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The Meat Men: new beef-focused eateries
41 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks
If it seems the simplest thing to do to slip a meat patty between a bun, why is it so hard to find a good burger in Singapore?
Tan Ken Loon of The Naked Finn may have the answer with his newest eatery Burger Labo, which is dedicated to just one thing - the perfect burger.
Burger Labo is located in his original premises in Gillman Barracks - which moved to a larger space down the road and was previously Nekkid, a small bar-and-bites outlet. While food played a big role in Nekkid, it wasn’t doing as well as hoped because “customers always think of it as a bar”, says Mr Tan.
When the time came to renew the lease in Nov 2018, he decided to rebrand Nekkid.
“Our burger was always the winner in our menu and it carries our strong product DNA and approach - which is our pursuit of perfection. With that, we decided to create a restaurant just for our signature Basic Burger (which has been on the menu since 2015). ‘Labo’ is Japanese for ‘laboratory’ so that is what we do - research on how to make the best possible burger.”
The Basic Burger (S$23) is a 170gm patty madefrom a blend of four kinds of beef - grass-fed Angus beef neck, Toriyama Umami Wagyu A4 tenderloin, Aomori Gyu ribeye and Sendai Wagyu A5 brisket - a combination chosen for the best texture and flavour. “The patty is the soul of our burger so our focus is on exploring new ingredients and techniques to make it better.”
With other options including a chicken burger developed by his chef friend Julien Royer of Odette and a vegetarian version comprising Impossible Meat and Omnipork, Burger Labo may well be your hamburger of choice. - Jaime Ee
THE FEATHER BLADE
90 Club Street, www.thefeatherblade.com
For Leong Sheen Jet, a meal in 2014 at the Flat Iron steak restaurant in London totally changed his perception of what a good steak is.
“Alternative cuts have long been viewed as undercuts that pale compared to the holy trifecta of sirloin, tenderloin and ribeye,” recalls the 27-year-old. That was his own view too, until he tasted the restaurant’s signature flat iron steak, also known as the feather blade. “It was absolutely juicy, tender and flavourful. I still vividly recall my first bite and it completely changed my perception of undercuts,” he says.
In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he applied to work there although he was doing his undergraduate degree in Finance at Cass Business School in London. After his masters and working for a FinTech company for a year, he took the plunge into the F&B industry.
He started a pop-up at Club Street called The Feather Blade –which became so successful that it will be converted into a permanent restaurant from April 24.
Naturally, the signature dish is the feather blade steak, simply glazed with browned butter and sprinkled with smoked salt before being char-grilled.It is priced at S$21 for 200g. Other steak cuts like the Picanha (or rump cap) and Bavette (or flank steak) will be on rotation. The restaurant will also serve an off-the-menu Feather Blade burger known as the ‘Handshake Burger’, because “ the staff will need to know you before you can order it,” he explains.
Through this restaurant, his hope is to change the way people in Singapore perceive steakhouses as an expensive place to have a meal. “Steakhouses are meant for people to enjoy good quality steaks in an ambient setting with top notch service. Traditionally, it meant paying through your nose for that. The Feather Blade is here to change all that.” - Rachel Loi