Look up the history of the burger, or the hamburger if you favour a more orthodox tone, and what comes back are scattered claims pertaining to its origin. While the inventor, date, place or recipe of the first definitive burger remain in dispute, one thing is certain; this fast food has been a worldwide staple for many decades now and is here to stay.
The fundamental makeup of bun, patty and condiments welcomes experimentation, and everything about a burger can be customised and reimagined – ingredients, cooking method, add-ons, size, layer count, presentation and beyond. Therefore, there are umpteen burger variations out there, with just as many flavour profiles, some of which can be savoured at these reputable home-grown gourmet burger establishments.
As of today, this brand has five more addresses to its name, which rightfully incites thoughts of burger research and development. They revel in creating some adventurous sandwiches that sometimes house unexpected ingredients, budu (fermented anchovies) sauce in the Bait & Switch chicken burger being an example. It’s heaven for curious tongues.
Charcoal buns are a myBurgerLab unofficial trademark, no matter if the burger is a menu regular or a seasonal passer-by. With beef, lamb, chicken and vegetarian options spread across the innovation spectrum, it’s easy to find one that hits the spot brilliantly. Adding to that is the noticeable care and attention that go into them, from inception to the table.
WHERE 19, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 11am–10.15pm (closed 1st Mon of the month)
Born from the want of credible American comfort food, Killer Gourmet Burgers comes very close to the mark. It’s got the gourmet part down convincingly enough, through the beef, chicken, and vegetarian examples found at KGB’s three locations. The gourmet label thankfully doesn’t extend to the prices; the result of going down the local brand founding route instead of the bringing in of a US franchise one.
Fried, grilled or crust seared, the patty preparation pays homage to those seen in the ‘better burger’ joints in the States, capturing as much of their muses’ premium feel as possible. Take the KGB Spiked beef burger for instance, whose meat exhibits just the right amount of char.
WHERE 23, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 12pm-10.30pm (Mon-Thur), 12pm-11pm (Fri-Sun)
TEL 03 2201 1220
The Daily Grind
Having passed its 10th year mark in 2018, this Bangsar gourmet burger spot is a seasoned veteran that was recently joined by a sibling in Ampang. The Daily Grind ensures that a lavish helping of quality completes its traditional burger-making methods, whether it’s the humble Classic Beef Burger or the 10-inch-wide OMG! Burger.
Beef, chicken, lamb, fish and vegetarian sandwiches are available, but so are mains such as pasta and steak for members of the dining group who are indifferent to burgers. Those partial to having something punchy wash down their meal will find solace in the decently stocked alcohol list that hosts plenty of choices for that impeccable drink pairing.
The Daily Grind
WHERE LG8 Lower Ground, Bangsar Village 1, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 11am-11pm (weekday), 9am-11pm (weekend)
TEL 03 2287 6708
Burger On 16
On top of being housed in a shop lot that’s numbered 16, Burger on 16 was also formed in 2016, and the two details combined to give the restaurant its name. The menu however doesn’t adhere to the ‘16’ theme, for it actually holds more burgers than that. These elaborate beef, chicken and vegetarian entries lay bare a true commitment to burgers.
Safe to say, the range is diverse enough to please most palates, and some, like the California Cheese Skirt, catch the eye both on paper and in person. Coffee beverages are also a highlight here, and it’s not uncommon to see diners sipping on a latte in between mouthfuls of burger.
Burger on 16
WHERE 16, Lorong 1/77a, Imbi, Kuala Lumpur
TEL 03 9224 2117
It’s the only venue among this group to specialise in gourmet pork burgers, which also makes it the only legitimately non-halal location here. A portmanteau of ‘burger’ and ‘factory’, the driving force behind the opening of this unique business was simply because regular pork burgers were difficult to come by, let alone those of higher standards.
What some may not know is that 90% of the restaurant’s interior was built by its staff, including the dining furniture, counter, wall boards and even the plumbing and electrical bits. It’s something for customers to admire as they dig into such creations as the Porky Nest and other inspired burgers they dish out here.
WHERE 8A, 1st Floor, Jalan SS15/4D, Subang Jaya
WHEN 6pm-11pm (Tues-Fri), 1pm-11pm (Sat & Sun), closed Mon
TEL 03 7498 1811