"The accidental burgerman"
Bobby’s behind-his-house burger joint seems to be many things. The local takeout for one, a neighbourhood hangout and of course a bustling business. Manning the grill almost single handedly, on a weekday Bobby finishes 8 packs of buns (a pack contains 40 buns) easy and it goes beyond 11 packs on weekends. His patties are grilled in a slew of olive oil. Sometime back he noticed that many of his customers left their burgers unfinished, finding margarine grilled patties a little too much to take. “Once I experimented with olive oil, I saw there were less leftovers so I stuck with it,” he explained. However, fear not. Like any good burger seller he douses his burgers with enough oil to fry it; and with grease from his patties what you get is still your much-loved street burger, sloppy to the point of madness.
"WHAT THE HECK IS A PIZZA BURGER?"
Splash, Merry Go Round, and Flame Thrower might sound like the name of theme park rides – and it’s probably where the founders of Mr. Junior drew their inspirations from when they opened up a burger stall six years ago. Having discovered a knack for kitchen experiments, the brothers found a burger patty recipe that tickled their taste buds and decided to develop their talents. They opened a home based burger delivery service and from there it grew to a small stall lodging on the premises of another restaurant, before continuing to open outlets in Shah Alam and Kelana Jaya.
We should tell you early on that the best part of the patties is that they are 100% homemade beef and chicken. This means that the goods are completely free of preservatives, and are made of real, raw meat flavored to the Junior standards and recipe. The sauces are made fresh every day, so you’re ensured a good batch upon ordering. Patties come in interesting squares instead of your standard circle.
The menu is pretty simple – six original burgers, all with special names and themes. The first, Mr. Junior Original, will have you appreciating the crumbly texture of the patty, chewy and with a good thickness and salted flavor, served with veggies and a dash of chili sauce. The Flame Thrower cooks up a chockfull of spiced meat that will leave your tongues steaming for water, a great zinger to fuel an all-nighter.
The most popular burger in the clan is the Pizza Burger. We don’t understand how the concept of combining two extremely good comfort food - Pizza (!) and Burger (!!) - has not taken over the world yet, but safe to say that Mr. Junior does justice to both deliciously. A meaty beef patty enveloped in gooey, warm mozzarella cheese, drizzled with a tomato based pasta sauce. The sauce lightly recalls a Bolognaise flavor, heavy on tangy tomato yet sweet. The combo definitely brings to mind thoughts of devouring pizza but nope, you’re actually chewing on a good, solid burger.
"Ditch your conscience and get The Complete Dayummnation..."
This stall is run by three friends. Located in a kopitiam, one handles the grill, the second fries up the eggs/bacon and toasts buns while the third takes orders, assembles the burgers and delivers it to hungry tables. There weren't too many patrons when I came about but I put my skepticism aside and ordered the works (single patty, bacon, cheese and egg). Looking back, I realised on that night there was a huge ceramah at Esplanade so that could be the reason for the lack of customers. Don't matter, it didn't take long for my precious package to arrive.
What hit me was the freaking size! It wasn't huge, it was GINORMOUS. I could barely hold it in one hand. As I unwrapped it, the appetizing waft of grilled porky goodness hit me and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it. But oh oh, how to eat it? Times like this I wished I was a python so i could disengage my jaw and wolf down the sucker but alas, I tried my best to attack this fat piggy. One bite, and I was hooked. Hubby had to literally wrestle it from my clutches. We were like 2 ravenous carnivores trying to get a share of the prize.
10 minutes later, the massacre was over. The verdict? Pork nirvana, baby! The patty was well marinated, so thick and juicy. The bacon wasn't too crispy, just nicely fried to lend a slight salty savouriness without outshining the star i.e. the pork patty. The cheese was nicely melted over the patty, lending a subtle richness to the burger and the crunch of raw onions was refreshing. I love the raisin bun, it absorbs the meat juices and remains crusty without falling apart. The raisins lend a sweet finish after each bite. My only minor gripe was the egg could be a little runnier and the commercial ketchup/chilli sauce was unnecessary, plus caramelised onions would have been nice. Nevertheless, I went to bed stuffed and happy.
The next night, I was itching for more. This time being the eve of GE, the humble stall was enjoying brisk business and it took a while for my order to arrive. The moment that piping hot package arrived, I took a minute to visually devour it. Then within 5 minutes, it was gone! The worst part was I wanted another one! I feel like an addict who just had another fix. A quick chat with Morgan Ramanchandram reveals that him and his partners Ian Lim and Lam Khai Hong started serving their awesome patties at their own house parties. As their friends raved about it, the idea to commercialise their wares started after they noticed the boom of pork burger stalls in Penang.
"Size does matter...( when it comes to burgers)"
The Ayam Special is Abang’s signature dish, cracking and splashing the egg onto the grill as he uses the patty to spread the egg, allowing the white pepper and soy sauce to seep into the egg as well, enhancing its flavour two fold. Slightly crispy around the edges but totally juicy on the inside, even my friend who is not a foodie (boo!) and a small eater (double boo!), exclaimed “WOW” the first time she sunk her teeth into this sloppy creation. The Daging Double is a heavyweight contender, extra tender and juicy, perfect for a hungry tummy in the middle of the night.
But the real beauty came just a few months ago to Abang’s burger place when he unleashed his mammoth creation. Dubbed the Monster Burger X, it had all my favourite words (Monster and X) and everything I could wish for in a burger. Everyone can easily recognize the Monster Burger, simply because it is what it is…a monster of a burger. Nearly twice in width and length of a normal Ramly burger patty, the Monster Burger combines the taste of a gourmet burger, delicate and refined, with the smokey tones of an excellent street grilled burger. The patty has an altogether different taste which you will have to try for yourself.
Monster Burger has twice as much 'sayur', twice as much as sauce and definitely twice as much bite, because it can easily replace a meal. You can have the Monster done in any way you want as well, be it special, cheese or special cheese. The patty is so big that for the 'Special' version, Abang actually needs to use 2 eggs. The patty has a genuine beef taste and way juicier compared to the-run-off-the-mill Ramly burger. If you are a monster, you can opt for a double Monster, which is only RM13, still affordable compared to other burger stalls.
Many of my friends have tried Abang’s new creation the Monster Burger, and all of them have the same to say, it is better than most burgers they have tasted. One even compared it against a (currently) very popular burger bakar and said it came nowhere close to the Monster, both in taste and price-wise.
"the Master of roadside burgers..."
To make his famous Master Burger, owner/creator of the stall, Brother John starts off with two Ramly patties, either beef or chicken. On the greasy, hot griddle, he sears the meat, butterflies, and seasons them. To season the patty, he uses a spray bottle containing a brown coloured liquid, we suspect that it's Lea & Perrins but of course Brother John won't confirm. It is after all one of the secrets of his trade.
Using the spray not only speeds up the process but it also allows even distribution of the secret seasoning on the patties. Brother John also adds a pinch of paprika to give the burgers a lil' bit of heat.
Next, he breaks an egg, expertly spreads it around, and places the meat back inside with a slice of cheese. He then deftly folds the egg around the patties. At a glance it does seem like any other Ramly burger special. But then he adds his secret sauce, a sticky, dark, BBQ sauce-like liquid he makes himself ( it's like a love child of bbq sauce and chilli sauce- sweet and smoky ), next, he puts in a short squirt of mustard and a dollop of mayonnaise.
You like eating neat and clean? Forget it here. A hefty beast, this burger is super-sloppy in the best way possible. I cut it in half for an autopsy shot. It was beautiful. The meat, still moist and juicy, sandwiched the cheese slice, making it melt into every nook and crevice on the crust of the patties.
The egg enveloping the patties was thin and delicate, almost crepe like in texture. Below, a bed of crisp cabbage, smothered in some chili sauce and mayo, valiantly tried to protect the bun from the onslaught of juices and sauce above. One bite and you’ll become slave to the Master Burger; the sauce never overpowered the meat, and through it all you could still taste the cheese, the mayo, mustard and egg, and feel the crunch of the vegetables and the piquant chili sauce.
The great thing about this burger is the element of surprise. Each bite is a new discovery. In some, everything comes together to create an explosion of flavours. But once you've bitten off the mustard and cheesy parts, the taste transforms into a normal Ramly burger. Still good but less impressive. This burger teases your taste buds, giving you a blast of amazingness then it pulls back, making you crave for it even more. It was messy, chaotic and definitely worthy of its name. You can't help but surrender to the Master Burger.
"Great for late-nite munchies..."
Adi Burger has been around since 1997. Most of my friends have grown up with this being their de facto neighbourhood burger stall, late nights hanging about chomping on a burger with a can of soft drink in the other hand. Started by Adi (yes, there is an Adi!), it's now run by his workers who diligently serve up tasty treats for residents and students who abound in this area.
The burgers here are so incredibly popular that Adi sells on average 500 burgers a night during the week and about 700 burgers per night during the weekends. What also sets Adi apart from other burger sellers is his truck, instead of the usual stall, he sells his burger from a modified lorry. He decided to use this set up because when he applied for his business licence, he was also required to get a lorry so he combined both requirements and the burger truck was born.
Here's the deal: you can have the burger 3 ways. There's option 1, where you order it to take away. Then there's option 2, where you get your burgers, fish a soft drink out of the giant orange bin, and sit on the chairs on the sidewalk. Option 3 is what my friends and I usually go for, and that is to get our order to go, but we head to the nearby mamak Silva, a little ways down the road. They usually let Adi Burger customers sit there as long as you order drinks. Several rounds of teh o ais and we're set for hours of good times and good food.
Adi's menu lists out the regular favourites of beef, chicken or lamb burgers, and chicken hot dogs. They also have lighter snacks like chicken nuggets and fish balls if you don't feel like gorging on a burger. The thing about this stall though, is that the guys here do everything with a little twist. First of all, their burger patties are more crispy than juicy. This is because the patties are split horizontally in the middle to speed up the cooking time, giving the edges a good bite. And if you order a special, they don't wrap the egg around the patty. Instead, they fry the eggs in ring moulds and pop them in the middle of their split patties, which makes for a yummy squishy burger. Adi also adds his own seasonings when he's grilling the patties, this secret blend of spices makes his burgers even more special. Plus, every Adi burger comes with a healthy squirt of black pepper sauce along with the usual chilli sauce and mayo, zingy!
"Their burgers are massive!"
Hype: is it friend, or foe to a food joint? Well actually it's a bit of both. See, just the right amount of hype will spread the word around and bring in the crowds. Too much however, and one risks disappointing said crowds. Try googling 'burger bakar' then you'll start seeing a number of new upstarts who are grilling their burgers. Burger Kaw Kaw is one of them. The business was started by two burger-lovin' individuals, Mohd Faizul and Nini Haznita. Their burger empire have expanded and now they have branches in Puchong Utama and Taman Dagang along with the original stall in Wangsa Maju.
The stall in Wangsa Maju is located in Section Two along the main-road. You won't miss it because of the unbelieavable lines. Ah yes, I've been hearing rave reviews and tales of a street-burger unlike any other. Of big, chunky home-made beef patties piled-high and mighty. Each patty weighs 175 gm and these are all made at their own meat production house in Desa Melawati. More than anything else, I've been hearing about the lines forming at this place: people queue up for up to TWO HOURS to get these burgers! This waiting time doesn't seem to deter people from coming here because Kaw Kaw still manages to sell more than 1,000 burgers every night. More »