buns (from @bakerybrera of course). Composed of shio kombu, white wine vinegar for acidity and some pickled chillies for a quiet heat, the sauce also incorporates avocado for a lascivious va-va-voom voluptuousness.
You can reel a couple of these golden beauties to enjoy by tapping on the link in @nakedfinn’s bio on Instagram.
Islandwide delivery is available but if you have a car, why not swing by to pick up and experience their contactless drive-thru service?

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T R E A T
Inspired by the burgers they ate during their trip to New York, Zac and BX soft-launched @dirtybunsg about a week ago. They pride themselves in hand-grinding the beef for patties, using their own ratio of fat to chuck and brisket. For me, it’s this that sets their burger apart. Because they strive for coarseness over a fine mince, there is an almost steak-like quality to their patties. Very well seasoned (a little heavy-handed some might say but I am happy with the strong pepper element), and topped with properly melted cheese, the patties did arrive a tad overcooked (likely due to traveling time, just like the lettuce tucked in there), but I still enjoyed my Dirty Bun burger a lot.
The Single Patty version ($8 / $11 as a meal with handcut fries and a Coke) is alright if you have a small appetite. But to truly appreciate the effort these guys put in for their handmade-from-scratch patties, I say go straight for the Double ($11 / $14 for the meal). Also because the buns are more “bready” than brioche, I feel they perform better in the company of extra meat.
I requested for the housemade sauce (it’s really well-balanced and tasty!) to be served on the side, so I could add on how much I want (a smidgen is my preferred). Plus I get turned off by sauce-soaked soggy buns, something I’ve encountered in the past with other delivered burgers.
One thing’s for sure, Dirty Buns offers very good value-for-money food. Do #supportlocalsg business by checking them out if you are into patties of a chunky-meat chew.

Follow me on Instagram (@veronicaphua) for richer content of videos and Stories! 😊

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