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

GRUB shouldn’t be a name that is unfamiliar to those whom have been following the F&B scene in Singapore since a number of years ago. Previously located at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, the neighbourhood-ly bistro had since moved out of its former location and does have an outlet at CT Hub 2 that acts as a collection point for their cake orders. GRUB has since found itself a new location for its dine-in operations at Stevens Road — located within the same grounds as Novotel Singapore on Stevens and Mercure Singapore on Stevens; the location also houses other dining establishments such as Enjoy Eating House and Bar, Omakase, Winestone, and In Piazza Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Best known for their burgers during their initial days at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, GRUB also does offer a line-up of mains, which includes items such as a Truffle Tomato Fish Stew, as well as a section that is dedicated to pasta (which were unavailable during our visit). Desserts include a Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart, as well as the Churros which they were known for way back in the days when they had first started out at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park; though the highlight would be their Basque Burnt Cheesecake that was introduced some time later — their rendition being voted as the winner of the Straits Times Taste Test for Basque Burnt Cheesecakes.

Featuring elements such as shrimp paste- marinated fried chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes, the Har Cheong Kai Burger may be a burger that offers no surprises from what is namesake and description, but is also a burger that delivers on what it is expected — also an item which reminds us of a similar offering from the now-defunct EwF — Everything with Fries that is pretty much where it started for us when it comes to burgers featuring shrimp paste-marinated fried chicken. All burgers at GRUB do come with fries, and patrons are able to make an upgrade for $3 to opt for the Truffle Floss Fries, Mentaiko Fries or the Poutine Fries. The Har Cheong Kai Burger is reasonably portioned here; going through all the elements in the whole burger, we note that the burger buns have been lightly buttered and toasted here for a slight crispness. Beneath, the shrimp paste-marinated fried chicken is undeniably the highlight here — crisp on the exterior, the slab of chicken within was tender and juicy; the umami note of the shrimp paste marination is evident, but not overwhelming, all that with the slice of tomato providing a refreshing, zingy note that cuts through the meat and carbs with the lettuce being crisp and provides for a wholesome touch. Whilst we went with the Poutine Fries for the Har Cheong Kai which was more of a brown sauce with mushrooms that was sprinkled with cheese powder, we preferred the Mentaiko Fries that came with our Truffle Angus Cheeseburger instead which was creamy and umami without being particularly salty — something that we found more satiating.

Whilst it is a little regrettable that GRUB had to move out from its former premises away from the neighbourhood and lush greenery that was surrounding it, they have still found a place that pretty much feels like a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. No doubt it’s location is now within the premises of a hotel, but there is still a sense of tranquility here somehow with its quieter surroundings. While a trip to GRUB does feel a little out of the way considering a bus ride is required from the train station, we do feel that GRUB has maintained its consistency with their burgers — pretty much fuss-free, and also being very much items that are well-made that goes in accordance to their descriptions on the menu. Also consistent would be the Basque Burnt Cheesecake — especially creamy, smooth and luscious without being particularly heavy. With that, GRUB is a spot that is certainly worth making the time out for; a chill spot that would work for quality catch-up with a group of friends, or even as somewhere good for intimate dates as well.

Had been to the coffeeshop at 218 Sumang Walk previously for the now-defunct Big Brother 台湾盐水鸡; didn’t forsee myself returning again for yet another stall but was pretty intrigued by what this new Western cuisine stall named The Backyard Cookery has to offer. Taking a space beside Ming Xiang Seafood Zi Char, the western stall serves up appetisers, fries (think Okonomiyaki Fries) chops and grills, as well as burgers and pasta, they are an establishment that looks to serve up modern bistro-style fare in a neighbourhood setting. Prices are relatively pocket-friendly here, with the highest-priced item being at $15.90 for the Grilled Grass-Fed Ribeye Steak.

What got us especially intrigued to make a special trip down to try them out is their Cookery’s Beef Burger; the burger features a Laugen Brioche Bun, Caramalised Onion, Tomato Relish, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayonnaise, Homemade Beef Patty. Was initially quite concerned with how it didn’t seem to suggest that it includes cheese in its description, but we did find that they do serve a slice of proceeded cheese melted over the beef patty for the burger as well. The Cookery’s Beef Burger also comes default with a side of fries that accompanies the burger as well. On first look, the Cookery’s Beef Burger does carry an aesthetic almost familiar to that of the burgers served with a Pretzel Bun from HANS IM GLÜCK German Burgergrill, which operates multiple locations islandwide. This is pretty much due to the Laugen Brioche Bun that they use here — a very interesting choice for an establishment of its type. The burger buns come lightly buttered and grilled; pretty crisp on the outside, whilst having a firm bite to it texturally. Beneath the top bun, one would be able to find the caramelised onions just sitting in between the bun and the beef patty; the folks here seemed to have snuck in some raisins that provided an extra hint of sweetness and a bit more texture that actually goes quite well with the homemade beef patty. We also really enjoyed the homemade beef patty here; its beautifully crusted on the exterior from the grilling process — savoury yet locking in all the juices without being particularly gamey nor greasy (we have had quite a disappointing beef burger from a hyped-up new establishment just a week before; this was wayyy better) and while the melted cheese wasn’t something too artisanal, it was a great touch nonetheless. Beneath the patty, we were pretty surprised with how the lettuce and tomatoes were especially fresh; the former retaining a crunch while the latter comes with a juicy bite — all that without the bottom bun being all soggy from the elements above. While the fries did carry a rather plain aesthetic, we felt that these were decent; it’s sufficiently crisp on the exterior and fluffy inside — slightly more thick cut than the standard shoestring fries and probably a commercial product, though well-salted without being excessively so. No doubt a little more of an artisanal creation at the price of $11.90, but one that is seriously as competent as the variants that some cafes/bistros attempt to serve at higher price points both in terms of portion and execution.

Felt that it was quite a pity that we didn’t get to try the other menu items that they have here since we didn’t have that much of a stomach for them, considering that items such as the Okonomiyakk Fries and Cream of Mussels (blue cheese and whole blue mussels) were also items that seem to interest us, and are not something that can be commonly found in Western cuisine stalls in coffeeshops. Having tried the Cookery’s Beef Burger though, we are pretty certain that we are likely to return to try more of their items; no doubt a short travel is required from Punggol MRT Station/Bus Interchange to reach here, but its pretty worthy especially when one is already in the area. A spot that residents should be glad about having in the the neighbourhood; also somewhere that they would most likely be splurging on to treat themselves every once in a while!

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Visited this new butchery-cum-bistro concept; the bistro arm being named as The Butcher’s Dining. They had taken over the former premises of EVERY at Havelock Road, and is situated right beside Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh. Being a Korean-run establishment, the butchery-cum-grocer wing retails marinated meats, chilled ready-to-eat fare, condiments and lifestyle products, while the bistro wing offers an all-day dining menu for patrons to dine-in. The bistro comes decked in a modern and sleek industrial style — featuring marble-esque tables and furnishings with wood accents, whilst also adorned with plants for a touch of nature.

The all-day dining menu features a rather limited menu during the time we made our visit; comprises of two types of burgers and gimbap, they were also serving a special dish of Spicy Pork Rice to cater to those who prefers having rice for their meal. We settled for the Spicy Pulled Pork Burger, which featured elements such as Korean spicy pulled pork, carrot rafe, cabbage slaw, red onion. Patrons also get to choose between mesclun salad or sweet potato chips to come alongside their burger — we opted for the latter. We found the burger to be very well done; pretty fitting to be an offering from a butchery. For one, we really loved the pulled pork here; the fibrous meats were especially meaty and sufficiently moist, well-marinated in a Korean sauce (Ssamjang?) that brings a note of sweetness and manageable spiciness that makes it so flavourful — a notch above the usual pulled pork that features BBQ sauce as a marinade. When coupled with the carrot (grated carrot salad), there is this tangy hint akin to that of pickled julienned vegetables found in Banh Mi; juicy, crunchy with a slight tang that cuts through all that meatiness. Here, the bottom bun seems buttered while the top bun seems to be smeared with mustard for an earthy note. The buns were also light and pillowy soft; a very wholesome package when had altogether.

Apart from the burger, we were equally impressed with the MIMC Iced Korean Plum Tea and the MIMC Jeju Tangerine Pound Cake that we had tried — the former being a very refreshing tea option that lightly tangy that cleanses the palate, while the latter carried a light but prominent hint of citrus-y zing that kept us going. Always a fan of concepts like these, where the butchery is able to showcase their meats through their dine-in operations — a great way to educate the masses on the various cuts and types of meats out there. A space that meat lovers should most certainly check out!

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Pretty stoked to have heard that 2280 Burger had recently opened their doors at 213 Henderson Road; the building is just located a short distance away from Bukit Merah Bus Interchange, and is opened by the same folks behind Burger Labo at Malan Road within Gillman Baracks — also the same folks that had brought us The Naked Finn. Service is pretty much self-service here, with burgers being made to order; order through the self-order kiosk and collect the order at the window once your order number has been called. Currently there is only the 2280 Burger available on the menu, with a choice of a single or double patty variant whilst the only sides here are the standard fries. Folks can opt for house-brewed tea, milkshakes churned using ice-creams from Apiary, while specialty coffee is brewed using beans roasted by Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee.

Opting for the single patty variant of the 2280 Burger, the 2280 Burger may look like a very basic cheeseburger, but it does its job especially well — beef patty, sliced cheese, pickled onions all sandwiches in between the two buns; really liked how well the patty is being executed here. The beef patty may not be the same as what Burger Labo offers in terms of size, but the 100gm patty is just the right size for those who aren’t looking to get overly stuffed here. It’s beautifully brined and marinated; the texture being more on the lean side but still provide a good bite — all savoury, chunky and slightly crusted from the grilling process. The melted cheese atop seals the deal, and the pickled onions seems to have been mixed with bits of pickles for that tangy, refreshing crunch that cuts through the meat, while the buns are sufficiently light and fluffy. A very well put-together cheeseburger that ranks high up in the charts for me.

Burger Labo has been known for their stellar burgers which are of a gourmet nature — the burgers there featuring fancier composition and elements, but 2280 Burger is an establishment that seems to be catered towards the masses; more of a fuss-free spot that makes for artisanal offering pitched against the upmarket fast food options that had made their entry into the F&B scene in recent years. Hoping that they are able to add on more variation of meats for their burgers soon — perhaps a chicken, pork, or fish option that would cater to non-beef eaters so that more can get to enjoy their stellar creations in time to come!

Have been wanting to give Empyrosis a go ever since I had heard about their existence — took me a while to get to them; they have since moved from Tampines to the air-conditioned food court at Blk 279 Sengkang East Avenue; a location that is indeed more convenient for me to head down. While the stall looks like your typical Western food stall in an air-conditioned food court serving up chops and grills, pasta and burgers, Empyrosis actually focuses on charcoal-grilled Western fare, and is also a “no pork, no lard” establishment that caters to the Muslim crowd.

Between the two items we had, the Signature Charcoal Grilled Chicken Burger was undoubtedly our favourite; it costs $8, but is one that has been thoughtfully put together and a fairly good burger that is being served up in a food court setting. Coming with a sunny side-up, tomatoes, lettuce and a charcoal-grilled boneless chicken thigh sandwiched between two buns, the buns were lightly grilled but were sufficiently light and fluffy. As one takes a bite further into the burger, the charcoal grilled boneless chicken thigh gives a savoury and meaty bite; chunky and reasonably tender, whilst hinting of a slight smokiness from the charcoal grilling process. Personally would prefer a stronger, smokier note to that, though it could be likely that they probably had concerns of it being too heavy for some; also possible that they couldn’t overdo the charcoal grilling to a point where it smogs up the whole air-conditioned food court given the environment it is in. The slice of tomato provide a refreshing burst and juicy bite, while the lettuce provides a wholesomeness to the burger to balance things out a little; the sunny side-up gives the extra “oomph” with its molten egg yolk that eagerly bursts as one takes a bite into the burger; all that while the fluffy whites and a crisp bottom provides for an nice textural touch — extra brownie points awarded for that. The fries here are also pretty well-executed; crisp and well-seasoned — enough to put some renditions served in cafes to shame.

While I wasn’t quite impressed with the Lemak Chili Padi Pasta with Mussels, it is probably correct that Empyrosis does emphasise on their charcoal-grilled items, which they do pretty well with. Other interesting menu items include the Unagi Burger with Kabayaki Mayo — the last time I ever heard of a Unagi Burger being served in a coffeeshop setting was from The Social Outcast; coincidentally also started from a coffeeshop in Tampines and moved on to do dish out even greater food at The Grandstand in its most recent move out of The Bedok Marketplace. Will definitely check that out when I do eventually make my return; a spot that residents around would appreciate having as a dining option in the neighbourhood!

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Since a trip back to the office is needed; decided to check out the new OOTB (Out Of The Bun) that had just recently opened its doors at the revamped GRiD — the shopping mall is also home to other F&B outlets such as an outlet of Isshin Machi, Smile Desserts, Shinsho Ramen, Chops! Grill & Sides and more. OOTB serves up burgers; carrying only small selection of 5 to choose from, patrons will also be able to opt for a set by adding $3 — includes fries and drinks.

We found ourselves settling for the ThicChick Burger Set — one of the two chicken burger options available here with the other one featuring pulled chicken (think pulled pork, but a poultry version). The ThicChick Burger features elements such as brined and battered fried chicken thigh, chipotle sauce, sweet tangy slaw and in-house dill pickles; we also opted for a side of Waffle Fries for the set, and went for Ayataka (not pictured) for our choice of soft drinks. Going straight for the burger, the burger comes with pretty light and fluffy grilled buns; most will probably be drawn to the generously-sized fried chicken thigh here — one that seemingly protrudes out of the buns, with a crispy golden brown batter. Liked how the batter of the fried chicken thigh being not too thick here; it’s pretty crisp, yet sufficiently flavourful and savoury from the brining process within — the meat being tender and juicy. The burger is thoughtfully put together; the slaw provides for that refreshing crunch that is also aptly creamy — cuts through the meatiness and carbs of the burger, while the in-house dill pickles provides the crunch and a zing that provides a good break from the heavier elements. The Waffle Fries here are actually well-executed; comes with quite the bite without being overly-seasoned — sufficiently saltish whilst well-filled with potato, and most pieces being served in full (you know, some fast food establishments do serve theirs quite crumbly and broken when they serve this up seasonally).

Being priced at $9.90, the ThicChick Burger is actually pretty substantial and well-executed for its price — a burger that is suitable for sharing for those with a smaller appetite and is a good alternative for those who are looking at burger options within this area. That being said, there are some teething issues considering that we made our visit on the first day that they had officially started operations; they were rather slammed with takeaway orders, and that they did miss some orders as well. That being said, hopefully they will be able to refine their operations as time passes — a spot that is worth considering dining at for burger lovers within the area that office workers and students around will appreciate having.

Was intending to head somewhere else for dinner but didn’t really check on the operating hours of the place and ending up needing to find another spot; call it lucky or whatsoever it may be, but we were especially glad how we found ourselves at this humble diner at one-north within Galaxis that serves up a variety of beef burgers which they prepare all the ingredients from scratch — from the buns to the beef patties; a show of dedication to serve up the very best for their patrons.

We asked for recommendations from their staff, and the OFC Butterburger is one that truly stood out for us — the burger comes with elements such as a 150g beef patty made from New Zealand premium grassfed beef, charred onions, red onions, house-made pickles and grassfed butter; all in between freshly-baked and toasted potato buns. Patrons can opt for their burgers to come with a combo which includes the OFC Fries (i.e. standard fries) and a drink — also available as an option to upgrade to are the OFC Truffle Fries and OFC Cheese Fries which comes at an additional top-up, which we opted for the former.

It doesn’t take long for one to actually notice how much work goes into the burger; the burger is wrapped in a rather unique way that actually secures the juices of the burger within, yet allows patrons to consume the burger neatly without staining their hands. Taking a bite into the burger, one can actually notice how all the elements are pretty proportional, and it’s pretty easy to consume considering how it is compact enough to fit all the elements in a single mouthful. One would notice how soft, pillowy and fluffy the potato buns are; nicely toasted with a crisp edge, but it is the beef patty that truly impresses — it’s not particularly gamey, but I like how there is a chew and slight crisp from being on the grill apart from how juicy this was; savoury but not overly-brined and didn’t feel like it dominated the other elements. In fact, there was a balance of sweetness from the charred onions and a slight zing of the pickles as well against the bun and meat. The addition of butter here seals the deal — butter and steak goes together like cheese and wine and this combination, though rather unique to One Fattened Calf, works pretty much the same. Not only does it add a bit of savouriness to the entire burger, but it helps to ante up the flavours of the patty especially; a pretty genius addition to the entire burger. The truffle fries were also pretty on-point; hints of a light aroma of truffle, whilst coming with bits of parmesan to help enhance the flavours of the fries — the fries nothing short of being crisp and pretty free from grease, whilst sized about right as well.

One Fattened Calf pretty much reminded me of a now-defunct local establishment on its pursuit of creating the perfect burger, approaching the craft much like a science experiment — there are a lot of details that went into the OFC Butterburger from the texture, to the size and the ingredients used, as well as the flavour; something that only can be achieved with passion and dedication to the craft. Liked how the establishment still feels particularly down-to-earth, with the staff actively gathering feedback whilst also happy to introduce their products extensively for patrons to get to know them better. I would go further to say that One Fattened Calf is a spot for the serious burger connoisseurs; a hidden gem in the one-north area that is worth making that special trip for!

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It just took a moment for Hambaobao to disappear from the F&B scene in Singapore after they had moved out of their stall at Beauty World Centre — but the same folks are now back with the crowd favourites, now located within the Trio mixed-development along Sam Leong Road just a short walk away from Farrer Park MRT Station. Now operating as a standalone eatery, Hambaobao still offers the all-familiar The Classic Beef, What The Fish, Crispy Pork Belly, Spicy Pulled Pork and Ayam Buah Keluak burgers, but also do serve up bakes which they did not offer previously. Patrons can pick between various soft drinks, though the only house-made beverage available at the time of writing is only the Pot O’ 20 Yr Old Pu’Er.

Everyone has their favourite burger at Hambaobao and mine is the Crispy Pork Belly Burger — best to be ordered when they have just opened for the day, this was also the one burger that I insistently must order whenever I am here. I have also opted for the Hand-cut Fries; a simplified name for what they used to call the Fairy Fries previously, as a separate ala-carte order as there is no option of adding on fries here (the same was also true previously). The Crispy Pork Belly Burger is essentially what I had remembered it to be — consisting of English Mustard, Hoi Sin Sauce and Japanese Cucumbers alongside Crispy Pork Belly in-between the grilled burger buns, the buns carry a firm bite without being particularly dense, while the hoisin sauce provides much of the savoury note that gels up all the elements of the burger together; the pork belly provides a good crunch with the super crispy skin, yet gelatinous meat that is all tender and juicy without carrying porky stench, while the cucumber provides a refreshing crunch. The English Mustard here attempts to cut through the carbs and meatiness of the burger; provides an evident, wasabi-esque numbness to the tastebuds that makes the burger especially shiok to have. The hand-cut fries are somewhat improved over the “Fairy Fries” they used to carry in the past; it’s noticeably of a thicker cut, and would appeal to those who like soft, fluffier fries without all that salt going on.

While the Crispy Pork Belly Burger isn’t quite the easiest burger to handle without cutlery given how the pork belly slices tend to slide off and out of the burger buns, and the sauces are going to be a mess for the hands, there is always something so satisfying with having this one from them — brings me back to those days in school where I would decidedly go for one if there isn’t a queue or if I ain’t rushing for class. Glad to see them back in the F&B scene and back to the hot grill flipping burger buns and patties — challenging times for F&B these days but here’s wishing them all the best for what is to come!

Read from online about Golden Brown Hambaga; a concept by the folks behind Akashi Japanese Restaurant that had started due to the dine-in restrictions imposed in-line with safety measures implemented due to COVID-19. Whilst being a delivery-only option previously, their operations has extended to include dine-in between 11:30am to 10:00pm — which got us pretty excited to do a walk-in visit to give their burgers a try since there were seemingly raving reviews on them. One may want to note that the burgers offered are not reflected in their usual menu — mention to the wait staff that you are in for the burgers and they will hand you a QR code that will lead to Golden Brown Hambaga’s Oddle webpage where one can refer to items offered and place their order with the wait staff.

There were just two of us but we got a little ambitious and went with three burgers during our visit — and that was because the Tamago Yaki Hambaga was listed as a “dessert burger” in their menu. Coming with elements such as Japanese Dashi Tamago Yaki which has been “lightly katsu-ed”, Nori (Seaweed), and Brioche Bun, the Tamago Yaki Hambaga was a burger that we found to be memorable due to the elements involved. Enjoyed how the brioche bun used here was fluffy and light; not particularly carb-y considering how the texture of the bread wasn’t too dense — the entire slab of Tamago Yaki sandwiched in between does come lightly fried around the edges with a crisp, golden brown batter whilst the Tamago Yaki was fluffy and sweet and sufficiently moist within, with one being able to still make up the layers of the folded egg. The Nori helps to add a umami, roasty note that gives the sweet omelette roll a flavour contrast — an item that was surprisingly suitable as an ending dish to the other savoury burgers we have had, and also seems to be fit as a breakfast item as well.

Akashi Japanese Restaurant is one of those places that we would least expect to serve a burger — and to have such good ones (including the Cheese Hambaga and Ebi Katsu Hambaga) from a place that seemingly specialises in sushi and sashimi, they have pretty much exceeded expectations with Golden Brown Hambaga. There is no doubt about how quality the burgers are at its price point — with most of the burgers being listed below $20 (the exception being the Wagyu Burger priced at $48.80), the burgers are indeed value-for-money and a hidden gem for those whom are in the know of their operations. There is no doubt that we have enjoyed the burgers we had tried; the lady at the counter also recommended us to give the Summer Unagi Bata Roll and SPAM Hambaga a try too — guess that shall be the items on the itinerary the next time I am here the !

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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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