Type of Institution: Non-vegetarian
Address: Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, B1-65/66
Tel: +65 6334 4577
Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 11.30am – 10pm, Fri & Sat 11.30am – 10.30pm
I was wandering around the basement of Raffles City, ravenous after a Bikram Yoga session, when I was pleasantly surprised to discover that HandBurger has a vegan burger on the menu. This clearly shows that being veggie is becoming part of the mainstream consciousness and restaurants are certainly taking notice of the increase in consumer demand 🙂 This makes great business sense, since ensuring there is at least one veg item on the menu not only helps to expand a restaurant’s customer base, but also ensures it doesn’t lose the veggie customer’s friends, since his/her friends will usually be willing to accommodate him/her if there are no veg options at the restaurant.
The food was served quite fast despite it being a busy Saturday night – it only took about 5 minutes.
Vegan Venus aka V.V Burger
All burgers come with a choice of fries, house salad or mushroom soup. I chose the fries because I’m a carbs addict and also because the mushroom soup was probably not vegan. The texture of the fries was acceptable – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There was not too much salt and another seasoning was used instead, but too little seasoning was added and the little that was added didn’t contribute to the taste at all. Overall, the fries were above average but nothing amazing.
The burger itself was a rather tall set up made with a hotchpotch of ingredients that felt like an attempt to just combine as many ingredients as they possibly could without real attention being paid to the harmony between the ingredients. The burger came with a non-spicy, sweet chilli sauce that was pleasant but wasn’t memorable. On to the individual ingredients in the burger:
1. The sun-dried tomato and olive bun: Surrounded by a crispy thin outer layer, the bun was quite fluffy inside though not very soft. I couldn’t taste the sun-dried tomatoes and olives, which was disappointing because I LOVE both these ingredients.
2. The patty: Made of corn, chickpeas, beancurd, sweet potato and sunflower seed, the patty was not excessively processed so you could still see and feel chunky ingredients throughout. It was deep-fried so that it had a crispy outer layer. Surprisingly, it was not very flavourful despite all the ingredients added, but it went well with the sweet chilli.
3. The hummus: Spread on the top bun, this was rather flavourless.
4. Grilled portobello mushroom: I love a good portobello mushroom any time (who doesn’t?) but this one was particularly disappointing. Not only did it lack flavour (amazing, since portobellos are supposed to have a stronger flavour – it probably wasn’t very fresh), it was overcooked.
5. Lotus root: These were thin slices of dried lotus root chips that were very crunchy. It’s an interesting addition to a burger but it felt somewhat out of place.
6. Others: The slice of tomato placed above the bottom bun didn’t taste very fresh and was flavourless too. The burger also came with some healthy sprouts and coral lettuce.
Conclusion: I applaud the efforts of The HandBurger to cater to the demands of the veggie consumer base in Singapore, and to attempt to do so with a not-your-run-of-the-mill vegan burger that had interesting ingredients like dried lotus root chips. However, The HandBurger would do well to use fresher ingredients to maximise the impact of its recipe.