After a disappointing meal at Fat Boys, I visited Burger Shack with rather low expectations.
And those expectations sunk even lower when I saw this sign:
To say I’m not a fan of the ice creams of Island Creamery, is an understatement. However, burgers should be judged on their own merit, and not on their parentage.
Scanning the menu board, I was surprised to find no mention of milk shakes on the menu. A burger joint owned by an ice cream company with no milk shake? Hmm… I wonder why.
Here, you build a burger from the original. Unlike at Fat Boys, there’s no specification on the amount of meat used in each patty.
The Original Burger is $5.70. This is the absolute basic burger. What you get is in the photo below:
To make it a meal, for fries and a drink, add $3.20. Students get a better deal on this for seventy cents less. So, if you don’t like teenagers using eating places as an alternative study area with their bubblegum-coloured MacBooks or as their personal living room for banal gossip, this is a huge negative and reason enough to stay away.
Burger Shack’s meal of Original burger, fries and a soda is $8.90. A double is $2 more. As a comparison, Fat Boys’ basic burger is $8.50 consisting of bun ($1), single patty ($7.50), one tomato slice, one leaf of lettuce, fries, no onion, no drink.
Once you start adding the extras – cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, a fried egg – the burger begins to get quite expensive as each addition is $1.50.
I ordered a burger, not much different from the one I had at Fat Boys. I went with the Original burger, with caramelized onions.
I liked that the burgers each come wrapped in paper that allows you to eat with hands clean. Unfortunately, the burger was wrapped too high and needed to be unwrapped immediately in order to be eaten.
I’m glad to say that Burger Shack knows what caramelized onions actually means. Unfortunately, it’s not well caramelized and lacks the natural sweetness that emerges from properly caramelizing onions.
I was surprised to find that on ordering caramelized onions, the cook still left raw onions in. This really spoilt the flavour of the burger as the onions clashed and combated for attention.
The patty was done the right way, with a pink centre. However, it lacked that just-off-the-grill flavour. The beef – apparently Wagyu – wasn’t even hot enough to melt the cheese.
But it was the burger bun – described as light and fluffy and made in-house everyday – that did the burger in, with its distracting cloying sweetness. It did not hold up well, rendering the bun soggy upon contact with teeth.
All in all, the prices of the burgers at Burger Shack worked out to be roughly the same as those at Fat Boys, but the quality of burgers are better. But not so much so you’d trip over your feet to get to.
I made a second visit to Burger Shack in early May 2010.
I had a Double Burger ($7.70) Meal (+$3.20).
The positives are:
- The beef had a better grill, was hotter than the last time.
- My fellow diner had a Ramlee Burger ($6.20) and the egg had a runny yolk.
The negatives are:
- The patty was overdone for both burgers, dry and saw dusty.
- Again, I take issue with the stacking order of the burger. It’s bottom bun, one slim slice of lettuce, then patty. In this case, because the patty was actually hot, the lettuce got overcooked and became a mushy, soft, disgusting green.
- The fries were served almost at room temperature. By the end of the burger (not the meal) it was cold and inedible.
- The fry seasoning was not well shaken. Some fries had an inordinate amount of chilli powder, some were tasteless.
I failed to mention that on my first visit, I ate there around 2:30pm. This time, I ate at about 1:15pm.
Okay, this is a burger joint. The menu is severely limited. It’s isn’t that hard to be consistent. Temperatures are set. Patties are of a certain size. And how can you justify serving serving a lousier burger at peak hours where most of your business is?
What a letdown.
559 Bukit Timah Road
#01-01 King’s Arcade
Tue – Sun: 12 – 10pm
History of visits:
2010 May: Downgrade rating.