One of the biggest burger trends of late is to go wild with toppings. Piling interesting ingredients with various textures, taste and flavour profiles make for a fun combination to capture people’s attention. Burgers with bold-coloured sauces and different add-ons also can get pretty messy – exactly how burgers are to be eaten.

This may have already angered food purists who insist on having their burgers the classic way; perfectly grilled beef patty, with cheese and sauce on toasted sesame buns. Perhaps that is the way to enjoy an authentic cheeseburger. But with a demanding crowd of hard-to-please gastronomes, serving a standard burger is no longer enough.

Look at the ‘nasi lemak burger’ craze that became a heated battle across the causeway. What started off in Singapore as a seasonal item on the McDonald’s menu, very quickly, turned into a gastronomic battleground: who does in better? Malaysian restaurants and cafes replied with their interpretation of a nasi lemak burger which some say is an opportune moment to make a headline. Gimmicks aside, the nasi lemak burger is actually rather delicious especially when paired with a well-cooked sambal.

Today, most cafes and restaurants are becoming even more creative in curating the kind of meal that would attract customers or photograph well, especially in the digital era. Typical round buns are dyed in hues of the rainbow or bedazzled with gold dust. Your cut fries are replaced with vegetable chips or infused with all kinds of exotic aromatics. And even the standard meat patty is combined with specialty ingredients for an extra depth in flavours.

Everyone would agree that the surge of gourmet burgers is becoming more apparent. Each restaurant has created a signature gourmet burger that every serious foodie should try at least once. Behold the best specialty burgers in town – creatively paired ingredients, unique flavours and come heavily recommended.

(Featured image: Red Kettle)

1
Prime's Wagyu Burger

This is not a typical wagyu beef burger. This Le Meridien’s Prime signature is topped with foie gras, onion chutney, porcini cream, melted cheese and a perfectly poached egg. The layers of flavours combined equal to an indulgent meal. If you feel like splurging on a dish, take a big bite off this super burger.

PRIME, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, +60 3-2263 7434.

2
Giant Blamb Burger

Grill maestro Grella has a big secret. The small burger joint is known for its sinful Giant Blamb Burger that has been a hit since the opening of the restaurant. The juicy patty combines lamb and beef, sandwiched between a lightly toasted sesame bun and served with Grella’s special sauce. It is by far the most satisfyingly grubby yet delicious burger in town.

Grella’s, 19-G, Jalan Wangsa Delima 12, Wangsa Link , 53300 Kuala Lumpur, +6016 2474555.

3
Cajun Prawn Pork Burger

It is hard to resist a thick homemade pork patty wrapped in artisanal bacon, drizzled with honey mustard and tomato salsa; topped with smoky chargrilled Cajun prawns. The Cajun Prawn Pork Burger is the best-selling item at Red Kettle, a cosy restaurant recently relocated to Starling Mall in Damansara Uptown. They also make their own burger buns – ensuring tiptop freshness in every bite.

Red Kettle, Starling Mall, Jalan 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +6016 3899130.

4
Wessy Waffle Burger

Frisson Coffee Bar is known for its so-wrong-yet-so-delicious combination of flavours when it comes to making stacked burgers. From hashbrowns and doughnuts as ‘burger buns’, to savoury peanut butter and jelly alternatives, dining in Frisson is quite a gastronomic experience, especially for first-time diners. Each dish comes pretty as a picture and their must-try signature burger has to be the Wessy Waffle Burger – a stack of meat patties in between freshly homemade waffles loaded with an overflow of runny peanut butter and jelly topping. It’s so excessive, yet so good.

Frisson Coffee Bar, 71, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +603 7732 9969

5
Downtown Tokyo

For over a decade, The Daily Grind has been the place for a no-fuss burger fix. The restaurant, located in Bangsar Village, serves a variety of burger options including a soft shell crab version, Downtown Tokyo. The dish comes with a huge piece of battered crab, Asian slaw, served on a charcoal bun. What makes the dish special? The wasabi mayo and the crispy deep-fried crab. (If you’re feeling adventurous, order their OMG! Burger that feeds 10 people.)

The Daily Grind, LG8, Bangsar Village, 1 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, +03 22876708

6
Kimchi Rice Burger

Maybe not exactly the kind of burger you have in mind but the Kimchi Rice Burger at Choo Choo Chicken is definitely worth a mention. While some call this a rice stack, the burger comprises seaweed infused rice layered in homemade kimchi and Bulgogi meat. It has a totally different texture and flavour profile but the combination of umami from the meat and sharpness from the preserved cabbage makes this burger a must-try specialty.

Choo Choo Chicken, PV128, Jalan Genting Klang, 53300 Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 41313160

7
Nutella Burger

Dessert burger anyone? This explicitly excessive burger is not for the faint-hearted. Loaded with the most sinful indulgences – from chocolate to oreo biscuits – in between two golden doughnuts, the burger is topped with the most generous amount of decadent Nutella sauce. But hold that thought; this is actually a savoury burger with beef patty, fried egg and bacon. Mind-blowing? That’s why Frisson deserves a second mention from us.

Frisson Coffee Bar, 71, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, +603 7732 9969

Martin Teo
Content Editor
Martin loves traveling the world to see ancient ruins and classical architecture. He enjoys the culinary experience of various cities but (still) refuses to eat anything insect-like. On a daily basis, he finds time hitting the gym to compensate for the amount of food he needs to eat just to write an article.