I’m currently away in Malaysia, and as much as I’m indulging in a worrying amount of Malaysian street food (more on that shortly), I wouldn’t be fulfilling my burger blogging duties if I didn’t check out the capital’s burger offerings during my visit. Burgers and Bruce is going global (again)! In Kuala Lumpur, there’s a burger option with a legendary reputation, and I was desperate to check them out: Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw.
Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw started in 2011, calling itself the ‘first street kiosk for grilled burgers in Malaysia’ – and they really are driving the city wild. Before arriving from London, all I saw were locals harping on about how these burgers had changed their life (I thought I was the only person to say stuff like that) so I was pretty excited to give them a go. I love a dirty burger and Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw seemed to fit the bill.
|Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw|
Once I got to KL I realised that all of the three locations were an absolute mission from where I was staying, but I’d committed myself to this and there was no way I was going to let the team (aka myself) down. I abandoned a broken down taxi, walked along a motorway in the dark for three miles, endured blisters all over my feat (never underestimate the pain of blisters) and got caught in a torrential down pour. All I could think was, these burgers better be ****ing worth it.
At Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw there’s a choice of approximately 20 burgers – anything from a plain cheese burger to a ten tiered ‘cheezemister’ – mental. I restrained myself and went for the ‘Single Beef Baconizer’ which cost a grand total of 12 Malaysian Ringgit, approximately £2.70. Instead of chips, the side option was three sausages (beef hotdog style) doused in squeezey cheese. I opted out of that.
|More tiers than a wedding cake|
My bacon double arrived quickly (they say it takes them 25 seconds per burger) and it looked pretty impressive: seeded bun, shredded lettuce, rings of white onion, bacon, patty, mayo, red sauce, slices of cheese and a long cocktail stick to hold it all together. As the rain poured down around me I eagerly tucked in to a burger I’d crossed the ends of the earth to try.
|Noone likes to sit in the rain|
First bite….hmmmm that’s good. Second bite….hmmm that’s….different! The taste of the burger as a whole is super sweet, a combination of slightly under-seasoned patty and gloopy sugary red sauce. Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw hand-grind their patties themselves and they are cooked using a lava rock (stone grill) technique. The raw patties are wide and very flat, but after a stint on the grill they puff up to something more ‘beefy’, but confusingly without the real beefy flavour. The patty is the type I’ve had from vans outside of football games, like a bulk buy purchase from Makro. The burgers are served well done, and with queues of up to three hours sometimes, it’s probably better not to give customers an option.
|Wide flat patties|
The sloppiness of the burger was contained well in the soft and sweet seeded bun, which impressively didn’t tear apart at all. The patty is layered with two slices of processed cheese which loll out of the sides, again sweet, the texture and pale colour reminded me of Dairylea slices. On top of that was lashings of an identified luminescent red sauce, a cross between a sweet chilli sauce and a ketchup, with a runny jam like consistency. This red sauce oozed out of the sides and onto my paper wrapper and mixed in with the mayo, which also managed to taste sweet. The rashers of ‘bacon’ were beef bacon (due to the Muslim population in Malaysia), which in my opinion is no equivalent and best removed all together – it tasted a bit like corned beef.
|Glow in the dark sauce|
Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw serve up dirty burgers at their finest, sloppy layers of ingredients piled together. Although it may not look it, the flavours were totally different to any other burger I’ve tried before and it was interesting to sample a Malaysian street food take on the classic American burger.
There’s parts I would tweak, but for a country that is famed for it’s laksa not it’s burgers, I’m impressed by the phenomenal success Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw has had so far, and credit the two founders Nita and Zull who abandoned jobs in a call centre to go down this route. Although the sweetness did confuse me, my ‘burger standards’ are exceptionally high, and living in London I’ve become accustomed to the medium rare salty patty. You definitely can’t argue with the cost of the burgers at Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw – these burgers are a sloppy bit of fun for a great price.
So if you’re heading to Kuala Lumpur and craving a burger when you get there, then this is definitely the one to indulge in!
Burger Bakar Kaw Kaw, Various Locations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia