Cheap & Good

Cheap & Good: Assemble a burger at Simpleburger in Serangoon

Burgers at Simpleburger may look small, but are surprisingly filling when paired with a side of fries.
Burgers at Simpleburger may look small, but are surprisingly filling when paired with a side of fries.ST PHOTO: ANJALI RAGURAMAN

Picky eaters take note: newly-opened Simpleburger lets diners customise their burger and also assemble it themselves with fillings and condiments from a salad counter.

Opened just last month, the burger bar is at the basement of the myVillage shopping mall in Serangoon Garden.

It works like an assembly line. First, you choose chicken ($8), pork ($9), beef ($9) or natural beef ($11) patties and these are fired up on the spot. The wait is three to five minutes and every order comes with cheese melted over the meat.

Add-ons for the burgers are priced at $1 each and you can choose from bacon, a fried egg, extra cheese, sauteed or crispy onions, or sauteed mushrooms.

The cook passes you the patty and cheese on burger bun halves and then you proceed to a salad counter, where you help yourself to free toppings such as chopped iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, onions, pickles, salsa , olives, peppers, coleslaw and unexpected additions such as spinach leaves and beetroot slices.

I keep it simple and get a beef burger with sauteed onions and bacon ($11 total) and add pickles and tomato, while my dining companion goes for chicken with sauteed mushrooms and crispy onions ($10 total) and adds coleslaw.

The combinations are fail-safe. Even if you add beetroot, it probably wouldn't taste all that bad.

  • SIMPLEBURGER INC.

  • B1-21/22, myVillage, 1 Maju Ave; tel: 6634-2526; open daily from 10am to 10pm

    Rating: 4/5

Unlike pricier gourmet burger places such as Gemmill Lane's New York City export Burger Joint, where you can choose the doneness of the thick beef patty, the ones at Simpleburger are so thin that you should probably just let the cook decide when they are cooked through.

That said, the beef and chicken patties are still surprisingly juicy.

 

A sweet and sticky bacon jam is also slathered on the buns. I find it a tad sweet with the beef, but it is just right for the chicken.

Though the burgers look small, they are flavourful and surprisingly filling, especially with a side of fries.

Dining is meant to be fast and casual, so there are no tables or seats. Instead, there is a ledge where you stand and eat. This is fast food through and through.

As is expected of a classic burger joint, there are milkshakes (vanilla at $3 and banana, cocoa or berry at $4) and root beer ($3).

The place is an offshoot of the always packed iSteak Diner on the second floor of the mall, which is known for its no-frills Western food.

True to its name, Simpleburger is a great option for a grab-and-go lunch or for those days when you need to scarf down dinner. There are paper bags on the side of the condiments table if you want a takeaway.

While there might be a bit of a wait while your burger patty is being cooked, I must admit it is fun to assemble a burger.

How often do you get to do that?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 11, 2018, with the headline 'Assemble your burger '. Print Edition | Subscribe