This is the 1st Mala Xiang Guo Burger 麻辣香锅汉堡 in Singapore.
Okay, because I am involved in the creation of it, I shall keep the “self-praise” to a minimum and leave it to you to do the tasting and provide the verdict.
How did this all come about?
So I am part of the Toggle programme “Foodie Makeover 美食大翻新” which is about transforming a familiar dish into something else.
The programme is aired on Toggle NOW. Here’s Episodes 1 & 2. Click and WATCH!
Foodie Makeover Episode 1
Foodie Makeover Episode 2
Somehow my immediate response was, ”I am going to do a Mala Xiang Guo makeover.”
There was something to do with this craze with the spicy dish I had a couple of months back ago, in which I would always head down a random stall and order too many things in a bowl. (Always hit beyond $15.)
Plus, I thought that there were several Mala products in the market from Mala Chips, Mala Rice Dumpling, to Mala Pizza, but nobody ever did a Mala Xiang Guo something.
(Thank you to those who came down during the official launch and tasting. It’s a crowd!)
The pressure was on me, with an element of “instagrammability” as the food has to be presented on television.
I also knew who I was going to look for straightaway – the GRUB people (Thank you Chef Mervyn, Amanda, Chef Kelvin for your patience and dedication into making this work) because not many people will allow me to experiment in their kitchen, and I needed a creative team that allowed me to live that wild dream.
To share, we actually had the prototype since 3 months ago but continued to make it better.
Our aim was actually quite ‘simple’. We wanted the signature and most representative ingredients of Mala Xiang Guo to go right inside the burger.
I was the first to raise, ”Must have luncheon meat”, while we also thought that sliced pork, lotus root and mushrooms cannot be missed.
The initial version contained enoki mushrooms, but we switched that out to oyster mushrooms because those caught in the teeth easily while chomping down the burger.
Next was the bread.
We couldn’t have an ‘ordinary’ bun as it needed to look good for photos. RED, RED, RED, had to be red to represent the spiciness and fieriness.
And so, we specially ordered a deep red (slightly purplish) bun made with extracted beetroot juice. Healthier with no artificial colourings.
The mala aioli drizzled all over was created from scratch – not from a pre-made package but a combination of several ingredients.
So there we have it, a Mala Xiang Guo Burger.
The spiciness was one that was quite debatable and we went through several versions of it. In the end we chose something just moderately spicy, but still able to set the tongue tickling.
At the end of the day, what is most important is that it captures the essence of Mala Xiang Guo of 麻, 辣, 鲜, 香 – numbing, spicy, fresh and fragrant; and should provide that satisfying feeling.
It is different sitting on the other side of the fence now, because I wanted to create something people would enjoy eating ultimately.
So the Mala Xiang Guo Burger has made its debut, available as a set with fries at $16.80 (No, I don’t earn commission from it. LOL)
Go try it at GRUB Bishan Park, and let me know – great place to hang out with family and friends by the way to enjoy the nature.
(Foodie Makeover will be hosted by YES933 DJ Hazelle 颖双. This was the queue during launch day.)
Foodie Makeover 美食大翻新 is up now! I will be the co-host for Episode 1 & 2 and will look forward to your support.
GRUB – Bishan Park
510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park 1) Singapore 569983
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
(Click PLAY for video highlights of the Mala Xiang Guo Burger.)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Toggle FoodieMakeover.