Someone needs to save the food businesses at The Grandstand, many of which are astonishingly unoccupied during the weekdays. Even when I went PasarBella during a Saturday, customers were unexpectedly sparse. Too far away? Not enough key tenants? I hope they are not paying overly high rentals.
A new burger joint opens at The Grandstand. Yes, DIO Burger is just a few shops away from Omakase Burger – which some critics claim to offer the best burger around.
The irony. DIO stands for ‘Do It Ourselves’ which is a blunt contrast with Omakase’s ‘Let the chef decide’. While Omakase’s burger technically isn’t ‘omakase’ in the Japanese sense, neither do we get our hands dirty in DIO.
Most of the time, it is the cooks behind making your burgers. You just decide what goes inside.
Here’s how DIO works: You choose your bun between whole grain, brioche and low carb. Pick a patty, ranging from wagyu, grilled chuck beef, chicken thigh, pork ribs to pacific fish. Add a side, and choose to add your own condiments and sauces from a counter in the middle of the restaurant looking like a salad bar.
Good news for DIO. While there feels to be some uplifting energy absent in the ambience, some of the burgers are actually quite good. Before I continue, their burgers are quite starkly different from Omakase’s, and closer to the West Coast American style. Something like Carl’s Junior?
Our favourite burger was unanimously (and oddly) the burger of the month – The Beef Cheeks burger. It was not the usual boring beef patty burger, but one filled with very juicy tender strips of beef cheek, well maintaining the flavours locked in yet not overpowering the soft patty.
The Pork Ribs Burger ($15.80) comes a close second for me, only because it is not as moist. Still, the ribs marinated in barbeque sauce and oven-baked for 2 hours still made one succulent burger dripping with sauce.
Comparatively, the recommended wagyu burgers came drier than we would have liked. If you need to, order the My Way Burger ($21.80) which comes with melted cheddar cheese, bacon and portobello sandwiched in between. Warning: messiness in eating assured.
The main problem with DIO, I feel, is the ambience which gives a rather casual American, family vibes with B-grade movies (I had Dragonball) screening. The freeflow bar had an interesting mix of condiments, though some items looked sad. The burgers, while a few dollars more pricey than I wished, have loads of potential. Perhaps they should really allow customers to assemble the burgers themselves.
200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand, #01-09, Singapore 287994. Tel: +65 6468 9308
Free shuttle services from Newton, Botanical Gardens and Toa Payoh MRT Station on hourly frequency
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Mon-Fri), 11:00am – 10:30pm (Sat-Sun)