Oct 102012

This blog is about food in Singapore – and while most posts cover decidedly Asian foods, there is a huge variety of Western style fare here (and hey, you want a good steak? You can find one if you look).

I thought I would do a quick roundup of one of the most popular Western alternatives here – the hamburger. This is purely a reflection of my own journey through the food of Singapore to date – I know that there are many rivers yet uncrossed (and burgers yet uneaten).

Starting at the top, I have to say that I am a big fan of the Beef Sandwich at Kookaburra Cafe (Albert Court Village, Cnr Selegie Road and Bukit Timah Road) – the home-made tomato relish and super fresh ingredients make it easily the best burger (or burger like sandwich, to be fair) that I have eaten in Singapore – the main textures are succulent beef and well caramelised onions:

Kookaburra also makes a fine Breakfast Burger – but the Beef Sandwich wins on flavour every time.

A very close second is the Southern Big Mouth Burger from Chili’s:

Be warned, the Big Mouth Burger is just that – a BIG meal even for those with healthy appetites:

Carls Jr would come in third for me – the burgers are available at fast food prices, yet the size and flavour are generally very good.

Equal winner in the fast food class would have to be MosBurger – I am a big guy, and their burgers are small, so I’d normally order two (and I get to have two different flavours, which is good, as they are very tasty).

Triple Os burgers (Asia Square in the financial district, behind One Shenton Way) are in fourth place purely because they’re 25% more expensive than Carls Jr for comparable size, flavour and quality.

I feel bad about placing Wendys so far down the list – they are good value for what they are, just not as flavourful as the options above.

In last place, sadly, McDonalds. This is the promise:

And the reality – while it looks considerably better than the McDonalds I remember from my earlier years, it fails on the tender and flavourful part of the description:

For Western-style burgers, you get what you pay for. Going to somewhere like Kookaburra or Chili’s and playing SGD20 or more will get you a premium burger experience. In the fast food stakes, Carls Jr and MosBurger win out on flavour alone. The Clown and the Colonel, well, maybe they are the same the world over.

And to keep it local – one of my favourite burger like things sold at the local coffee shops is the otah bun. Otah are spicy steamed fish patties, and they are sometimes served on small sweet bread rolls like this:

And did I mention cheap? You’ll pick up an Otah Bun and a Kopi/Teah for around SGD2.50-SGD3.50 – a perfect snack half way through an afternoon’s shopping or sightseeing.

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