UNDER $10

[Halal] Launched just this year, local brand BurgerUp proudly serves customisable gourmet halal burgers at fast food prices. DIY your burger or choose available combos such as the current Rendang Kambing ($6.90 with fries and drink) from the self-service kiosk. Fans rave about the burger’s generous size, and sufficiently juicy, char-grilled beef patty. #01-03 Yishun 10 Complex, 51 Yishun Central 1. Tel: 6257 1255

Ham Bao Bao, which means burger in Mandarin, is a 10-month-old humble stall in a humid food court. Our pick is the classic beef ($4.50), with a meaty beef patty that beats the chain outlets anytime. The thick ayam buah keluak ($5) while unusually addictive could do with a juicer chicken patty. #0449 Beauty World Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road. www.FB.com/ hambaobaosg

With three outlets in Singapore, Canadian chain Triple O‘s is barely famous–but we swear by their burgers, which are made-to-order along with fresh cut fries and hand-tossed Caesar salads. The secret Triple O’s sauce (triple the mayo and relish) jazzes up the juicy, straightforward but wholesome beef patty, best in the original with cheese combo ($7.90). #B1-16/17 Great World City, 1 Kim Seng Promenade

THE SPLURGE

With both Potato Head Folk (2014) and MeatLiquor SIN (2015) arriving in a haze of hype, we have the U.K. artisan burger trend going head-to-head on our shores. And they couldn’t be more different. MeatLiquor SIN is a grungy dive bar, with a hefty Dead Hippie ($22) and fried pickles ($9) competing for attention against the loud music and dark graffiti-ed surroundings. Potato Head Folk’s Three Bun’s burger dining room is whimsically decked out in butterflies, birds and vintage kids artwork in a an airy, light-filled space. The Four Floors ($25) is a double prime 100g beef patty with double cheese and triple onion, along with the in-house tomato sauce called the Notorious T.O.M. Verdict? Potato Head Folk’s burger is still the juicier, tastier and more memorable of the two.

 

$10-$20

Paradise looks like this: spam fries and a De Burg signature burger ($18.50), filled with 200g of Australian beef patty, crispy bacon, cheese and a whole Portobello mushroom. ’Chief burger officer’ Andrew Sim quips, “There’s protein, starch and vegetable in every bite, everything is held together and convenient.”  He also has a range of local celebrity burgers, like The Madam Tan’s (with 200g each of pork and beef patty) and The Richmond (with peanut butter). #02-15 CT Hub, 2 Kallang Avenue. Tel: 6538 2874
Dojo serves only pork burgers, a genre that owner Janice Tan notes is under-served. The made-from-scratch burgers served in bamboo steamers here feature pork that’s minced, crispy, braised, and our pick, grilled. The Little Dragon ($12 with fries and bottled drink) with its grilled lean pork fillet can strike some as too firm, but we love the toothsome bite. 72 Circular Road. Tel: 6438 4410
Back in 2009, brothers Kennie and Bernie Tay felt that the market lacked what they wanted to eat–an old fashioned, handmade burger at good prices. FatBoys‘ is now found in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Cambodia, serving up classic ‘bergs. The best-seller is Wimpy ($15), a single beef, pork or lamb patty that hits the senses with its fab proportions of bun to filling. 187 Upper Thomson Road. Tel: 6252 8780
When Omakase Burger’s second outlet, a 92-seater, drew queues, we knew they were in the serious leagues. The bespoke burgers may look petite, but each smashed beef patty is juicy and hefty, sandwiched in an ideal fluffy bun. We love the outlet’s exclusive applewood smoked bacon cheeseburger ($17.90) topped with crisp uncured applewood smoked bacon gleaned from hormone- and antibiotic-free pigs. #01-02/03/37-41, Level 1 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road. Tel: 6737 3218
The endearing hole-in-the-wall Two Blur Guys burger bench serves up bergs smothered in Gruyere cheese in the heart of the CBD–what’s not to like? Its prime beef ($14.95) gets a flavour hit from truffled mayo, with herbs and spices infused into the topside beef cut patty. The “controlled melt”  of Gruyere slice gives it the final, savoury finish. Add $5.90 to top up a homemade dessert and drink. #01-13 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link. Tel: 6636 4183

BiTES 11 FAVE STEAKS

$15 AND UNDER

You’ve seen Char Grill Bar‘s neon-ish sign at coffeeshops and you’ve probably dined there more often than you noticed (they’re almost omnipresent with close to 30 stalls islandwide). Decently juicy and adequately seared, it’s just $10.80 for a 200g prime striploin steak complete with two sides. Newest outlet: 107 Serangoon North Ave 1.
UNO Beef House serves up piping hot N.Z. steaks (from $12 for sirloin) on a bovine hotplate, old-school style. We also like the ample mushroom gravy’s earnest sizzling and the signature mashed potato balls, lightly crumbed and crisp on the outside. No aircon. #01-60 Blk 51 Toa Payoh Lorong 5. Tel: 9003 3832
At Steakout, a classic Australian sirloin goes for just $14.90 nett, with two free sides and your choice of black pepper, mushroom or red wine sauce. This is THE go-to beef hangout for undergrads A.K.A. ‘that steak place near the SMU Admin Building’. #01-01 Victoria Hotel, 89 Victoria Street. Tel: 6720 8103

$15-$30

From coffeeshop to restaurant chain, that’s the Astons Specialities (namesake of Aston Soon) story. Steaks start at $15.90 and include two side dishes (ours: garden veggies and mashed potato), but top up $4 for the walletfriendly prime ribeye X’tra cut ($19.90). Various locations including #04-03/04 The Cathay, 2 Handy Road. Tel: 6887 5889
Formerly a coffeeshop stall, iSteaks Diner is now in a better place thanks to its popularity. It’s spacious, air-conditioned and clean, and just across the road from its old digs. Try the 100-days grass-fed Australian ribeye ($26/250g) which includes tasty sides like cream broccoli and baked olive rice. There’s wagyu for a splurge, too. #02-03 to 06 myVillage at Serangoon Garden, 1 Maju Avenue. Tel: 6285 8839
Jack’s Place is where our parents dated over comfort Western fare and where we celebrated our early birthdays with family and friends. We can’t leave out this oldie but goodie’s N.Z. Silver Fern Farms T-bone steak (free-range, grass-fed), a hearty 350g treat at only $26. Various locations including #01-4274 Blk 730 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. Tel: 6454 9677

$30-$45

Oh, Carnivore! You know the drill at this all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecue restaurant ($34 for lunch): passadors bearing skewers of quality cuts make their rounds and your double-sided yes/no token indicates your steakcapacity. Beef cuts: rump, hump, tenderloin with bacon, garlic beef–and don’t forget to visit the salad bar for a balanced meal. MBS outlet: #01-80 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue. Tel: 6688 7429
It’s about time The Ship‘s flagship outlet reopened. We’re missing the Ship Steak ($36.90), a thick-cut U.S. striploin sailing into our tummies with rich black and white mushroom sauce, baked potato and flambéed with brandy. #03-16/18 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road. Tel: 6884 7337
At Outback Steakhouse, try their Toowoomba topped USDA sirloin ($37.90). It’s kinda like a surf ‘n turf–the Australian city’s eponymous sauce is a moreish combination of sauteed shrimp and button mushrooms tossed in tomato cream. To cut through the richness, a helping of fresh seasonal veggies are on hand. #01-114 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard. Tel: 6837 3242

THE SPLURGE

Make a beeline for Barossa‘s succulent Australian black Angus prime rib (dry-aged, 25 days) platter ($99/800-850g). The Esplanade outlet exclusive is served with four different sauces (peppercorn, barolo reduction, bleu cheese cream, béarnaise) for that unmis-steak-ably delicious night out. #01-11 Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue. Tel: 6534 5188

Prime Rib Royale ($138 for two) at The Dunearn isn’t just a magnificent piece of steak–it’s a feast. Only seven servings of bone-in prime rib are prepared each day, which comes accompanied with Waldorf salad, mixed greens, onion confit sauce, mashed potato, sautéed mushrooms and spinach with carrots, complete with dessert and coffee or tea. Bukit Timah Guild House, 1F Cluny Road. Tel: 6586 3260

 

BiTES 12 FAVE RIB

$18* AND UNDER

(*Prices are for half rack unless noted)

You may not yet have heard of Collin’s Grille Bento, but this western/Japanese stall already has 17 outlets islandwide and is stealthily expanding. Try their pork ribs (half rack), served with fries and salad–it’s an unbeatable deal at $8.90 (or $15.90 for full rack). Not perfectly plated? Who cares, you’re in a coffeeshop anyway. Newest outlet: #01-296, 431 Clementi Avenue 3
If your craving for porker hasn’t yet reached its peak, trot down to your nearest Cold Storage BBQ counter for a shot at $11.99 ribs (go late and they’re all sold out). You can eat them straight out of the package or pop them into your sous vide system overnight for stellar results. #B2-15/16 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road. Tel: 6238 6761
We skip the beef and go straight for the traditional BBQ baby back ribs ($12.90 for half rack) at Mignon’s Steak and Grill every time. What’s not to love when the meat’s fall-off-the-bone and the moreish red sauce (only faintly spicy) is so addictive? Did we mention prices are nett? #B204-3 Takashimaya Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road. Tel: 6737 3556
Somehow Naughty Pigs reminds us of the famous Naughty Nuri’s (which recently changed its name to Hog Wild in Bali). And they’re cheeky too: if you’re too slow to snag their Naughty Super Ribs ($28, only 10 sets daily), settle for a Naughty Ribs (fresh spare ribs, $18) or a Naughty Mate (fresh soft bone ribs, $18) instead. 306 Tanjong Katong Road. Tel: 6440 4363
You can’t go wrong with a name like Ministry of Ribs. This hipster hawker stall boasts six hickory smoked ribs items on its menu. Our pick: the honey rum ribs ($15.90, half rack) which comes with two side dishes. Add $3 for your rack to be flamed at the table– let us warn you, it’s no puny performance. Main outlet: #01-125, Blk 416 Pandan Gardens. Tel: 9890 4649

SPECIAL MENTION

[HALAL] Badoque Cafe‘s signature beef ribs ($36) are so sought-after, they’re available daily during Ramadhan. For something different, go for iga bakar ($36), or Indonesian-style beef ribs, glazed in sweet spicy soy sauce and served with fragrant basmati rice. 298 Bedok Road. Tel: 64466 928
Brotzeit‘s honey Bavarian pork ribs ($33) is high on our list. The generous tower of beerinfused ribs are succulent, meaty and on the nice side of savourytangy, rather than too sweet. Served with potato wedges and sauerkraut, it’s perfectly complemented by a pint of Paulaner. #01-149/151 VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk. Tel: 6272 8815

 

$18-$30*

(*Prices are for half rack unless noted)

Remember our ’hangry’ adventures at The Chop House? The BiTES team ordered a full slab of lusciously smoked BBQ U.S. baby back ribs ($44/600g) that easily feeds two of our ravenous writers. A concept by the Wooloomooloo Group, you can rest assured that meat quality as well as the rest of the food menu with pastas and salads is top notch. #01-161/162 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk. Tel: 6376 9262
For #meatloversheaven and hunky Southern Pride American smokers, turn to Meat Smith. New on their carnivorous menu are the pork ribs ($25 for half rack, $48 for full). These are massaged with a special spice mix for that deep, unctuous flavour. Eat up, you’re in the good hands of head chef Andrew Baldus and sous chef Alysia Chan. 167/169 Telok Ayer Street. Tel: 6221 2262
Most would be familiar with Tony roma‘s original hog ($25.90), so if you’re a repeat patron like us, try the larger, meatier St. Louis Ribs ($23.90) with more natural marbling. Pick the Tony Roma’s Red Hots sauce for that fiery, peppery Tabasco kick. Newest outlet: #07-03 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road. Tel: 6738 8600
At specialist Morganfield’s, they call ’em ‘sticky bones’. Their ribs are slowly smoked with hickory wood till tender and come bathed in five types of aromatic sauces. New in is the spicy Asian BBQ spare ribs ($26.90) that’s described on the menu as ‘bombastic, fantastic, climatic, galactic’, served with fries and garden salad. #02-23 The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tel: 6694 3636
Smokey’s BBQ prides itself on serving authentic American fare–down to the barbecue sauce–and has its own proprietary smoking process with wood chips (mesquite and hickory), secret seasoning and equipment imported from the States. You can feed us their baby back pork ribs ($26) any time. #01-54/56 Sunset Lane, 106 Clementi St 12. Tel: 6872 6857