You know what’s the problem with the Singapore’s shopping centre dining scene? I find that it lacks diversity. While one might think that hey, there’s so many cuisine types and restaurants available, it’s actually just an illusion brought forth by brand proliferation, meaning one company introducing new brands(in this case restaurants) into the same field to capture a wider consumer market. It’s not necessarily so that these restaurants will suck, it’s just that I don’t get the feeling of cuisine specialization (which I would presumptuously assume leads inevitably to sub-par food standards), though these are really just my perceived feelings than actuality. For example, mass market casual dining restaurants New York New York, Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe & Thai Express are all managed by the same mother company. Then again, on the other side of the spectrum, there’s fine dining restaurants like Aoki, La Strada, Au Jardin & Les Amis etc all under the Les Amis group. I guess in that case, my concerns of non-specialization leading to sub-par food is largely unfounded.
Anyway after rambling on so much, the point I want to make is that The Handburger is under the same management as The Soup Spoon. I like The Soup Spoon so I thought that if anyone could do it (brand proliferation), it might possibly be them, especially with their expertise and resources in the food industry.
The concept of The Handburger is pretty similar to The Soup Spoon. You can either just buy a Burger(or sides) ala carte, or add $4 or $6(depending on the choice of sides) to the price of the ala-carte burger for a set meal which would include a side and a drink(choice of ice lemon tea or green tea or pay the price difference should you want to get a fancier drink).
One of the choice of sides available for the $6 add on was the Pumpkin & Crab Bisque. It’s quite the combination, the mild sweet undertones of pumpkin complementing a gentle saltiness from the crab. The Onion Bread was served warm, but I could hardly detect the fragrance emanating from the onion so it was pretty forgettable.
Of course, primary sides to the typical burger meal such as Onion Rings or Fries are also available with a $4 add on. Apologies for the misrepresentative picture of Onion Rings, my friends ravaged about 3 or 4 pieces before I stopped them.
BFF K had the Handburger Original($7.80), with an additional topping of an Egg($1) while JC had the Original in it’s naked form. The Original’s description reads as such, “150g of NZ Ribeye Beef Patty, Sweet Onion Jam, Cheddar Cheese, Handmade BBQ Sauce on a Bed of Coral Lettuce, Tomato on a Toasted Caramelized Onion Bun”. Could it be that it was all fluff and no stuff? JC’s ranted that the Beef Patty was too dry and tough, but K found it acceptable, in fact he thought it was good.
I had The Works($11.80) which is ideal for gluttons like me who want a bit of everything. It’s essentially an upgrade from the Handburger Original, with additional toppings of a Sunny Side Up Egg, Battered Onion Rings, Crispy Bacon, Sauteed Basil Pesto Mushrooms & Aioli Sauce. It’s messy to eat and artery clogging, but this sinful indulgence was definitely worth it. The Beef Patty seems to be compacted and compressed real tightly so it tends to be a bit chewier.
Despite being opened for quite some time, at least before Raffles City’s basement underwent renovation, this is the first time I’m trying out the Handburger. Compared to when it initially opened, The Handburger has actually reduced their prices if I’m not wrong, probably to capture the mass-market with their “Gourmet Burgers”.
I’m really not a big fan of burgers, especially ones which involves beef patties. Paranoid me thinks that patties are usually made to cover up or hide unfresh or low grade beef and it’s a waste in any case to ground good beef into patties instead of eating it in it’s unadulterated form as a good old steak. Just my 2 cents worth but I think I just might return to The Handburger for the Pulled Pork Burger and Duck Confit Burger.
THE HANDBURGER (RAFFLES CITY)
252 NORTH BRIDGE ROAD, #B1-77/78
TEL: +65 6334 4577