Today’s guestpost is by my buddy Ulric, who does not have a blog, but he might as well have, since he knows so much more about food than many folks I know. That’s right, Ulric describes himself as a burger addict, and here are his Top 5 burger joints based on his own honest opinions and tastebuds.
Look around KL and PJ, and you will find it hard to ignore the various gourmet burgers joints that have sprouted up faster than a skin rash on a hot day. These joints have different combinations of meat patty, buns, add on ingredients and condiments, but they essentially stand for one thing. Cheap gourmet burgers (less than RM20), rolled out faster than you can say Bugger (or burger) it!
So, here we are in the thick of things. Burgertopia is not for the faint hearted. Read on to see which Top 5 made my list of must eats.
The first of the fad and still the best. Fluffy charcoal buns with smashed beef patties and grilled chicken paired with a myriad of well-thought out ingredients and sauces, giving each burger it’s own flavour-profile and hence it’s own uniqueness. Believe me, I’ve tried 10 different burgers in one sitting, so I know!
One of my favourite is the Beautiful Mess (smashed beef patty, fried Portabello mushroom, a sunny side-up and mozzarella cheese). The juiciness of the portobello pairs superbly with the savoury beef and the runny fried egg. It’s up to Version 5.0 now using fried Portabellas and sharp cheddar instead.
Next up, let’s rock n roll. The Elvis (smashed beef patty, blueberry n peanut butter jam, cheese and caramelized onions). Love the simple flavours of this burger. Sadly this is not on their menu anymore. Bring it back please! *a cry from someone who used to be a non-lover of blueberry and peanut butter*.
Their rosemary-tossed fries are among the best (crisp and fluffy) but don’t forget their awesome Portabello Fries (crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside). Never will I be bored of snacking on them. Their bottomless drinks are a big plus too.
However, be aware that once you enter the Lab, you will exit smelling of burgers. The Lab can also be cramped and noisy and not forgetting the more-than-often crazy queue that you will have to endure, but in the end is usually completely worth it.Add: My Burger Lab @ Seapark, 14, Jalan 21/22, Seapark, Petaling Jaya. NEW! Their latest outlet : MyBurgerLab OUG, Jalan Awan Hijau, Overseas Union Garden, Off Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur. Open for dinner, except Mondays.
2. Burger Junkyard
This is the one that I visit the most often, because it’s only a 15-min drive away from my workplace and I am friendly with the partners.
Their burgers are more classical with a twist. Slightly sweet and buttery brioche buns with beef patties and char-grilled chicken thighs (not-be-missed caramelized goodness) meshed with well-thought-out ingredients and sauces. Their steamed cheese is a one-of-a-kind combo of pressed cheddar, processed sharp cheddar and smoked mozzarella melted together and poured onto your burger just before being served. Since I am a frequent visitor, I have tried the entire menu including most of the speciality and mystery burgers. To enjoy their burgers, go for their regular patties or thighs (180g) option instead of half-size (90g).
My favourite is the flavour-complex Buffalo Soldier (char-grilled chicken thigh, Buffalo hot sauce, celery sticks, tomatos and a scallion root sour cream). You can switch between chicken and beef, but I highly recommend trying their chicken thigh. This has the magical combination of sweet, sour, spicy and savoury.
Another great eat on the menu is the Balsamic Beefin’s Onions (beef patty, steamed aged cheddar, caramelized French onion chutney, pan-roasted tomatoes, pickled beetroot, garden greens and a balsamic raisin sauce). Love the contrast of the sweet pickled beetroot against the beef patty and caramelised onion chutney.
The environment in Burger Junkyard is hugely comfortable. A colourful graffiti wall contrasting against a white junkyard-themed wall with tables well-spaced apart. It’s a guarantee that you will not smell of burgers after chomping down the burgers here. And the crowd is not as crazy as MyBurgerLab.
However, drinks are not bottomless (they come in the usual bottles and cans) and their skin-on fries are not as good as MyBurgerLab, although that can be remedied by ordering their special garlic aioli and tomato concasse sauces to go with it.Add: Burger Junkyard, 16, Jalan PJU 5/20D, The Strand, Kota Damansara. Tel: 03-6143-4305 Open noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm, closed Sundays.
3. The Grind Burger Bar
This non-halal burger bar has the most varied menu featuring burgers, hotdogs, meatballs, pasta etc. Alcohol is served here too.
A red brick wall, a red brick long bar and some ingenious lighting, goes a long way, and I find that this place has a vibe that appeals to me. Tables are spaced well apart and the kitchen is self-contained so you will not exit this place with your clothes screaming burgers.
They also serve the best onion rings of all the gourmet burger joints that I have tried so far. The onion rings are wonderfully crisp and non-greasy lightly-battered exterior that appeals to the onion-ring monsta in me.
Back to the main attraction, my favourite here is their JD Burger (pork patty, secret Jack Daniel’s sauce, crisp pork bacon, natural cheddar, crisp green, onion silvers, fresh tomato and mayo). With the addition of a runny egg, this is an instant classic for me.
Time to walk the dog…the Big Black Dog that is. A fat pork bratwurst sausage with a diameter as large as a 50 cents coin (the old version of the 50 cents coin), served on black charcoal buns topped with chilli pork, natural cheese, mozzarella and fresh onions. Love the chewy resistance of the bratwurst, just before it gives way to blend with the cheese , chilli pork and the fluffy charcoal bun.
The Swedish meatballs here deserve an honourable mention. Dressed in house gravy and served with Lingonberry jam, some of my meatball-loving friends have stated that the pork and beef meatballs served here are better than Ikea’s. (Ciki butts in here: Never liked Ikea meatballs anyway!)
However, drinks at this joint are not bottomless. On weekends, the parking can be horrendous, due to the proximity of Kanna Curry House nearby and the I’m Spicy Thai restaurant next door.Add: The Grind Burger Bar, 7, Jalan 17/45, Section 17, Petaling Jaya. Noon-3pm, 5pm-10pm
The first of the non-halal burger joints, Burgertory serves the best pork patties and mean beef patties to boot. Their décor was entirely DIY and fashioned with the tools on display near the ordering counter.
The long benches and industrial-type lighting gives a rather soothing touch. Still, ventilation is not the best. As a result, you might end up slightly smelling of burgers after your meal here.
My favourite here is the Burgetory Treasure (pork patty, cheddar mild cheese and crispy pork lard). The texture of the well-seasoned pork patty contrasts nicely with the melted cheese and the crispy pork lard.
Next up is the Beef Cheese Fondue. This is essentially a beef patty with cheese fondue. A simple burger, but I just love the way the cheese fondue oozes over the mean beef patty.
At Burgetory, the onion rings are very good, close to the standard set by The Grind Burger Bar. Their mozzarella sticks are also good, but after having some supply issues, they decided to start making their own. I am quite looking forward to tasting them in the near future.
Recently, they have introduced salads as part of their repertoire. I have tried their Pork Belly Salad and it’s not bad at all. There is talk of a new menu, either this week or the next, so I am looking forward to a revisit or two.Add: Burgertory, 8A (First Floor), Jalan SS15/4D, Subang Jaya.
One of the newer burger joints, KGB is located at a prime location in Jalan Telawi 2 just next to Milk and Butter. A corny name no doubt, that stands for Killer Gourmet Burgers.. but we heard that the burgers might be up to the mark.
Their décor is quite pleasant but space is at a premium. Kudos to the use of mirrors to increase the perception of a larger layout. A visit to KGB will not make you smell like a burger monster that’s for sure. There is the Shack, Bash, The Tornado,The Bobcat burger, and The Kickin Chicken burger to name a few creative line ups.
The Tornado is an interesting ensemble of grilled patty with fried egg, onion rings and a fiery mayo. And if you have time, do not forget to try the Kimchi with Bulgogi Beef Fries.. heartstopping and insanely addictive fries drenched in tasty fat.. what’s there not to love?
I rather appreciated their signature ‘KGB’ fluffy buttery buns. A nice touch I would say.
My favourite pick is their Kickin’ Chicken Burger (parmesan-crusted chicken, sharp cheddar and wasabi mayo). Moist and juicy chicken breast, paired together with the slow-burn wasabi mayo is such a fine combination.
However, they do have some inconsistency issues with their beef patties. Drinks are not bottomless here but they serve bottles of Cokes, Sprite and Fanta Orange. Bottled beers are also available too. Will be back to sample more KGB burgers if I am in the neighbourhood.
This list of the current top 5, is of course, by no means exhaustive nor static.. there will be more incoming gourmet burger joints, and some have already opened even as we pen the concluding lines on this post. For example, The Burger Factory, Bert’s Jr, Big Chomp, Big Hug, Go Burger Kitchen, Nom Nom Chomper, Burger.it, Crayon, Smashies Burger, the soon-to-be-opened KissBurger and many more to come. As for me, my next target will be YummyLicious (which currently does deliveries only) and their crab meat patty, as well as their Force-themed Vader and Yoda burgers.
I reckon it is safe to say, that burgerholics, this is your era. Let the good times roll.
Add: KGB Killer Gourmet Burgers @ Telawi Bangsar,
23, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur,
Open 5pm-11pm, except Tuesdays. Should open for lunch starting July.
About this week’s Guestwriter:
Ulric describes himself as bit of an oddball, who reads historical books, take photographs of and salivates over good food. He is also a fanatic of Japanese food and a true burgerholic. All photos in this post are credited to Ulric (except for some of the KGB shots which Ciki took).
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