It is said by some that Omakase Burger is the best burger in Singapore. Others have said it is the smallest. Hmmm. Not mutually exclusive; it can be both the best and smallest, unless you are all about quantity over quality. Maybe the best “diet” burger?
I made plans with my friends Murchelle and Shell to try this famed burger. I love getting together with them to discuss all things education related. We met in a group for expats with kids in local schools as opposed to international schools. Murchelle wrote a really interesting report for the US state department about how Singapore created a great education system for itself. See a quick explanation: part 1 and part 2.
We met at Omakase Burger at The Grandstand. The Grandstand is a trendy location in the Bukit Timah area where fancy people go shopping. I feel very fancy when I go there. :) It is a newly redesigned shopping center that has adorable coffee shops, great play area cafes for the kids, boutique preschools, and a fab store called Pasarbella, which is a treasure trove of everything wonderful and food related.
They have a fantastic little rare cheese shop that I drool over called The Cheese Ark. Wheels and wheels of aging cheese fill the shelves in the storage area, and they are happy to slice some tastes for you to help you pick the right cheese. It reminds me of the cheese counters in Europe where I would just pick cheeses at random to make a little cheese picnic for myself. This visit, I bought Goat Gouda, Lindenhoff Charmeur, and Quadrello Di Bufala. :D
Shell and Murchelle were such fabulous company that I completely forgot to take a photo of my food. And what food review is any good without the obligatory food porn? So I was forced (yes, forced) to go back.
Omakase Burger is brightly lit and has three sections for seating. I love this. If someone obnoxious is sitting in a certain area, you have two others to choose from. If your kids are being obnoxious, you don’t have to feel badly as people have options. I sat outside the first time and enjoyed it. I sat at the “picnic table” in the middle section this time but did not like it as much. It was incredibly noisy due to the HVAC pipes and such overhead, and the giant bench was pretty difficult to move to get in and out of the seat. However, if I had kiddos with me, it would have been perfect. The bench was wide and padded—perfect for little monkeys to climb on and remain seated upon without falling off.
Last time, I had the Bacon Cheeseburger, which came with lettuce, and tomato besides the obvious. Mustard, Heinz ketchup, and pickles were available at the condiment counter. I also had the regular fries and a root beer float.
Yep, you read that right. A root beer float. In Singapore. A&W, no less. It was fantastic. Sweet, sweet root beer enveloping creamy vanilla soft-serve ice cream in a cold, thick glass. I can still taste it. :)
The fries were great too, as was the burger, and this is why no photos were taken. I was rapt from bite 1 to bite n.
So time for take two. This time I decided to have the ultimate burger, which added grilled mushrooms and onions to the above.
Suffice to say I loved it. The bun was fab. Grilled to be toasty on the outside but soft on the inside, it was thick enough to handle the juicy burger inside. Apparently, they have been working very hard on it.
The meat was great. They let you choose how well-done you want it, and I loved the medium level that I chose last time and this time. The flavor was perfect, with the char of the burger coming slightly through, complementing the smokiness of the bacon. The cheese was gorgeously melted, reminding me of the way my grandpa used to throw slices of American cheese on burgers while they were still on the grill.
I liked it so much, I basically bathed in it, albeit accidentally. I used the paper wrapper to hold the burger, figuring it would hold the juices back so they wouldn’t drip everywhere. This totally worked. And then I tipped the burger…drenching my hand, arm, and leg with burger juices. Not completely unpleasant, as they give you a big, sturdy napkin with your burger–for when you spill it all over yourself. Very rare in Singapore to be given a napkin at all.
The size of the burger was fine with me. Definitely not a huge burger, but a sufficient size, maybe the size of a Big Mac if I remember correctly. I did not leave hungry, as the fries portion was quite large, even though I ordered the regular size. The truffle fries were great, as were the regular fries, because their fries are that fantastic thin and crispy style. They got colder in temperature as I sat there, but did not get soggy. GREAT FRIES! Loved having both mustard and ketchup for dipping fries. I had the homemade lemonade as my beverage of choice this time. It was EXTREMELY sweet. I made this face:
I got some water to dilute it and it was fine, though I did not end up finishing it. Won’t have that again. The only other downside is the cost. At S$14.90-18.50 for a burger ($11.92-14.80), it’s really Oma-costly Burger. But it was truly delicious. It better be for that price. Before I left, I looked at the menu one last time, and noticed the basic burger has a special Omakase sauce (omakase means “I’ll leave it to you” or chef’s choice in Japanese). I also read that they cook their fries in beef tallow on the weekends at the Wisma Atria location, lending them a uniquely awesome taste.
Hmmmm. Looks like I need to go back again… :D