Tar Pau Nation: What to order in

Covid-19 stay-home guide: Burger, bubble tea combos from $9.90

In this daily series, Senior Food Correspondent Wong Ah Yoke digs into delivery options and rates them for you

The garnishes for the Specialty Spicy Beef Burger made the dish more interesting.
The garnishes for the Specialty Spicy Beef Burger made the dish more interesting. PHOTO: ROUTE 65

Looking for cheap and good food for this column has not been easy.

Most hawkers deliver to only addresses nearby. Those that go islandwide usually require high minimum orders or charge a lot for delivery.

And for restaurants, finding a meal for under $20 means hours of trawling through menus.

So when I saw the prices for Route 65's burger combos - from just $9.90 for a burger, fries and bubble tea - I just had to check it out.

Among the sets at that price is the Crispy Chicken Burger, which comes with Classic Fries and the Route 65 Specialty Milk Tea.

When I selected it, a long list of upgrading options popped up.

The drink can be changed to taro milk tea or honeydew milk tea, for instance, for an extra $1.

Or go for truffle fries by topping up $1.50. You can also add an egg in your burger for $1 or a beef patty for $4.

But, curious to see what $9.90 would get me, I passed on the extras.

The burger, wrapped in layers of paper and foil, looked sad. The bun had been flattened and was wrinkly, with the contents squished tight.

But never judge a burger by its looks. It took just one bite to get over my initial disappointment.

 

The bun was no great shakes, but the fried chicken thigh was a nice, thick piece of juicy thigh coated in still-crispy batter. With slices of tomato, onions, pickles and lettuce drizzled with tasty mayo, the burger turned out very decent.

I liked the bubble tea too. I had it with 50 per cent sugar, which was the right level of sweetness for me.

The limp and tasteless fries were a disaster though. Fork out another $1.50 to change them to Luncheon Fries, which was what I did with another order of Route 65's Specialty Spicy Beef Burger ($12 for basic combo).

I found the grilled beef patty too soft, but liked the spicy mayo. The garnishes - cheese, tomato, pickles and shimeiji mushrooms - made the burger more interesting.

The food is so-so, but at those prices, I'm not complaining.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2020, with the headline 'Burger, bubble tea combos from $9.90'. Subscribe