PEr FYI

July 12, 2015

Burger Bar, San Francisco…you need a pre-recession budget but don’t expect to be blown away

There seems to be no food more popular nowadays than the once-humble hamburger, practically every upscale restaurant has a burger these days. Burger Bar offers several different types of beef, in addition to lamb, turkey, seafood and veggie burgers, with a variety of toppings from garden, farm, ocean and more and a variety of breads, all of it to be mixed and matched in endless do-it-yourself variety. Among the beef types is American-style Kobe, or Wagyu beef.

I had the American Kobe beef burger. I don’t really care what you call the beef, as long as it tastes great.  Kobe, the steak-lovers Holy Grail becomes less relevant in a ground burger patty. While the pate is thick and tightly packed, juicy but not dripping and has a very good overall flavour, it has nothing on any other gourmet burgers. I guess the Kobe label is just a marketing tool employed to justify a high price.

Try it, if you have a pre-recession budget but don’t expect to be blown away . This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

burger bar american kobe beef burger

burger bar

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June 6, 2015

Burger & Lobster, London…deserves every bit of oohing and aahing

There’s no printed menu, they told me, only 3 options. A blackboard by the entrance announces “Burger or lobster or lobster roll. All with chips & salad. £20”. That’s it.

You get a pretty big, stonking beast of a lobster with lots of meat inside and it comes with a bucket of perfectly golden crisp fries and underwhelming salad. You have a choice of steamed or grilled. The lobster – steamed to a turn and marked on the griddle – lay there and I could have swore I heard it screaming to be anointed with garlic butter. DO get that lemon garlic butter – that stuff is addictive and it’s hard to stop yourself from just drinking this butter concoction.

The decor is… different. The restaurant has a modern feel with statement lighting. The staff trained to exhibit well-judged chirpiness. The service was on point and the food comes out QUICK! You have my lobster-loving heart here.

When you name your restaurant after what you serve, you’d better do it damn near perfectly. Burger & Lobster has a huge bang for its buck. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

burger lobster london2

burger lobster london3

November 17, 2014

myBurgerLab, Petaling Jaya….it’s OMG delicious

This place is actually…amazing. I was sceptical and I should mention rather carnivorous and I loved it! For a little place, it does get busy and yes, definitely worth a try !!

If a good burger is a thing of beauty, then the Swisstake burger I had was a gorgeous masterpiece which is quintessentially BK Swiss Mushroom burger on steroids. It’s a soft charcoal bun (which makes it a Black Burger) plus the beef, swiss cheese, the star of the show…shiitake & enoki mushrooms and their secret weapon…Sauce X. However, it really tasted like a hamburger. You get the delicious and satisfying taste of a burger, without those feelings of heaviness and greasiness afterwards – the hallmark of actual quality.

myBurgerLab is a standout and a standard-setter. They probably serve one of my top 5 burgers ever! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

myburgerlab2 KL

myburger lab KL

October 26, 2014

Potato Head Folk, Singapore….the bill’s a whopper

Pricey, overly complicated burgers aren’t usually my thing, and normally, I wouldn’t bother reviewing a hamburger with such a steep price tag. But this needs to be written so yáll can be warned. The humble hamburger has certainly come a long way from its fast food origins.

With all of that said, did the cheeseburger live up to the high expectations? I had the smoking B-Boy and yes, it did. It was as good as I had hoped but it didn’t surpass my expectations. The Naughty Fries – Spiced béarnaise, hot beef chilli, crisp shallots, parmesan & sesame seeds – were awful. Instead of being thinly sliced and crisp it was massively soggy. It was so bad that I couldn’t get past four measly fries, despite being hungry enough to finish the entire serving, and then some

The main problem with offering a hamburger for between $20 – $28 is living up to inflated expectations. Every time I eat a burger that’s more than $15, I can’t help but do the “burger math”, using a cheaper alternative. Potato Head’s burgers costs more than Fat Boys and 10 times as much as ‘McDonald’s, and sadly, wasn’t any better than either. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

smokin b boy @potato head

potato head

September 7, 2014

Shake Shack, Washington DC…A burger is just a burger, right? NOT Shake Shack…

Shake Shack was rated in the local newspapers here in Singapore as the BEST burgers and fries in the USA. I could not understand what the hype was about until I tried the food. Then it made more sense. There was an inner struggle going on where I was trying to compare the food at Shake Shack to In-N-Out. It’s hard to say whether one is better than the other. The taste is just different. They use different sauces, and I like them both.

The burgers are smaller than I had anticipated. I had the Shackburger…cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and shacksauce and it was truly fresh, juicy, tender, delicious – an explosion of flavours. They even have root beer on taps!

Shake Shack is not just about the food, it’s about the whole experience of standing in line with friends, trying to round up tables and chairs while waiting for the food. The outlet I went to at 10.30 at night has more hot, sweaty people packed into it than a train headed for Mumbai.

Do not go for a quick bite, there is no “quick”. That line is serious and another 15 mins. to get my food but  it’s completely worth a try. What a huge tease….This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

shake shack

October 11, 2011

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Washington DC…just a notch better than McD or Burger King

Their made-fresh-to-order burgers are not too bad and you get to pick your own toppings – all of them – mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, green peppers, even grilled onions, grilled mushrooms. The buns are an eggy, brioche-like bread with that bakery whiff of sweetness,

The downside? The not-crunchy, not-crisp limpy cajun fries are a huge disappointment. You get a whole potato truckload of them with your order but they are overly greasy and always undercooked on the inside.  

In a world replete with fast-food burgers, Five Guys Burgers and Fries has attained iconic status in Washington, D.C. but to me, frankly, it’s just a notch better than McDonald’s or Burger King. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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