Like many, I love me a good burger. Especially ones with juicy patties, lightly-toasted buns and gooey melted cheese. Of course, it helps when the sides are delicious are well, such as crispy onion rings, fried chicken and cheese fries.
That being said, burgers that are overly greasy don't suit my fancy, even if they come packed with tons of ingredients (I'm looking at you Five Guys).
I've eaten at my fair share of burger restaurants in Singapore, and here's my pick for the top 5 in ascending order. Oh, and to be fair, I'll only be comparing standard cheeseburgers across the board, not variations like truffle or mushroom burger.
Number 5: Shake Shack
I'd have given Shake Shack a higher spot if the quality of their burgers hadn't declined since I first tried it some years back at the Neil Road branch. The angus beef in their basic ShackBurger ($9.20) used to be more tender, but now I find it slightly dry and overcooked (having eaten it several times at the Suntec City outlet recently). The serving size is also a little on the small side, so if you're a big eater you'll need to order a double or sides to go along.
That being sad, they do have one of the nicest buns. Made using potato flour, these are lightly toasted with a pleasant buttery taste. I also have a soft spot for crunchy crinkle-cut fries, so I always order those topped with their cheese sauce to along with my burger.
Also, the queues at their outlets aren't as crazy as they used to be, and a new one has opened at Gardens by the Bay. So if you're looking for a decent burger joint and are in the area, I'd recommend it.
Number 4: Wolf Burgers
I've tried Wolf Burgers both at its Suntec City and Funan outlets, and must say that they whip up a very decent cheeseburger. The original WOLF ($9.90) includes beef, cheddar cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickle and brioche bun.
I felt that the portion was more substantial than Shake Shack's, with the freshly ground patty being juicy and tender. The ingredients tasted fresh as well, thought the bread itself was kind of forgettable and not as buttery as Shake Shack's.
What stands out about Wolf, particularly in a Covid era, is how they've mastered the art of contactless service. You order everything via a self-service kiosk, and collect items via individual collection pods. You don't ever have to interact with a service staff, though you could alert one of them if you really need something or have an issue to raise.
Number 3: Omakase Burger [Closed]
Before all these other burger joints popped up, there was Omakase Burger at Wisma Astria. It was my go-to for many years for a good gourmet burger, with one of the juiciest, melt-in-your-mouth smashed patties using American beef.
It in fact, the beef patty was so juicy that it the juice would often collect at the bottom of the packaging - something I clearly remember each time I ate there (the restaurant boasts that it had to design special wrappers to hold the juices in). I also love ordering the shoestring cheese fries as a side, with the cheese sauce being especially thick and rich.
After a temporary closure, the restaurant has moved to Orchard Central, and they also have outlets at areas like Bukit Timah, Bedok and East Coast. I visited the one at Orchard Central recently, and found the standard of the burger to be just as good as before. I also liked that they were generous with the ingredients, including the beef, melted cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.
My only gripe is that the burger is and has always been a tad expensive compared to other joints. When I ate it some years back, each classic burger was sold at around $16 without any sides. Now, they've it made more value-for-money by making it a set ($17.90) with French fries.
Number 2: Ordinary Burgers
With two outlets at City Square Mall and AMK Hub, Ordinary Burgers hits all the right spots for me. There's very limited seating space so I would recommend getting these burger to-go or coming with a group of two at max.
The classic beef burger is also one of the most affordable at $6.90. And at $9.90, you get fries and a soft drink too! Their classic burger has always been well-portioned for me (but big eaters are better off getting double) , with a generous slathering of melted cheese and very fresh tasting lettuce. The patty is impressive too, being well-seasoned with just the right amount of juiciness.
I also highly recommend their buttermilk chicken burger ($6.30), with it crispy, tender and flavourful chicken. My friends also like the onion rings, but those can be a hit-or-miss (when I tried it wasn't all that crispy).
Number 1: Wildfire Burgers
I first chanced upon Wildfire Burgers last year - a humble joint tucked away in the NAFA campus. They've now opened a new outlet in Tanjong Pagar as well. The food menu itself is limited to several types of burgers, fried chicken and sides like truffle fries, chicken nuggets and burnt cheesecake.
The classic cheeseburger ($9) takes top spot in this list for its consistency. Even when I ordered delivery or takeaway and re-heated it the next day, the burger was still pretty impressive. Black angus beef is used for the patty, which was nicely charred and wowed me with its tenderness and flavour. Other ingredients include caramelised onion, gherkin master sauce and chipotle mayo, sandwiched between a tasty brioche bun.
Burgers are cooked over a Binchotan charcoal-fired INKA grill, giving the burger a pleasant smoky taste. The signature fried chicken is also pretty yummy and juicy, so I'd recommend getting that as a side.
So there's my list of top 5 gourmet burger places in Singapore. If you have any more to recommend, do sound off in the comments below!