Burgs 'n' Rolls

Burgs 'n' Rolls

Lobster Rolls, Hotdog buns, Burgers of all sorts. You name it, I have it!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Had read quite a fair bit about their MS Cheeseburger — especially so after their launch of Meatsmith Xpress which has brought upon us their attractive promotions of $10 burgers for self-pickup; would be lying if I said I wasn’t camping out for its launch at Campbell Lane since I usually notice that the promotion happens at the Telok Ayer branch more often.

Found my itchy fingers preordering one via Oddle when I noticed that the $10 promotion is applicable to the Campbell Lane outlet — made a self-pickup since the workplace was near enough; the burger was still warm when I unpacked everything for the photo. There it is; the MS Cheeseburger with the Double Beef Brisket Patties, American Sliced Cheddar Cheese, House Pickles, Burger Sauce and Housemade Potato Buns in full glory. I really liked how the MS Cheeseburger sits between that messy and sinfully good burger without being particularly “informal” — the double beef brisket patty was done with a pinkish centre; especially loved how there weren’t any fatty or veiny bits while the patties are flavourful without being greasy nor gamey. The patty is sufficiently firm to each bite; doesn’t feel crumbly yet maintained juiciness. A cheeseburger isn’t complete without American Sliced Cheddar Cheese; that stark yellow, melted goodness provides just that right level of savouriness without overpowering the patty, while the pickles carries a refreshing crunch and a tangy note to neutralise all that meatiness — the burger sauce seemingly also carried a slight tanginess (Worcestershire Sauce?) that gives a slight contrast. And those Potato Buns — really liked how these were sufficiently dense and not too airy; still had that fluff” and still soft without feeling limp. Opted for the addition of smoked bacon at $3 extra because I wasn’t quite ready to pay an add-on if $8 for fries — a great addition since I loved that sort of crisp, savoury bacon that it is here.

Grabbed the usual Kopi from Generation Coffee since Tekka Market since it was just a stone’s throw away from Meatsmith. And yes, I did pick-up and finished eating lunch within an hour — just so if you are wondering.

Its needless to say how Meatsmith Xpress’s MS Cheeseburger has gotten quite the hype over social media these days — I couldn’t agree further; perhaps one of the top few cheeseburgers I have had thus far. Loved it’s handy size, whilst being easy to eat yet refined — nothing too messy despite its sinful looks. Truth to be told; I am actually quite stoked to try the other burgers that they have on the $10 self-pickup menu now — perhaps one of the things we ought to appreciate with dine-ins not being an option …

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Quite coincidental how I actually found myself having both the Classic 001 Burger from Wildfire Burgers and the Basic Burger from BurgerLabo on the same week — the former being the item which I had on a Monday for lunch starting the week, and the former for dinner on a Friday to end off the work week.

There is someone whom I know who asked me about the two — and I must say that the opinion given by that person is rather accurate even. The Basic Burger here is one that comes with that extra bit of finesse; and little wonder to that because it has to be — at $25 for just the single patty option, the Basic Burger commands a higher price tag even when compared to those of the same at cafes and bistros alike. It features elements a mix of Argentinian beef and Japanese Wagyu in its patty — already pretty noteworthy for a “basic” burger, and comes with condiments such as pickled red onions, American cheese, Wagyu fats, Shio Kombu Mayo-based sauce and buns sourced from Bakery Brera (yes, that bakery at Farrer Road).

For one, there are many other burgers that taste pretty good when it comes to individual elements, but the whole experience isn’t quite as integrated as how a burger should have been — the BurgerLabo Basic Burger does very well at being an entire experience of its own though; soft, fluffy buns, while the beef patty is incredibly well-done with its melt-in-the-mouth texture — crusted on the exterior, but comes with a good proportion of lean parts against fattier cuts that gives it a good bite, whilst being tender and having the juices locked in, tasty without being particularly gamey. The onions provide a slight zing that cuts through the savouriness of the melted cheese, and the mayo helps to add a creaminess to the burger that binds everything together. The entire burger feels harmonious as one — a gastronomical experience despite being just a simple cheeseburger; a well-rounded creation despite its fuss-free nature as compared to other burgers offering more adventurous flavours or combinations. The accompanying fries comes with shaved parmesan and a drizzle of truffle oil by default — flavour-wise these comes very close to PS Cafe’s famed truffle fries, but I would say that these are definitely more crisp and appetising.

So back to the two burgers I have had in a single week — it is undeniable that both have their loyal following, and that is because how despite the Classic 001 Burger from Wildfire Burgers and the Basic Burger from BurgerLabo sounding like they come off the same breed, they are two different burgers that cater to a different audience. Between the two, BurgerLabo’s version comes with more finesse; akin to the sort of burger that people who usually likes having their burgers with knives and forks will really love — it feels like the more grown-up version of the two with, and is something that matured audiences may like for its balance. The Classic 001 Burger from Wildfire Burgers is the one that youngsters and hipsters alike would prefer; something that is “messier” with a bit more “sin” involved — a grubbier affair in general, and not forgetting how it is also the more affordable of the two. I wouldn’t attempt to even say “pick your poison”, but if one must, then they would have to try both of them to experience each establishment’s take of the most quintessential burger of them all.

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Carne has garnered much of a hype of social media leading up to the opening of its space at Telok Ayer Road — with the concept being brought by a chef who is ranked 1st in the world in the World 50 Best Restaurants 2019, there is much to expect from what they have to offer purely on the credentials alone.

There are other more exciting offerings on the menu, such as the Beef and Chimichurri Burger and Veggie Burger, but we found ourselves going for the Classic Burger for we were craving for something simple, and looking to share a smaller item given how we stuffed ourselves pretty badly at Le Matin Patisserie before heading here. Featuring elements such as Butter Bun, Natural Grass-Fed Beef, Local Oak Lettuce, Organic Tomato and Organic Red Onion, one could tell that Carne places a lot of emphasis on the freshness of the produce here. Liked how the butter bun here is soft and fluffy — light in texture but still sufficiently dense without being too airy; lightly buttered for flavour, while the various condiments being all fresh with the tomatoes providing a refreshing, juicy tang while the onions were sliced thinly for a zingy crunch and the leafy greens dressed in a thousand island dressing sans the creaminess balancing things out between the carbs and meaty elements. The beef patty was done exceptionally well; medium-rare with a pinkish centre — slightly smoky, aptly savoury with all the juiciness of the meat locked within, and being simply on-point being tightly-packed with a good bite and a consistent texture free or fatty or veiny bits.

Whilst opting for a set is a hefty upgrade at $10.00 for a side of fries and soft drink/mineral water, do go for the Triple Cooked Agria Fries as a ala-carte side at $8.90 to share if dining with a friend and if drinks isn’t a must-order — to call these fries are probably illegal given how these were thickly-cut like chips. Exceptionally crisp with its shattering golden brown batter on the exterior, the chips are especially addictive when had with their hot sauce; a more piquant concoction than the usual chili sauce that tingles the taste buds.

A meal at Carne isn’t particularly cheap — especially when consider it’s almost fast-food/casual diner setup that some may call it a more upscale Shake Shack in terms of the ambience; most burgers do cost upwards of $18 (except the Veggie Burger and the Junior Cheese Burger; the latter being the lowest-priced at $13), not to mention the hefty price to add fries and soft drinks/mineral water to make it a set. That being said, Carne probably is the burger joint that nails everything down right from their burgers to their fries to the drink — the meal is utterly satisfying despite not being particularly affordable; a spot I would visit once in a blue moon should I splurge on an exceptionally good burger, almost akin to BurgerLabo to a certain extent. Still, somewhere worth checking out if one is willing to part with the money for some seriously stellar burgers!

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Tried it for the first time during Phase 1 re-opening in the post-Circuit Breaker period, and the Shabu Burger has become pretty much my go-to order here ever since (there is probably one occasion that I gave this up for the Eggstarter — another burger which I was actually pretty impressed with).

Some may argue that the Shabu Burger isn’t quite a burger — the lack of an actual patty with the burger being served with beef slices instead; but that’s also the same reason why I liked it for how it’s not as heavy as a typical burger. Featuring elements such as Black Angus Beef Shabu, Yakiniku Sauce, Bunashimeiji Mushroom, Spanish Onion in between Brioche Buns, the Shabu Burger may not be the contender for the burger with the most impressive stature (thick patties and well-decked out components), but this certainly wins big on flavours. I always liked how the buns are light and fluffy; slightly toasted and buttered for a bit of flavour that isn’t too sinful, but compliments the beef slices that is marinated in Yakiniku Sauce so well — a balance of sweet and saltish notes. The sliced beef comes with some Bunshimeiji Mushrooms in the middle — gives a bouncy bite amidst a slight hint of earthiness, while the sliced onions provide a slight zing when one chews on a slice that cuts through the flavour bomb of the burger itself. Wasn’t quite into the fries the previous time I had it, but was told to go for the add-on for they seemed to have improved on them since then; definitely way better being crisp and well-seasoned with paprika and other spices for a distinct note similar to cajun.

Waiting time was a little long on the day of our visit, and that beef slices were kinda stuck into a clump of meat as opposed to what we have had previously; slightly off but not too bothersome — perhaps they are trying to get used to the operations after the renovation considering they had transitioned to table service recently amongst other changes. Still, Wildfire Burgers is a place we always look forward to visiting just for the occasional splurge; the burgers aren’t too pricey anyway to begin with (with most single portion options falling below $15 for the burger alone) — and the Shabu Burger is certainly a unique burger that I would find myself going for again and again ...

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There is always something about the Tebing Lane neighbourhood that leaves me wanting to return back for more — and between cafes Whisk & Paddle and Fat Po, I seemingly have a preference for the latter. Perhaps it has something got to do with its quirky name, and maybe it has something got to do with the cuisine that they serve, or the execution of the food, but Fat Po is seemingly the spot I will eventually end up visiting instead.

Fish burgers are pretty much of a rare breed, so the Masala Breaded Fish Bolo Burger is an item on the menu that is worth the mention. Baking their Bolo Buns in-house, the Bolo Bun deserves a mention despite being pretty much a vehicle to put the word “burger” in the item’s name — the crackling layer on the exterior carries a wafting buttery aroma that is also aptly sweet, while the bread comes with enough fluff and tension that remains relatively light throughout. While the breaded fish is pretty much generic and seemed reasonably flaky, the golden-brown breading remains crisp, and the fried item felt not too greasy overall — the breaded fish being dressed with a masala sauce over the top that taste like a more saltish variant of rempah spices that provides a flavoural punch and a spicy kick that most should be able to handle; and also came with a slice of tomato and julienned cucumbers that attempts to cut through the heaviness with its zestiness and a refreshing crunch. The Bolo Burger comes accompanied with shoestring fries which are decently seasoned with a good amount of salt for flavour, and garden greens by the side for a more wholesome look and feel.

Given the type of food they have to offer, Fat Po is a spot that seems to do Asian fusion cuisine relatively well — there is quite a fair bit of innovation and creativity in the dishes that they serve up, such as the Mapo Tofu Fries and the Bolo Burger line up. Pretty glad that their food had maintained consistency over the years too — a spot which does more or less come to mind whenever around the Punggol area looking for cafe fare that is a little off the ordinary.

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Dropped by the new 5 by San Façon over the weekend — not just for one of the two days, but for both days; can’t get over how the F&B establishment is being set in the tranquil and laid back neighbourhood of The Oval at Seletar Aerospace Park hidden away from the buzzier restaurants such as The Summerhouse/Wildseed Cafe and Wheelers Estate, being situated in a black-and-white house tucked further towards the middle of the entire district.

While 5 by Sans Façon is an establishment with a French influence in the cuisine that they serve, there are a few items which are offered on the menu that comes with an American influence. The Revisited New York Hotdog is just one of those items; featuring Brioche Bun, Onion Confit, Sauerkraut, Jalapeño and Mustard, the item also comes with thick-cut fries accompanied on the side. This is indeed comfort food served with finesse — the brioche bun was light and fluffy, yet crusted on the exterior being lightly toasted, while the chicken hotdog was soft, bouncy and juicy without being overly saltish. Accompanied with jalapeños, sauerkraut and onion confit, the condiments provided a mix of very slight spiciness, sweetness and tanginess that helps to ante up the flavour profile of the entire dish, whilst giving it varying degrees of crunch for a contrast in texture; the mustard providing an earthy note that cuts through the heaviness of both the hotdog and bread. The thick-cut fries were also delicious; crisp on the exterior and provided a good bite; it was well-seasoned with salt, whilst not being greasy.

Given how new the establishment is, there are slight teething problems with the service at times — none of which too concerning. One thing that I love absolutely about this place though is the vibes; the European-style interior fits that setting of the black-and-white house completely — a very homey look and feel that is absolutely charming and makes one feel less compelled to leave given how comfy it is. Pretty impressed with the food served here too, though portions are on the bigger side. Certainly a spot recommended to make a special visit for; great for dates too — will be back again for more!

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Headed down to the recently opened Prawn Noodle Bar; a new F&B establishment which had opened its doors at Duxton Hill along the same row of shophouses where Xiao Ya Tou and Flor Patisserie are located — the establishment places a focus on serving up dishes that feature prawns as either a main ingredient, or a sub ingredient.

While most would probably either go for the Prawn Noodle Soup or Prawn Noodle Dry which is pretty much their signature items here, it was the Ebi Burger which caught my eye — the mention of a handmade Deep Fried Prawn Patty certainly captured my attention given I am one who absolutely enjoys the Ebi Rice Burger from MOS Burger for the prawn patty. The prawn patty comes all crispy on the exterior, coming coated with a breaded, golden-brown batter — the insides featuring chunky bits of prawns which carried the natural sweetness of the said ingredient which was pretty flavourful and had a good bite. Otherwise, I do feel that the burger is pretty much served on the safe side — comes with condiments such as cheddar cheese, mayo based sauce and cabbage; felt a tad boring especially given the price and how the establishment had set themselves up to be, perhaps needing a more fusion twist for a stronger impact. The accompanying fries were pretty good however; crisp and fluffy, whilst being well-seasoned with salt for flavour.

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From the newly-revamped Clove at Swissotel The Stamford; formerly being a buffet restaurant, the establishment has transformed into a casual diner due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and places a focus of serving up burgers and milkshakes instead.

The Sinfully Swiss consists of elements such as Stanbroke Angus Beef Patty, Crisp Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Mushrooms, and Homemade Bourbon BBQ sauce, and with a choice of Brioche Bun, Farm Fresh Kale Sourdough Bun or wrap. Opted for the Kale Sourdough Bun with our order; the sourdough bun was surprisingly light and fluffy — something different from the usually dense and chewy sourdough that requires some effort to chew apart, while the Kale does provide a slight “green” note that one would associate with leafy greens within the bun, though the bun does lack that slight tanginess usually associated with sourdough from the fermentation process. The entire burger felt like a well put-together piece; a classic cheeseburger with a well-executed beef patty — easy to chew and absolutely juicy and savoury without being gamey, all that well matched with the slight cheesiness from the cheddar cheese and the saltish notes of the bacon typical of cured meat, which also helped to add a crisp texture to the burger with the bouncy mushrooms which gave an earthy flavour. Liked how the burger was pretty well-proportioned across the various condiments; a good balance of different texture and flavours without being soaked with the juices of the meat. The fries on the side were crisp and well-seasoned; not particularly greasy and came with dehydrated kale chips for a slight crunch and balance of flavours.

Given the environment and it’s large dining hall, Clove does work out as a great spot for burgers in a slightly posh surrounding (the glass sky roof contributes much to that vibe here) that works out well for both catch-ups and dates alike, though it only opens on Fridays to Sundays likely owing to the footfall in the area. Still, a pretty good spot to consider to dine at especially if around Raffles City.

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Visited Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee’s new space within the shophouse located at 446 Joo Chiat Road — the cafe was formerly situated within Katong Point, and is one of my favourite hideouts apart from Brawn & Brains within the same neighbourhood given the underground vibes of their former space.

The revamped space is now brighter and a whole lot more Scandinavian as opposed to that of their former location even despite the use of the very same furniture as they had previously, but I am glad that they are still serving up almost the same selection of food and drinks as before. This was an item that I have had my eyes on for quite a while; something which was also unfortunately sold out during my last visit. Going for the chicken bratwurst option (the beef was already sold out when we arrived), there is simply no regrets for this one. It’s a really simple deal here; toasted bread roll, egg mayo spiked with truffle, and a chicken bratwurst in the middle — nothing too complicated nor hidden; really enjoyed that fluffy and light toasted bread that is slightly crusted which holds are firmly to every bite, while the chicken bratwurst comes with a good snappiness as one chews on the meat. The sausage comes just nicely saltish; all that being well complimented by the truffle egg mayo — a mix that was not too creamy, yet carries a whiff of truffle that helps to ante up the flavour profile of the egg mayo without overwhelming the other elements of the entire dish.

Simple as it is, but very satisfying — the Bjorn’s Truffle Egg Mayo Hot Dawg is much like the other items I had tried from their menu; a dish that is pretty straight-up in the face with the elements that they use without trying to be too fancy nor pretentious. Congratulations to the folks behind Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee on the opening of their new space; definitely coming back for more of the Hot Dawg buns, as well as giving that Cheese Pepperoni Pizza Bagel a try soon!

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Checked out The Corner Grill quite a while ago; a new F&B establishment that had recently opened its doors in the Ann Siang neighbourhood, specialising in grilled meats and seafood — there is also an entire section of the menu dedicated to burgers, which are also recommended by the wait staff here.

Some may think ordering a fish burger might be defeating the purpose here, considering that the beef burgers sport beef patties that are ground in-house and hand-formed by the chef himself, but it’s a rather daring and adventurous move for any establishment to serve grilled fish in their burgers considering how delicate that composition sounds. Featuring elements such as Pommery-marinated Patagonian Toothfish, Baby Roma Tomatoes, Lemony Herb Mayo in between Parmesan Buns, patrons can choose to opt for either Fries or Lemon Capers Potatoes which we went for the latter.

This was one burger that really went very well as an entire package — something that is meant to be eaten with all of the elements together instead of its separate components; for one, the Parmesan Bun was fluffy and light, yet providing a texture firm enough with a slight hint of savoury flavour that helps to ante up the slightly simpler notes of the burger. Really enjoyed the grilled fish; chunky, flaky with the moisture of the fish being locked in — nowhere dry or being too mushy, all that whilst carrying a slight earthy note from the mustard that gives the fish flavour. The mayonnaise was nothing too rich; instead, lending a light creaminess with a zippy note that provides the other elements some contrast, while the tomatoes providing a refreshing burst of flavours in between bites. The Lemon Capers Potatoes were also as delicious — smashed potatoes that are as savoury as the tang the lemon and capers provides to take off the heaviness of the starchy elements.

Must say that the burger was very well-designed and thought out; a great balance of flavours and textures for elements that seem like a rather adventurous combination altogether — guess I would have to try the beef burgers the next time when I return here to check out those beef patties!

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Checked out the new Skirt and Dirt at Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre — a new stall that serves up pretty hipster burgers along with a small variety of sides; something different as compared to the other stalls located here that pretty much offers various forms of local eats.

Not gonna deny, but the concept of their Cheese Skirt Burger does remind me of Brawn & Brains’ Cheese Crusted Burger Spaghetti with a Slow-Cooked Egg — it pretty much involves the same premise with the feature of a crusted cheese layer that floats around the beef patty; the only difference here at Skirt and Dirt is how this is being served in a burger format while Brawn & Brains’ rendition is a pasta dish. Opting for the ala-carte version, the burger works as a pretty good and slightly fancier version of the usual cheeseburger; apart from the cheese skirt, there isn’t much that is trying to reinvent the wheel — a handmade beef patty that is sufficiently briny and savoury being all juicy and easy-to-chew without any veiny or fatty bits that spoils the consistency of the texture, all accompanied with iceburg lettuce, tomatoes in between two light and fluffy buns with the top bun smothered with a dressing that binds the greens with the rest of the burger together. I liked how the cheese is melted over the top and around the sides; a chewy yet savoury disc that pairs exceptionally well with the bun at the bottom since there is nothing else that really brings the bun to the entire burger, making the whole deal pretty satisfying and surprisingly, not too overwhelming. A pretty good affordable option considering that the burgers costs below $10, and that it also adds to the more hipster choices (i.e. the cafes) to dine at in the neighbourhood.

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Bburger had made its return ever since during the Circuit Breaker period as a delivery/takeaway option, but their menu now has a place in the menu of The Assembly Ground at The Cathay and Cathay Cineleisure — the familiar favourites such as the B Burger, Karate Burger, and Bom Chicka Wow Wow still being listed in the menu after all this while.

Went for the B Supreme — featuring Freshly-rolled Beef Patty, Portobello Mushrooms, Vintage Cheddar, Caramelised Onions, and Truffle Sauce, the B Supreme makes for a very good cheeseburger-esque offering on the menu here. They seem to get it right from the buns to the condiments — the buns all buttered and grilled for a crisp underside, but still remains light and fluffy, while the beef patty is absolutely flavourful without being particularly gamey; liked how the patty gives a good meaty bite without being too crumbly, nor was it tough or chewy. The mix of sautéed portobello mushrooms and caramalised onions were delicious — worked in hand with the other condiments with the mushroom giving a bouncy chew and all earthy, while the soft caramalised onions provided a good sweetness that compliments that stellar beef patty; all that while the truffle sauce adds a creamy touch and just a very slight whiff of truffle aroma that does not overwhelm the entire burger. Curly fries are an option here at no extra costs — absolutely loved how the curly fries here comes all crisp on the exterior and almost free from greasiness; a joy to pop in the mouth in between morsels of the burger.

Must say that I was not quite impressed with B Burger when they first started out as a physical outlet at Cathay Cineleisure a couple of years; possibly ordered the wrong items but quite sold by their comeback as part of the menu at The Assembly Ground. Surely they have lost quite some of the greasy, yet hip American casual fast diner vibes here but this works well as a delicious artisanal cafe rendition anyway with its presentation and environment now — something which I am likely to return to for more when the cravings hit!

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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