Veggie burgers are popping up all over Singapore. Even joints known for big, juicy beef burgers are offering the vegetarian variety. But which is best? We sent our hungry Review Crew along to find out, challenging two vegetarians and three meat-eaters to find the top dog – er, um – top burger, that is. We chose the places with the best reviews online and then ordered the two burgers the waiter recommended most … and what a taste test it was!
#1 Hans IM Glück
9 Raffles Place & 362 Orchard Road
Walking in the door of this German burger grill is like stumbling into a forest in Germany. Real aspen timbers stretch from floor to ceiling, making you feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. The menu offers something for everybody, not just vegetarians, but it does have a nice selection of veggie burgers. The Seelenheil ($16) is a spinach and cheese patty with Parmesan sauce; our reviews said it had “a lovely crunch to it” and was “very flavourful”. It set the bar very high for the rest of the day and I think we all would have enjoyed eating a whole one on our own. The Kutscher ($15) was billed as a spicy vegan patty with a grilled veggie tartar. We thought it was tasty, though not all that spicy. One reviewer said it “tastes healthy”.
#2 Green Dot
Outlets across Singapore
We sampled the Green Dot outlet on the third floor of One Raffles Place and the place was absolutely packed! The line in the mall setting was pretty long, though we suspect people weren’t there for the veggie burgers. We tried the Forest Arugula Portobello ($16.90) and the Andalusian Tomato Sauce Soy Burger ($10.90). Both came with really yummy fries, which was a nice bonus. Truth is, though, the patties just weren’t tasty and the texture was downright hard to swallow. Our advice? Skip the burgers here and try the other great-looking vegetarian offerings.
44 Jalan Eunos
This cute out-of-the-way spot not only has a lot of offerings, but for any of your choices you can swap the patty for an Impossible patty – that’s the USdeveloped vegetarian patty that has been backed by the likes of Bill Gates and Singapore’s Temasek; it claims to be so like meat that it’s truly hard to tell that it isn’t. We had the Avocado Beetroot ($11.90), which was “fine, but not great” though the avo itself was downright beautiful. The Smoky BBQ ($11.90) was the one we chose to swap for the Impossible patty. So does it really taste like meat? Well, one of our vegetarian taste testers had a little trouble eating it because it was so much like meat, while the meat-eaters thought it was “good for vegetarian beginners.” The burger itself wasn’t all that smoky or barbecue-ish, but it was tasty just the same.
Clarke Quay & Tai Seng
The NomVnom outlet in Tai Seng was non-descript; the typical kind of stall you find in a basement food court. The menu offers 25 vegan burger options and it was the most affordable place of the day. The most popular is the Lion’s Mane Truffle ($9.90). We went back two times to double check that the patty made of mushroom wasn’t really chicken because we just couldn’t believe it was vegetarian – much less vegan. And it was good, too. The tempeh-based Temptation Satay ($8.90) had a nice bit of a kick to it. One reviewer said she can’t wait to go back to try the rest.
#5 Real Food
Three outlets including Orchard Central
These simple, clean-lined restaurants serve healthy, tasty food including fresh-baked goods – which means the buns are a highlight. The Beet (Millet) Burger ($13.80) was tasty, but there was no patty; rather, it was just a bunch of well-flavoured shredded beetroot on a bun. The Veggie Bhaji ($13.80) had a great Indian flavour, but again, there was no patty. Still, all of us thought this spicy number was really yummy. A bonus? All the burgers came with two sides including dishes such as eye popping onion rings and a yummy potato salad, which is nice bang for your buck.
How did the restaurants fare? Well, the meat-eaters were a bit surprised at how yummy everything was. The vegetarians? They were a little disappointed we didn’t find better burgers across the board. I think it’s a case of low expectations versus high expectations.
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This article first appeared in the July 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!