Monday, August 17, 2009
R Burger at ION Orchard
When I first saw R Burger at the Singapore Food Festival, I was an instant cynic. Mantou bun as burger bun? Too gimmicky. But later I kept hearing remarks and feedback about how tasty it is. So I got curious and did not reject the invite to its official launch at ION Orchard.
R Burger is brought in by local Mediacorp artiste Adam Chen (don't ask me which TV shows he's in cos I've absolutely no idea who he is). He fell in love with it when he tried it in Thailand. The mantou bun is not only supposedly healthier but contains marine collagen as well. Adam says marine collagen is commonly added to food ingredients in Japan, but we don't get much of it here.
So how are the burgers? I liked my first bite of these burgers. They were better than I hoped for, but I suspect they will only appeal to people who like Japanese food and flavours.
Their best stuff is still the Asian-inspired stuff. The avocado cheese burger (S$4.30) resembled a Western burger the most, but did not taste anything like one. Everything in it was a bit too mushy, including the pickles and beef patty.
Adam personally feels the must-try burger is not the eponymous product, but the salmon burger (S$3.80). I liked this the best out of the three. It's an unusual salmon patty, almost like an omelette, doused with savoury sauces - I couldn't tell what, but apparently Ankake (black vinegar) is used. The shiso leaf may not appeal to all, but I liked its gently herbal taste.
The chicken ume burger is another combination that worked well, but it's not as impressive as the salmon one. You may prefer it if you're not a fan of salmon.
However, I do have a couple of quibbles. The portion is too small to be filling, the patties are too thin, and the buns too thick. Even the Chinese kong bak pao knows how to keep its bun from killing the filling.
Well, the mantou buns I had were a tad dry (the steamer had broken down that morning, and we were told the buns were not steamed to satisfaction that day). But this is how thin the patty was in some places inside the salmon burger. No matter how soft and fluffy the bun is, something like this is still going to be a bit disappointing. Bigger patties please!
One thing I did like about this hamburger cafe chain is its emphasis on non-sugary drinks. Green tea, buckwheat tea, oolong cha - some of the healthy options available. I wish more fast food joints would offer this.
So, the R Burger tries sincerely to be a Revolution, but it's not without flaws. Still, it's worth checking out at least once if you are sick of regular burgers and MOS Burger. See if you like it or hate it.
Thanks to Jia Liang of SPOC and R Burger for the invite. I still have two vouchers from SFF that were uncollected from the previous giveaway. S$1 off each combo. Just let me know in the comments, whoever wants them. Valid til Sept 30, 2009.
2 Orchard Turn
#B4-56/57 ION Orchard