Andrew: It used to be the case where you could only find burgers at Fast Food restaurants, but this is increasingly not the case as burger joints are appearing all over Singapore now. More interestingly, these new burger joints tailor their burgers to meet your various dietary requirements. These are the few places that Dearie and I have managed to visit over the past few months and we’ve categorized them according to what kind of meal you’ve looking for:
A Healthy, Guilt-Free Meal
If you want to enjoy the hearty goodness of a burger without the accompanying grease and calories, then the latest burger joint VeganBurg (located along Still Road, just before Eunos MRT) is the place for you.
Much thought has been put into the concept and deco of Veganburg and you immediately feel like you’re going to have a healthy meal upon entering the restaurant. Their tables have neat little cubicles in them to store magazines and we found a past issue of Augustman to tide us through until the food arrived.
Dearie ordered a Smoky BBQ burger (above) and an organic ginger beer, which she quite enjoyed due to its spiciness and healthy patty. I took a bite of it and thought it was just ok.
I ordered the Cracked Pepper Mayo set and was rather underwhelmed, though I guess if this is probably the best that a vegetarian burger can be. I read reviews on the web which said that these burgers tasted like the real thing in spite of them being vegetarian. I beg to differ. These burgers really lack the shiokness of biting into a juicy burger patty with all the meaty juices oozing out (think Carl’s Jr – which we will come to in a while). I found the vegetarian patty rather flat and unsatisfying, plus there was way too much mayo in this burger. This was a healthier option, but not exactly healthy too, given that there’s lots of mayo and fries. I must say though that their fries and deep fried spinach potato balls (in the background) are comparatively less greasy than what you get for your usual fast-food fare.
Conclusion – It’s indeed a healthy alternative and the food doesn’t taste bad, but for meat-lovers out there, this place will not satisfy your burger craving. However, Dearie really enjoyed her burger. This is one of the few restaurants where our opinion of the food really differed, so you’ll have to judge for yourself.
Jasmine: Actually, I’d only give the burgers a 6.5 to 7/10. My patty was rather limp, and I thought the helping of spinach potato balls was rather meagre, propped up only by some yellowing lettuce. I was however impressed with the promotional materials: the signages, menus were thoughtfully and clearly-designed and really upgraded this burger joint into something more upmarket and fashionable.
Andrew: Speaking of Carl’s Junior, Jasmine and I have been trying to find a compromise between her love of fast food and my agenda to eat healthy. Hence, while at Carl’s, I’ve been trying out their healthier options. I tried the Charboiled Chicken Club Burger with wholemeal burger bread a while back and didn’t like it at all. In order for this to be healthy, you have to remove the bacon in it, which basically leaves you with a charboiled piece of chicken fillet flavoured only by Mayo – not the most tasty combinations of all.
Then, two weeks ago, I tried the Low-carb thick burger, which is basically a Angus Beef Thickburger with lettuce instead of burger bread holding it together. This is how it looks like:
Image courtesy of greenburito.com
It was alright for the first few bites, but the lettuce obviously was too slippery to hold all those ingredients in and the whole meal descended into an extremely messy affair with the sauce dripping all over and me trying to keep the lettuce and burger together. It was nice while it lasted, but they must find a way to make the burger hold together better. (Jasmine: I suggested packing the burger like a wrap! KFC does a pretty decent job with its Banditto Pocket!)
My conclusion – there’s no point trying to find a healthy burger!
A Unique Dining Experience
If you’re more adventurous and want to try new, refreshing burger combinations, then Chef Willin Low’s Relish is definitely the place for you. We visited Relish based on recommendations from Appetite (a food magazine I often read) and we were not disappointed. I must add too that the service is extremely good here. We came for brunch, during which most of the burgers we wanted were unavailable on the menu, but the waiter checked with the kitchen and they were willing to prepare these burgers for us.
Jasmine had the seafood burger, which was amazing. The patty had generous portions of crab, fish, prawn and squid and the flavours were held together well by the orange mayo which we never tried before. The flavours are amazing and like no burger you’ve ever tried before.
Jasmine: It was one of the best burgers I’ve tried, with a very satisfying crunch when you bit into it. Totally justified the somewhat hefty price tag!
(Me trying to pose like Dearie, obviously putting my chin down too much!)
Andrew: I had the signature Wild Rocket burger with salad. The beef patty was well done and I did enjoy the burger, but you shouldn’t have this if you come to Relish. Be more adventurous and try the other burgers. I want to try their char-siew burger, ram-lee burger and other interesting combinations next!
A Classic Back-to-Basics Burger
Andrew: If you just want a classic burger with a freshly ground beef patty with the usual lettuce and tomatoes, then the Seah Street Burger at Seah Street Deli (Raffles Hotel) will satisfy your craving. I have no photos here because we forgot to bring a camera, but you can check out ladyironchef’s entry on it just to see how the burger looks like. I actually didn’t find the burger that big when I was there and was able to finish it comfortably. Considering that it costs $14.95 (just $3 more than your usual Carl’s Jr. meal), it is extremely worth it as you can choose how well done you want your patty to be and you know that all the ingredients are fresh. You are also paying more for the rather well-replicated American diner atmosphere complete with jukebox and black-and-white tiles on the floor.
Dearie ordered the Mac & Cheese here and we really loved it! The cheese was not sticky and chewy, but more like a ‘cheesy’ thick sauce. We must also commend the service here. The Mac & Cheese became cold after a while and we asked them to heat it up for us. They did so willingly and even offered to add in more cheese for us when heating it up as they saw that our portion had no more cheese left! We loved the cheese sauce so much that we tried to recreate it, but with rather disastrous results – a story which we might tell another time. Heh. (Jasmine: Hey! So mean!)
Oh yes, this was also a treat by Dearie after I had a stressful week at work and I was extremely thankful to her for this wonderful meal!
There are still so many other burger places that we haven’t checked out, but I think we’re going to take a break from burgers for a while as I feel most other joints like Burger Bench or Hand Burger are mere variations of the usual Whopper burger in BK. Unless another Relish-like joint comes up, I probably won’t be exploring another burger place anytime soon.