Relish, the burger....
I told a friend that I was going to have a burger for lunch and he said “I am surprised that you are eating all these junk food”. Well, I was surprised that he thought that all burgers must be junk…..Relish is known for its good burgers.
Located on the second floor of Cluny Court (at the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Cluny Park Road, Relish is owned by Chef Willin Low of Wild Rockets @ Mount Emily. The inside of the restaurant is white, simple and the walls had nice cartoon murals of bright yellow and orange cows, pigs and chickens. Where I was seated I could have glimpses of the chefs cooking…I even saw a chef shaping the patties in the kitchen. There was an impressive wall length menu on display too. It was sort of a laid back feeling sitting there, I mean you can even go there in Bermudas or your office attire and still feel so in place. The staffs were young friendly chaps.
It was a straight forward menu and so you don’t have to spend a long time wondering what to order. The waitress Shan, suggested that we try their Pina Colada Sago Melaka with Coconut Ice Cream. Even as it was placed in front of me, I knew it was going to taste heavenly. The smell of good quality gula Melaka (palm sugar) hit my nose. Rich and creamy coconut ice cream blended with authentic gula Melaka sauce, with the calories and all transported me to another level. It was the fragrance that was enticing. I suggest that it should be drunk at the end of a meal like a dessert drink.
Next we tried the Seared Tuna Salad that had baby spinach, orange segments and drizzled with light ginger dressing. I loved the fresh flavor of this dish but I felt the tuna was a little over done. Nevertheless the orange segments and the ginger dressing complemented the tuna and baby spinach very well. This is indeed a cholesterol lowering salad!
The piping hot Parmesan Wings that were served with Gorgonzola Dip and Chilli Dip came next. Gorgonzola cheese can be compared to the taste of blue cheese and I know it taste awesome when paired with fruits and walnuts but this creamy cheese dip was perfect for the piping hot Parmesan wings. The chilli sauce was equally addictive.
We tried three different burgers between the two of us…….really pigging on that day. We started off with the Blue Cheese and William Pear Burger. I marveled at the creativity of Chef Willin Low. He had used blue d’Auvergne, a French blue cheese which is less salted, with a creamier and buttery taste than most blue cheeses and he had it matched with the walnut-peanut butter and poached pear slices!! This particular cheese is well known for going well with nuts and fruits like apple or pear. I love chefs who do a bit of homework before developing recipes – hats off to Chef Willin Low! The burger was a bit on the soggy side, laden with the melted cheese but the combination of all the flavors pulled it off as my favorite burger for that day.
The Black Cod Burger is a new item in their menu. I liked this batter coated black cod – the cook had seared the fish so nicely, it had a great crispy crust and the roasted peppers, onions and gherkin sauce – was a great combination and the bun sort of accentuated it all.
Next was the Anchovy Beef Burger. It sort of puzzled me as to how anchovy and beef can get along………well it got along but not as well as I thought. It could have been better if a bit more garlic and anchovy was added to the mild anchovy garlic cream.
The heart and soul of every burger is the patty. Lean cuts of beef tend to make very dry burgers and it is the fat in the burger that gives it the best flavor. There is also the question of getting the right texture to aid both during cooking and final product. A course grind is preferred. Even compressing the beef into patties too tightly can cause it to lose any lightness in texture completely. At Relish, I managed to get all the above right – personally I would have preferred more onions and a bit more salt. We had asked for a medium rare burger and we got the charred seared exterior and rosy pink interior, medium rare from edge to edge, soft and oozing with juices.
For the vegetarians there is the Grilled Portobello Tofu Burger. Can you remember the number of times you have gone to Malaysia and seen roadside stalls selling Ramly Burger? Well, at Relish we get the upper crust Ramly Burger. The Ramly Burger is different from most other hamburgers due to the unique way the ingredients are stacked in the bun – the meat patty in the Ramly Burger is first covered with the desired condiments, then wrapped in a thin layer of egg which results in a packet-like that is placed between the bread. It’s a great way to eat mess free.
It was dessert time again and Dessert Devil chose Roasted Black Sesame Puree with Vanilla Ice Cream. I have eaten this before and I would eat this again and again. Crunchy, nutty, fragrant roasted and pounded black sesame seeds on ice cream were a great combination and the portion served was just about right. I suspected that there may be crushed black sesame cookies in it too. The Cinnamon Apple Filo Strudel with Milk Ice Cream was a very normal apple pie filling placed in a filo pastry cup and baked…….served hot with ice cream.
It is quite a challenge to find a suitable, adult-appropriate companion for a well assembled burger - as not every beer has the power to bring out the best in every burger — some matches are just better than others. Thankfully, Relish has about 10 beers in their list and they have also matched the beers with the appropriate burgers.
#02-01 Cluny Court (next to Serene Centre)
501 Bukit Timah Road
Tel: 6763 1547