Who would have guessed that one of my most delicious lunches in Singapore would turn out to be a burger.
Cough, choke!! A burger? In Singapore? Arguably the culinary capital of South East Asian cuisine??
Yes, it's true. In the face of numerous hawker and street food offerings that brought together the best of Chinese, Malay and Indian flavours in an utterly delicious and uniquely Singaporean-style melting pot, I pick a burger as one of my most memorable meals in the Lion City.
But this wasn't any ordinary burger. It was probably one of the best I've ever eaten!
For starters, it wasn't made of beef. Or chicken. Or lamb. Or fish. Or even beans.
It was made of pork. And chorizo. And bacon. Can you see how this could only end well?
And it wasn't patted into shape and slapped onto a grill by any old greasy-spoon line cook either. This burger had the stamp of approval of a three-starred Michelin chef - Bruno Ménard.
The setting of my gourmet burger experience was a quirky little place tucked into the bottom of Pacific Plaza, just off Orchard Road, called &Made - so-called because it sounds like 'hand-made' being said by an oh-so-Fwench chef. (Yes, a little self-indulgent, but clever all the same.)
&Made has the clean, bright look of an old-fashioned American diner crossed with the cosiness of a cafe - all black and white with pops of red, and a few 8-bit icons of burgers, sodas and (not quite sure why) owls thrown in for good measure. The menu is concise and I didn't have much trouble deciding - pretty quickly - on lunching on a 3 Little Pigs burger, truffle fries and a tall, refreshing glass of osmanthus sancha iced tea.
Ménard's 15 years in Tokyo definitely make their presence felt in his choice of garnishing for the porky patty - Japanese cabbage, spongy shiitake mushrooms, slightly tart Shibazuke pickles and yuzu-kosho mayonnaise married perfectly with the smokey notes of the chorizo in the moist, yet crumbly burger. Mmmm. I can almost taste it!
And... if you visit Singapore anytime in the near future, I highly recommend stopping by to taste it for yourself!
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