Molly’s Burger

Molly’s Burger, Molly Malones. 6/10. SGD $18.00

The priciest burger I have reviewed so far, The Molly’s Burger from Molly Malone’s Irish Pub. Molly’s is located at the end (or the start) of Circular Rd just behind the Boat Quay area of Singapore. The pub itself is a bit of an institution in Singapore and the street outside is the location of the annual St. Patricks Day parade.

Normally I would not order the burger in Molly’s, but as part of my “search” I decided to give it a go. It’s a pretty standard build: bun, lettuce, tomato, patty, tomato relish, cheese, bun. You can pay extra SGD $2.00 for bacon, but since that is not part of the standard cheeseburger for this experiment it was ignored.

Let’s be honest, it looks great, the melted cheese, the juicy and yet charred patty, they artfully posed bun lid sat askew to show both the red tomato and the green lettuce. The pint of the black stuff just in the frame, and the thick cut chips already lightly salted. It looks great on the plate, less so when you re-arrange that artfully posed lid, and you are wearing the burger 3 bites later.

Thought: Maybe the secret is to not move the lid and eschew the top bun for the first few bites and instead use it to catch the contents and stop them sliding out the back. But applying melted cheese to the roof of my mouth is an almost certain recipe for a blister and the inevitable flap of skin that comes with such…think eating too hot pizza.

In general, the patty was juicy, cooked to a very light pink in the middle, the ingredients are top notch, and it looks great. However the bun is too small to hold the contents so you end up wearing it, though it does get points for being lightly toasted and therefore holding together. (the bun not the burger) While I enjoyed the taste of the burger having to wash my hands before I could pick up my beer again is a point deduction. Added to which the burger is one of the priciest I’ve reviewed, so far, and at SGD $18.00 and a non happy hour Guinness at SGD $16.50, the whole experience is not cheap.

As I stated further up, I would not normally order the burger in Molly’s, and given that I have lost count of the nights I have spent here indulging in Guinness and Irish Whiskey, I think it’s fair to say it’s a great pub and always a great Craic. Just not a place for burgers, stick to Beef and Guinness Pie, a Bacon and Egg Butty or the Irish Fry Up.

Rating 6/10 for flavour, and $$$$$ for price.*

* Cost Ratings are for burger and 2 beers. The first $ represents $20 or less, and each extra $ for every $10 extra. (in SGD)

Butcher – The Burger Bar

The Butcher Bar Classic 6/10 SGD $9.80

The Burger Bar is located inside The Patio, which bills itself as Singapore’s favourite Hawker bar.* While I am not sure if this is true, if you are in the North the trip to 1018 Sembawang Rd might be worth it.

Thankfully the Butcher Classic does not come built as it is shown on the menu and instead is built as such: bun, lettuce, tomato, mayo, meat, cheese, bbq sauce, bun. They list the sauce as their “special sauce” but it tasted like run of the mill bbq to me. It did not come with onion, though it was advertised as so, and was served with seasoned thick cut chips. The lettuce was an arugula salad mixed leaf salad and while tasty did not offer any barrier protection for the un-toasted bun, which at first glance seemed a little small to hold together until the last bite, unless you forsake the chips and devour the burger fast.(as I did) So be warned you need to eat this quick if you don’t want it to fall apart in your hands and wear it.

The patty was cooked through, with no discernible seasoning, however the addition of both mayo and bbq sauce helped avoid that dry burger taste** and kept it a juicy meal. The burger itself cost SGD $9.80 and the beer came in at SGD$7.00. And while this is not a bar/beer review, The Patio (the drink stall this Hawker Bar is named after) has a decent selection of beers ranging from SGD $7.00-9.00 for a standard bottle, or SGD $19.00 for 1 litre of Lownbrau. (they also have Guinness on tap, I think it was SGD $12.00) I know I said Smokin’ Joe was a little ulu when I reviewed its burger, but this place is even further North and while a 6/10 burger might not be worth the effort, if we were including beer offerings in the judging it would edge to a 7/10. It is also only a small side-trek off my usual journey home, which is a plus as a destination, but not in rating it’s burger.

Rating 6/10 for flavour, and $$ for price.

* Hawker bars have been in Singapore for a while, the first I can recall was Bar Bar Black Sheep on Cherry Lane from which various incantations have sprung up all over the island. In a nutshell, a Hawker Bar is a small Hawker Centre, usually only 4-5 stalls, one of which is a bar, they others usually favour Thai, Indian and Western (usually burgers) as their fare. They are usually awesome and well worth the visit.

** Think McDonalds Cheeseburger.

Smokin’ Joe

Smokin Joe Wagyu Beef Burger with cheese. 8/10 SGD $9.50

Smokin’ Joe is located within the Yishun Hawker Centre on the corner of Yishun Ave 11 and Yishun Ring Rd. (store #01-37)

This was my second burger here and the consistency across the two visits means this burger might become the baseline standard against which to measure cheeseburgers in Singapore.

The burger was well constructed and from the plate up consisted of bun, sauce (mayo), lettuce, tomato, 150g wagyu beef patty, cheese and bun. The cheese was an extra 0.50c added to their standard Wagyu Beef Burger, it does not come with onion (I did not ask if it could be added) and like most burgers served in Singapore was served with French Fries. Throw in a beer, this time it was a Singha at SGD $5.00 (a large Tiger at this Hawker is SGD $6.80) and you’ve got a very cheap and filling meal.

The patty remained tasty and juicy until the last bite, though it was a tad undercooked in the middle, and the tomato was ice cold having probably come straight from the fridge, which gave an interesting texture for the middle few bites. While the bun was not toasted it was both large enough and robust enough to survive the meal without leaking burger all over my hands while holding it, which is a huge tick in my plus column, as I like to eat a burger not wear it.* For the price this burger will be very hard to beat, even if the location of Smokin’ Joe is a little ulu for most people, it is definitely worth the public transport cost, and an excuse to explore the North.

Rating is 8/10 for flavour, and $ for price.

* NOTE: wearing the burger while trying to eat it is a real pet peeve of mine. A lot of it comes from burger places not toasting the buns and using a bun that is small and so shows off the fillings for photography. So while Thomo added a point for a bun that held together throughout the meal and I will too, I am also going to take away a point if the burger does not hold together and I end up with it running down my hands or slopping onto the plate.