I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Restaurant review: "My Burger Lab"

When you ask a local foodie where to get the best burger in the Klang Valley, all fingers point to -- "My Burger Lab".  

                                                                                       (image source: unknown)

Now, I was "baptized" at Shake Shack and I have had burger at Burger Joint, Corner Bistro, JG Melon, 5 guys, 5 napkins, all so-called burger meccas in NYC (I had In and Out burger, which is a West Coast burger chain; "Dear Minetta Tavern, you and I shall formally meet one day"). Needless to say, my bar is set pretty high and I was intrigued by "My Burger Lab".

                           THE original Shake Shack burger stand in Madison Square Park


                                                                        Shake Shack Burger

Before I give you my verdict, here are some random observations:

1. The average waiting time (from getting in line until taking the first bite), based on my own experience, is 45 minutes. 
2. The yuppiest of the yuppies in the Klang Valley can be found here, which ties in curiously to number 3.
3. The average age of the customers is 22 (totally non-scientific estimation).
4. Lots of camera phone photo-ops. (4square, Facebook, Instagram, "dear dairy").
5. People travel far away to eat here. People at the table next to us traveled 45 minutes .  
6. This place serves about 10-15 different kinds of burgers.


                                               Minetta Tavern's legendary $25 burger that I yet to try
Whenever I visit a burger place, I always order the most basic burger on the menu. All I want are the buns, beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese and whatever secret sauce they put. As a side, the fries. 

I was asked the most important question at the end of my meal -- "is it better than Shake Shack?". I said "no" but I said "It is almost as good as Shake Shack". That is as high a compliment as I can give to a burger place and it is based mainly on "burger vs. burger" comparison. 

This is the My Burger Lab burger but it was not my order. The brown fried thing is fried portabella mushroom. The yellowy piece of thing bellow the beef patty is a piece of hardened parmesan cheese. Not sure how they made it but I get the same product when I microwave cheese and let it cool down. It is created by melting and hardening the cheese.

Now the good stuff about My Burger Lab's burger:

1. They replicated Shake Shack's "burger crust" to perfection. I observed the kitchen and noticed the same "smashed action". You need to have a Shake Shack burger to understand what I mean. 

2. The meat is cooked decently and it has the compulsory juicy shine.  

2. The secret sauce is quite good but nothing that special. "I heard mayo and thousand island"?

3. Bottomless soda.

4. Generous bun and patty size. About 20% larger than Shake Shack. 

5. They pay attention to details by placing staffs at the head of the line to explain their menu and to provide guidance, tables were cleaned and setup promptly, they provide free water to customers waiting in line.

6. Lots of seating space. 

My "bare bone" burger or as my friend said "anemic" burger.

And I took some points off for these reasons:

1. Fries: It was overly salted. I will let them slide this time since it could just be an anomaly but  I saw the "fries taster" gave a nodding acceptance to his colleague. They also seasoned the fries with rosemary. I can do without this.

2. It is lacking some of the "beef" flavor that shines in a Shake Shack burger. 

3. Price. It is reasonable if you earn USD, Sterling pound, or Euro. It is expensive by local standard but I had paid more money for worse food. I will unlikely visit My Burger Lab as frequently as I had visited Shake Shack.  

4. The wait.

Why is the bun black?  Black bamboo charcoal powder was added to the dough during the bun making process.

Is this a gimmick (look, we are different!!) or does it has any added value? I can't detect any distinct flavor. Between the meat flavor, secret sauce, onion, mushrooms, fried eggs, or ketchup, I highly doubt anyone can detect any special flavor in the bun. Take away the color, it is just a........bun.  

1 comment:

  1. First thing I read when I woke up today.
    Now I crave a burger........
    I love the review, you should do more reviews like this! :)