Food

OM Burger

The burger: a large, juicy (beef) patty sandwiched between fresh lettuce, tomatoes, a slice of cheese (or two), caramelized or normal onions (maybe mushrooms), sauce, punctuated by two perfect-sized buns. Like the food gods descended from heaven and bequeathed men the inspiration to squeeze the possible food groups into a nice, clean dish.

In my travel experiences, I don’t think I’ve seen burgers done the way they do in Malaysia. Upon a glance, everything is there, but the burgers here are a little smaller than what a non-Malaysian is used to; i.e: smaller patties and buns. Yeah, I think I’ve committed blasphemy against my fellow Malaysians with the former sentence, but I digress.

What makes the Malaysian roadside burger one that captures the imagination? Is it the endless customization options that your boy (the chef) can pull off for you; sauce in the heart of your patties, extras for everything, or the all-egg ‘banjo’ patty? The way they manipulate a perfectly cooked omelette snugly around the burger patty in their famous ‘special’ variant? Is it the speed at which they prepare your burger, having it all cooked and served in under five minutes? Or is it the nostalgia/guilty pleasure of having it as a comfort food/snack that anyone can take for granted, through thick and thin, since they open from 7 pm to 1 am, six days a week? I can’t say for sure myself.

OM Burger

Pandering to the aforementioned, my initial thought was that this was just another roadside burger stall; good but still just another burger. However, social media changed my perception on it. Featured all over Instagram and Facebook, OM burger has gained a reputation for itself in the past few weeks as THE GREASIEST, SLOPPIEST roadside burger stall in peninsula Malaysia. Intrigued, a friend and I made it our quest to go and find out for sure.

Cost: RM 5.00-19.00 (depending on your customization)

DSC_3456
Shoutout to Chris and Christine for this amazing photo. Check out heir experience taming this beast over here.

What to expect:

The aroma got me long before I saw the store. The unmistakable smell of butter on a hot pan was strong, and it came from the humble little store right outside a seven-eleven. With fame comes a lot of customers, and this was no exception. (Holy shit, that was a long queue.) My order was a triple ‘kahwin’ special with cheese; a combination of 2 chicken patties and 1 beef, wrapped in an omelette, topped off with a slice of cheese. Yeah, for the gym gains I had to do it.

IMG-20181019-WA0001
Grease and sloppiness, all right here. Credits to my man Dwi Hadyan for editing this.

My first bite confirmed something that I thought only theoretically possible; that more butter could be squeezed into the burger buns to make them taste better. The vegetables were what you would expect; a burst of crunch that complimented the grease of the burger, except in this instance even they were overpowered by the sheer amount of margarine squeezed into the burger. The omelettes felt like they were laced with margarine, the patties never felt so greasily good, and even the paper that the chefs wrapped our burgers in became laced with grease and touched my hand within 5 seconds after they gave it to us.

images
Mmmmm

They say that cooking things with butter makes the dish a whole lot more fragrant, and this burger was that exact concept taken to a whole other level. Lettuce, caramelized onions, tomatoes, omelettes, patties, buns, none escaped the grease. To my surprise, the cheese, mayonnaise, chilli and bbq sauce that they added in the burger felt like a perfectly arranged supporting cast in the face of such glorious, overwhelming greasiness. I knew it was going to be greasy, but not THIS greasy.

The rest was a sinful re-enaction of Adam partaking of the fruit of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. By the time the deed was done, my hands, nose and mouth were stained with grease, and I had never felt so greased up and filled after eating burger in my entire life. Goddamn, I knew I would be back for more someday, assuming my guilt doesn’t kill me first.

Notes:

Yeah, I recommend going for this if you don’t have any medical conditions beforehand and love oily, greasy stuff. Personally, I wouldn’t go more than once a month for fitness reasons, and as such this store is one of my guilty pleasures. I hope you, the reader, liked this like I did, and maybe if you happen to be in Ampang area in KL, maybe you could give it a shot (map link here).

download


Liked the burger or the article? Be sure to leave a like or a comment, and as always, have a great day ahead!!

Food, Travel

Bak Kut Teh

Klang Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶; ròu gu-chá)

Malaysia is a haven for food, with 11 of its dishes appearing on the list. Today, on Diwali, which happens to be a public holiday in Malaysia, my family and I decide to make a food trip to Klang, home to a unique dish.

Restoran Bah Kut Teh 155

Yeap, this dish happens to be ranked number 468 on the Lonely Planet’s must-try eat-list. It has a similar origin story to that of Tikka Masala, where it’s not actually a dish from India, but rather an Indian dish that the Indian immigrants in the UK perfected over time. Similarly, Bak Kut Teh (BKT) is a creation that the early Chinese Immigrants from the Fujian province brought along and perfected when they re-settled in South-East Asia. Today, BKT is a favorite amongst locals an tourists alike, and many embark on their pilgrimage to Klang to try the dish at one of the many famous local restaurants, or like myself, seek the one BKT restaurant that we love the most among the many.

20181106_122341
One of many in Klang, I hope it surpasses my expectations.

Cost: RM 83.00 (4 pax, RM 20.75 per person)

What to expect:

For anybody trying BKT for the first time, the first thing about the dish that captures their fancy is the rich, unmistakable herbal aroma that precedes it. That being said, there are two main versions of the dish, one with soup (the original), and the dry one. Both are served with rice, Chinese doughnuts, and tea.

The taste of BKT is as follows: a unique herbal taste from the multitude of herbs used in the brewing process, followed by a strong umami flavor brought about from the pork in the soup. This combination of flavors is what makes BKT as a dish a unique entry in any local foodie’s go-to-list. In addition to the aforementioned taste, the soupy version of BKT, which happens to be how the migrant workers from Fujian prepared it back in the day, is loaded with pork ribs, lettuce, mushrooms, and tofu.

20181106_123658
They say that taste speaks for the food itself, no other way than to try and judge for yourself.

The dry version, however, is the one that I personally prefer. Much more saturated in flavor, the dry version also has an added salty taste to it that adds a different depth of flavor to the dish, making it far more delicious than it looks.

20181106_123631
A beautiful aroma precedes this one, and my expectations are set very high. Does it live up to its taste?

Nevertheless, differences in the recipe (both soup and dry) may vary with restaurant as the owner sees fit, leading to some BKTs leaning heavily to the herbal side, or keeping it mild and going overboard on the umami sensation, and determining the best BKT objectively can be point of contention amongst Klangites. As for this particular restaurant, in my honest opinion, none of their dishes, nor their flavors stood out particularly, and honestly I thought that their dry BKT was a letdown in that sense. However, their pork knuckle dish stood out to me in contrast to its sibling dishes, packing a punch to add much-needed flavor into an otherwise average meal.

20181106_123651
The saving grace of this meal, with just the right balance of sweetness, saltiness, and sourness to add a different, flavorful twist to an already not-bad meal. 

However, this is but one amongst the many BKT restaurants in Klang, and I personally am looking forward to going back to Klang to search my personal favorite BKT among the many.

Note:

While people may have differing opinions on which restaurant serves the best BKT (the discussion being purely subjective in nature), it cannot be denied that Klang has earned its reputation as being the Mecca equivalent for BKT. Thousands, be it tourists or locals, make their pilgrimage there every single day to get their fix of BKT. With almost as many BKT restaurants as there are shop-lots in the area, competition is high among the local restaurant owners, making it great for hungry visitors such as myself.

Another note, however, it should be noted that many of these BKT restaurants operate on the same clock as the Chinese restaurants in Malaysia, meaning that they are open for breakfast and dinner service. Typical opening times range from 7 am to 12 noon, and from 5 pm to 10 pm; so make plans ahead of time if you intend to make the trip all the way to Klang.

This article here gives a great insight into the historical context behind this popular dish.

While I do not claim to be an expert in Klang BKTs, I would wholeheartedly make the following recommendation if you happen to make the trip yourself; Fei Kay Bak Kut Teh, which is famous for the (godly flavorful) dry version. A more comprehensive list, compiled by a Klangite, lists some of the better BKTs that are scattered throughout the area.