A Great Simple Burger

Posted on July 23, 2006 by Aun

Regular readers know that one of my all-time favourite foods is a good burger. A delicious, well-made burger is hard to beat. It can also be hard to find. At least, it’s hard to find here in Singapore. I can count on one hand the number of places that I think serve up really great burgers. At the top of the list is Iggy’s. The mini-wagyu burger, topped with a truffle sabayon, served at this uber-sleek over-the-counter fine-dining establishment is fantastic. But it’s tres chic, tres petit and tres cher.

The very best no-frills burger I’ve had in Singapore so far has been at Wild Rocket, the small, popular casual restaurant at Hangout@Mt Emily. By no-frills, I mean no wagyu, no foie gras, no truffles, no caviar, no fancy foreign cheeses with names we can’t pronounce. Basically, no fancy stuff that doubles, triples or quadruples our burger bills. A good burger doesn’t need to be (some might say “shouldn’t be”) fancy. In fact, a great, moderately priced, no-frills burger is often many times better than the fanciest frou-frou version. Wild Rocket’s burger is simple. It’s definitely, in my book, a no-frills burger. But it’s also better than almost any other burger I’ve had in Singapore, including much fancier versions from Four Season’s One-Ninety, uber-expensive UberBurger and tai-tai favourite Marmalade Pantry. It’s also tastier than no-frills burger slinging competitors Whitebait & Kale, Seah Street Deli and Brewerkz.

I tried the Wild Rocket Burger for the first time just last week. I was floored. The burger was both deliciously tasty and super-juicy. It’s served on a toasted bun with two complementary sauces, a sun-dried tomato salsa and a pepper sauce. This second sauce, Wild Rocket’s owner and chef Willin Low (pictured here) told me, was inspired by a Ramlee burger that he had eaten in Sarawak. The burger was served with a lovely, spicy, peppery sauce. Chef Willin loved it enough to try to emulate it in his own burger. The other burger that has most inspired this self-professed burger-loving chef is every burger-lover’s favourite, the In’N’Out burger. Chef Willin loves In’N’Out’s burgers. He loves them so much that he once approached a tourist here simply because the American was wearing an In’N’Out T-shirt. He stopped the very surprised visitor in a MRT (subway) station and just started to enthusiastically rave about In’N’Out.

Because I wanted to ensure that my first, fabulous Wild Rocket Burger wasn’t a lucky fluke, I dropped into Wild Rocket again this morning. The Wild Rocket Burger I had today was served with a bit of salad and some lovely new potatoes sautéed in duck fat. This one was just as good, as savory, as juicy, and as delicious as the one I had last week. My darling wife S also ordered one and, after just a few bites, agreed with me. “Except for Iggy’s, this is the best burger I’ve had in Singapore,” she declared. When I asked Chef Willin what makes a perfect burger, he said, “A good burger has to be juicy.” When you bite into it, all the yummy juices have to dribble out.”

Right now, the Wild Rocket Burger is only regularly available on the Sunday Brunch menu. Chef Willin does occasionally serve it as a special set lunch item and from what he tells me, he’s now considering putting it on his regular weekday lunch and dinner menu. I’ve done everything I can to try to convince him that that’s a fantastic idea. I’ve even promised to come by at least once a week to have one. Book a table on an upcoming Sunday and try one for yourself. If you like it, help me out and beg Chef Willin to serve it every day.

Wild Rocket
Hangout@Mt Emily
10A Upper Wilkie Road
Tel: 63399448

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. matt July 23, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    I have to agree that sometimes there’s nothing better than a burger. It’s great to have an abundance of great burgers here on the west coast, but that’s also a problem hehe…

    Wonderful post as always!

  2. risingsunofnihon July 24, 2006 at 12:37 am

    I can’t agree more that there are times when nothing but a delicious burger will do! Oddly, it was the mention of potatos cooked in goose fat that really caught my fancy though. The entire meal looks delicious!

  3. Frederico July 24, 2006 at 2:17 am

    Nice looking burger, though i thought that way of serving potatoes seemed a little unusual..
    How much did wild rocketo burger go for?

  4. Ulla July 24, 2006 at 8:21 am

    I am hungry now:)

  5. nico July 24, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Just like “risingsunofnihon,” I wanted to crave a burger at the end of the post, but all I wanted to try was the goose-fat potatoes!

  6. Colin July 24, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Damn… another one of my secret hideouts exposed to the Internet. The Wild Rocket brunch is one of the best I’ve seen for Sundays, just enough food to keep everyone happy, and excellent value.

  7. Jackson July 24, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    Come and try Malaysia Ramli burger, its juiy enough but of course the quality of the meat is not so..”ATAS”. You have a great tallent in photography man!!

  8. Vanessa July 25, 2006 at 4:56 am

    mmm…. i think my ultimate burger was a wagyu as well. it was topped of with perfectly ripe slices of avocado and a nice kick from a little wasabi. absolutely melting in my mouth, it was perfection.

    but there’s something about rocket that wins me over.

    and that plate! completely blends into the background. the salad and potatoes look like they’ve hovering.

  9. Cin July 25, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Great CH, now U certainly got me craving 4 de burger. It’s your impeccable photography skills that makes the burger looks so so Delish right? Did this burger cost a bomb?
    I tried brunch at PS Cafe over the weekend. Nice ambience. Brunch menu was pretty good.
    Am wondering how’s the brunch menu like at Wild Rocket. Worth a try?

  10. Chubby Hubby July 25, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Daffy: Sleep or burger? BURGER!

    Matt: I loved your post a while back on Taylor’s Refresher. I’ve only been to the one in Napa. Boy was I jealous!

    Risingsunofnihon: The potatoes were very good. I sort of had to beg the Chef to give me some sort of starch with the burger. He didn’t want to do fries, so the duck-fat fried potatoes were a great replacement.

    Fred: S$17.80

    Ulla: Me too! If only I could have one of these for lunch today. Stinks that I have to wait until Sunday.

    Nico: :-) Yah, the potatoes were also great.

    Colin: Sorry man. I did write about Wild Rocket yonks ago, so it wasn’t as if it was a secret.

    Jackson: Thanks. I’ve had many great Ramli burgers in Malaysia. The best I’ve eaten was in KL.

    Vanessa: Avocado-wasabi burger… that’s interesting. Sounds like it could be good. The plate was clear, placed on a white table cloth.

    Cin: S$17.80. The brunch is definitely worth having. In addition to the burgers, Willin does good scrambled eggs — they’re served runny, which is how I like them.

  11. Trish July 26, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    I had no idea you were such a fan of the burger. We’ve actually be doing a lot of burger experimentation around our house to find the perfect recipe/preparation. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

    Unrelated, Akron, Ohio, USA, (where I live) is hosting the first National Hamburger Festival next month. http://www.hamburgerfestival.com/ Lots of burgers, lots of fun.

  12. Anonymous July 26, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    Hi CH,
    How about getting Chef Willin to do a guest post here? Being an ex-lawyer, I’m sure he’s also a bit of a wordsmith. It’ll be great if he can share a recipe :-)

    LY

  13. Natalia July 26, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    I love those simple, no frills burgers. But my favorite kind to make might actually qualify as slightly “frilly.” It uses part italian sausage and part beef in the burger. Plus parmesan, basil, and crushed red peppers. All that extra stuff kind of takes down the simplicity factor, but I’ve never had a better one!

  14. Hijackqueen July 26, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    Wah, the filling is thicker than the bun.

  15. jules from stonesoup July 26, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    that burger looks amazing…great pics…make me want to get on a flight to singapore

  16. Franca_A July 27, 2006 at 8:24 am

    In Toronto, don’t miss Licks burgers. The topping choices are vast, and the burgers are spiced so nicely.

    Will have to try these Sunday brunch burgers when I’m back in Singapore!

  17. Bottomless Pit July 27, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    Your pictures have never failed to amaze me. They always look so good that i just hear my stomach growling. Haven’t tried Wild Rocket but am thinking of going down very soon..guess it will be quite packed after you wrote about it.

    I was thinking about dinner there instead of dinner instead of brunch..any suggestions?

  18. Gingersnap July 30, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve the burger and I can testify that it is GOOD. Juicy and tasty, the way a good burger should be. They got my “medium burger” just right. Many places don’t seem to understand that medium does not equate well done but Chef Willin certainly does. The only thing lacking was the absence of the burger’s traditional companion – the french fry. I had the burger on Saturday where it only appeared on the set lunch menu. I guess the potatoes with duck fat either appears only for Sunday brunch or was done specially for Chubby Hubby? Any way, I’ve fed back to the kitchen that fries would have completed the meal nicely.

  19. NARDAC August 13, 2006 at 7:30 am

    To be honest, I think the best burgers I have ever had have been from my own bbq, if I could be so modest. No, really… hamburgers are so damn easy to make, like most dishes, as long as you get the ingredients right.

    Good fatty non-industrial beef, pureed onions or shallots, and them whatever spice/herb/mushroom thingies you feel like throwing in. Sometimes an egg is good, sometimes not.

    What I am especially fussy about, though, is the bread. Must be toasted on the bbq and be big enough for the patty.

    As for toppings, if you get the burger/cheese/bread thing right, all you’ll need is some good mustard and something crunchy. I know people might cringe, but this is where iceberg lettuce comes in handy. When you teeth sink in to the slight crisp cold crunch of an iceberg holding up against the charred beef, everything, even world peace, seems possible.

    yes… I adore your blog.

  20. Darryl May 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Having grown up in Toronto, I can recommend a Lick’s Burger alongside the Burger Ramly (for different but equally tasty reasons). While I’m sure that the short pendule to Wild Rocket will not be a disappointing one, I have to ask: are there are any other “higgen” burger’s out here in SIN?

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