Friday, April 26, 2013


You cannot pay me to come to a place to do a food review. If I write about it, it has to be very good or very bad. This has been ongoing for nearly a year and at the urgings of many friends, I finally made it. Its located at the edges of Paramount Garden, imagine going from SS2 to Paramount Garden, its about 50-100m from the wet market.

Closed on Mondays, opens from 5pm-10.30pm ... you cannot miss it if you come around 5 or 6 cause the queue snakes all the way to about 20-30 people. Best time to go is around 9.30pm as parking is easy.

Mine smelled so good, I had to eat it while driving back. Average age of patrons is below 25 for sure. Loved the concept and considering they do not use pork, these are exceptional burgers. 

Charcoal bun: 9.5/10, not doughy, light and yummy
Beef patty: 9.5/10, juicy and well seasoned, seared well on the outside
Choices: mind boggling but almost everything is very good, the portobello plus melted cheese are to die for
Secret menu: the Elvis, peanut butter with jam, heavenly ... even though Elvis had his with crispy bacon as well
Chip: 8/10, a bit too much seasoning but still very good

Do not takeaway the burgers as its not so good after 20 minutes, too soggy and you really want a freshly grilled warm burger. Now, please have a decent coffee machine please....

I think many angel investors will be talking to the owners, and I hope they are well advised because you should not see this inside a mall. It will be fantastic as a suburban outlet, should keep it that way as there is an important collegian feel to the place, long benches and simple yet artistic elegance. Open near student colleges, thats your bread and butter. Its a cooler hangout place as more younger people prefer not to hang out at mamaks anymore.

Do not do franchise, it will kill the product. They also did one thing well, the staffing, for a small place, you will see 8 people cramped inside a well oiled kitchen, plus another 6-8 staff hanging around the place as server, more like GROs really, they will explain the menu and advise accordingly should you need that.

Best burger ever ... for just around RM20, it sure is by a mile. Do something, and do it really well, don't be tempted to offer too many other stuff. If only Ninja Joe pork burger outlets had the same management - replace the bun, hold the lettuce (it wets the burger too much), and stay away from the malls.

They can serve 400-600 burgers a day. On a napkin I can calculate that they will make between RM35,000-45,000 net a month. But if you go to a mall, you will end up paying your margins to the mall owners and lose much of the "essence of the place". Go for low hanging fruit first, try not to take any money from angel investors first - go and open at Subang SS15 area and another around Solaris Mont Kiara as Publika is way too crowded.

Do that well, then only go bigger because by then you would have room to have "sourcing power", "central kitchen for distribution of ingredients and sauces", and critical mass for staff training and culture immersion. Grow organically, involve loyal staff who represents your brand, plant them to grow much like Christians plant churches.

If you go overseas, I can suggest a side by side concept, one that serves pork burgers as well.

No.14, Jalan 21/22 Seapark 
46300 PJ Selangor
Business hours: 5pm - 10.30pm (Closed on Monday)


GreenTea said...

Hi Dali,
The main chef is a friend of mine. You should ask him to make the coffee for you. He competed in barista championship many years back and got first place!

panaceaasia said...

You are truly a Renaissance man

clearwater said...

Sorry, but I think Burger Lab is way over rated. Good concept, good marketing made it a must try place for the younger set but the food is above average only. Nothing to rave about. There are other joints whose specialty burger offerings are superior.

elizabeth said...

I ta pau a burger some months back.. the burger stil taste good but then my house only 10 mins away! The dipping sauce is very tasty.. oh the service is very good the people make you feel welcome..


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