A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
‘Delicious!’ I exclaimed, as I savoured the moist chicken patty in my mouth. I found out later that it was because they had used the whole chicken and not just chicken breast to make the patty. The thin sesame sprinkled buns were toasted to a slight crisp and liberally buttered. The pickles contrasted well with the burger. I was told that they made their own pickles. ‘Smoked salmon on chicken?’ I questioned. ‘What an unlikely combination!’ I was getting more and more mystified by the second. But this non-believer was soon shown the light. The cheesy sauce wrapped up all the flavours and made my burger encounter an out-of-body experience.
And that’s the thing. We’re talking burgers here. A meat patty sandwiched between two buns. As a teenager, it was a treat to eat a burger simply because mum and dad never let me near a burger joint. In university, it was a staple as far as fast food was concerned. From McDonald’s to Ramly and everything in between. I soon tired of it. I met my husband, a highly adventurous foodie, and we roamed the streets of KL in search of that elusive sashimi. The burger in its greasy shroud was soon a distant memory. It almost became a dirty word to me, and I’m not talking about those deliciously dirty words that I freely exclaim while driving along the Fed on my way to work.
She had a classic cheese burger. It was a thick juicy patty made of ground beef (yes, they freshly grind all their meat), homemade ketchup and their very own mustard mix. I half expected to see cows and chickens roam the hardwood floors, and I suspected that if I looked beyond the carpark of the concrete jungle of Bangsar, I might even catch a glimpse of their vegetable patch. A milkmaid and a shepherd would spell the beginning of my insanity. I digress. Two thick slices of cheddar cheese completed the experience.
I glanced at the tomato ketchup and chilli sauce bottles. ‘They’re all homemade,’ she said. No kidding. In my mind’s eye, I saw vines holding plump shiny tomatoes in that imaginary vegetable patch. The chilli sauce was wonderful, with a heady mix of ground chillies and mustard and other secret ingredients. The accompanying fries were merely a vehicle for me to savour the addictive sauce.
The man ordered a Down on the Farm burger. I glanced over my shoulder as I thought I heard a Moo. Only for those with a hearty appetite, this muscle flexing thick beef burger, barbeque basted and smokey grilled stacked with thick sliced onion rings was oozing masculinity. A corn cake made with whole corn kernels, crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, made the man go limp with delight.
Avocadoes are a constant love interest, so my second experience at The Daily Grind was an affair with a chicken burger covered with creamy avocado sauce and topped with hot salsa. The play between sweet and savoury and spicy ensured that the burger was a winner. Again, I was bowled over by the smoothness of the chicken patty, and I couldn’t get enough of the buttery buns, my carb addiction.
If you pace yourself well, you’ll have enough room for dessert, and one dessert that is worth trying is the peanut butter and roasted banana pie. I’ll let the picture do the talking.
I never did quite explain why my sudden interest in burgers at a time when I crave foie gras more than hearty meat patties. (Incidentally, The Daily Grind is currently having a Christmas special consisting of a prawn cocktail, a Foie Gras *gasp* burger and a sherry trifle for just over RM60.) It took an hour long discussion with the husband to figure it out. ‘You’re enjoying it because you’re viewing it as a dining experience’, he looked at me sagely. ‘You’re eating with a fork and knife, cutting small pieces and savouring each mouthful like you’re enjoying a good steak.’ He was right, you know. How else could I explain why I was paying between RM23 and RM36 for a burger? Once dissected, it made sense to pay that amount. I was paying for an experience. Sometimes, revelations such as these can be quantified, and the question is, how much would you pay to see fireworks on your plate?
The Daily Grind
Open daily until 12 midnight.
Open on Christmas day.
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.