Burger Queen

Burgers have something of a bad rep, thanks to the proliferation of fast food heavyweights around the world. But certain establishments seek to reclaim the humble meat patty and make it a meal to be proud of. Here’s our verdict on some worthy options for when you next get the urge.

Fat Boy’s The Burger Bar
The burger: There’s no doubt about it. Their Bolly Wooly ($11) is the best of the lot. Purists may threaten to revolt (what with our winner having a non-beef patty and a more unusual flavor profile), but we aren’t about to budge. Take a lamb patty so juicy it’s almost obscene, smother it with a mildly sour-sweet mango chutney, as well as a creamy homemade curry remoulade, lay it gently down on a bed of lettuce leaves, then sandwich all that goodness in between honey oat bread. Is it going to be messy? Hell, yeah! But getting down and dirty is half the fun. And talk about good value!
Bun: Filling ratio = 1:1.5
On the side: Flat, thick-cut golden fries come with.
Wash it down: Milkshakes here are good bets. Their Bailey’s rendition really hits the spot. You can also pick from Stellas and Hoes, or grab a Pure Blonde (that’s low carb to boot).
The verdict: 5/5
187 Upper Thomson Rd., 6252-8780.

Hard Rock Café
The burger: It really is true when they say everything is bigger in America. These boys aren’t kidding when they call it “The Legendary Experience.” The S.O.B. burger ($26) is truly monstrous (not that we’re complaining). For starters, a nicely-charred 10oz (280g) hunk of Certified Angus Beef. Slap on Monterey Jack cheese, grilled onions and guacamole. Don’t forget lightly-toasted bread and chipotle pepper puree. We can’t stress how addictive the deep red chipotle is. Just tangy enough to tantalize your taste buds, with a real heat that’s not recommended for amateurs. There’s no glam way to do it. So just hold on tight and open wide. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, S.O.B. stands for South of the Border, not that other thing you potty mouths were thinking of.
Bun: Filling ratio = 1:1.25
On the side: Accompanied by thick-cut fries that are perfect with the fiery chipotle.
Wash it down: An American classic, coke. And none of that diet nonsense, please. Beer works too.
The verdict: 4/5
#02-01/03-01 HPL House, 50 Cuscaden Rd., 6235-5232.

Burger Bench & Bar
The burger: We went with a classic combo, the sautéed mixed mushroom and cheese beef burger ($8.20). For a cheap eat that costs just the slightest bit more than McD’s, we reckon they’ve got a good thing going. It’s still fast food, as far as the time it takes. But it feels so much better for us. The shrooms were nicely done, the meat had enough fat to still be succulent and the cheese suitably melted. We’ll be back for a quickie, anytime.
Bun: Filling ratio = 1:1
On the side: Add on a generous serve of in-house russet potato crisps for just $1.
Wash it down: For a nostalgic throwback to yesteryear, have yourself a can of Kickapoo. Grownups can opt for Asahi (on tap).
The verdict: 4/5
#01-02 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Rd., 6737-9947.

Brewerkz Riverside Point
The burger: We settled on the Mexicano ($21), in a plain jane bun that’s lightly grilled and not at all soggy. Although the Australian beef patty wasn’t as burnished as we like ‘em, the thick guacamole, loads of sour cream, jalapenos and beer chili, with whole beans and bits of mince, really made for a satisfying eat. For those who feel so inclined, a slice of raw onion and tomato, half a dill pickle and two lettuce leaves wait their fate on the side. Upping the spice quotient is the pico de gallo, a tomato-based sauce with onions, cilantro and broccoli.
Bun: Filling ratio = 1:1
On the side: There’s an option of thick cut fries or onion rings, we went with the former which were fine, though someone else’s onion rings whizzed by and we were tempted to hijack them.
Wash it down: You’re in a microbrewery for goodness sake, so anything other than one of theirs would be a cardinal sin. There’s India Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Darkside Lager (our choice), just to name a few.
The verdict: 3/5
#01-05/06 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Rd., 6438-7438.

The Handburger
The burger: We figured The Works ($11.80) was a good way to go. There’s everything in there but the kitchen sink. Throw in 150g of New Zealand ribeye patty, crispy rashers of bacon, battered onion rings, a sunny side up egg, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheddar and don’t forget the carbs. Usually served with a caramelized onion bun, we shook things up with a spinach and parmesan option (all their fresh bread is baked in-house). The matte green-hued lid was barely grilled and a little soggy, while the beef lacked fat which resulted in a tough patty. Pity about the waterlogged bun and dry meat, as the sweet onion jam, basil pesto mushrooms and oozing cheese were fantastic.
Bun: Filling ratio = 1:3 (we kid you not)
On the side: They offer chunky fries sprinkled with paprika and thin, waffle-cut vegetable crisps—a medley of potato, taro and sweet potato (both $4.80). Condiments are the stars here, with spicy tartare and herb tomato with garlic dip. But our favorite is the incredibly fragrant and tangy sweet chili kaffir lime aioli.
Wash it down: We reckon their milkshakes would bring all the boys to the yard, and us too. There’s naked chocolate or peanut butter with banana. We fell hard for the thick, sweet and creamy Nutella ($4.50), with three torched marshmallows.
The verdict: 3/5
#B1-65/66 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Rd., 6334-4577.


For the herbivores:

44 Rochester Park, 6778-0246.
This gem of a café serves up healthy but tasty food. One to try is their vegetarian Carribean burger ($9.50), served with a garbanzo bean (chickpea) mash. A multigrain bun hides homemade chipotle ketchup and a black bean and brown rice vegetable patty that’s surprisingly filling.

44 Jalan Eunos, 6844 6868.
Less than a week old, this intriguing new burger joint specializes in promoting the vegan lifestyle. Expect burgers such as char-grilled satay and cracked pepper mayo in organic rye buns, with seaweed fries for company.