My KL buddy William is a hardcore burger lover and a huge fan of myBurgerLab. I say huge because William said myBurgerLab is responsible for quite a few extra pounds around his waist. William was constantly raving about his favourite burger joint.
I had long wanted to drop by myBurgerLab with William, and the impromptu opportunity came when I was in Kuala Lumpur last week. We were glad to bump into Ren Yi, one of myBurgerLab's co-founders and enjoyed a short chat with him. If I may summarise my first impressions (at the risk of over simplifying things), myBurgerLab is an indie version of USA's Shake Shack. myBurgerLab has huge potential as it is in a constant state of renewal and innovation, and is energized by it. Underlying it's fun and hip image, it's greatest assets are it's daring do pioneering spirit and people oriented, empowering culture.
Ren Yi with his buddies Wee Kiat and Chang Ming started myBurgerLab in 2012. All engineers, all with no F & B background other than the itch to own a cafe back when owning cafes was the in thing. The initial idea of opening a cafe morphed into a burger joint when they were developing a food menu for the coffee joint.
To cut a long story short, they zeroed in on opening a burger joint as they figured that burgers are staples, sustainable as a business and it's something they felt they could create with some ingenuity and research. So, the early recipes of burgers and sauces at myBurgerLab were created from resources on the internet.
After successful trial runs (borrowing space) at Red BeanBag cafe in Publika mall (in KL), the team was buoyed by the positive response to their innovative, tasty burgers. It also created a pent up demand, anticipating a full fledged myBurgerLab restaurant.
This is myBurgerLab's parent outlet, where the amazing story entered the next chapter - opening their own permanent restaurant. It's in a quiet residential backstreet in SEA Park in Petaling Jaya (near KL). The run down unit was vacant for over a year, and it was going at a low rent which the young entrepreneurs could afford. It has an inauspicious address (unit #14) but the team went for it anyway as it was the best they could afford.
After renovations, the partners were down to a grand total of RM50,000 left to operate their restaurant - hire staff, buy supplies, pay utilities etc. It's swim or sink before the money runs out. Well, we all know the
myBurgerLab at SEA Park was a roaring success from the word go. Long queues fuelled by constant (fees free, organic) mentions in Malaysian social media - it caught the attention and imagination of KLites, youths and the not-so-young. Two years on and 4 more outlets later (including one in Cambodia), from what I saw on a full house Sunday evening at SEA Park, the story of myBurgerLab is not a passing fad but may well become a pillar in Malaysia F & B.
I enjoyed the friendly welcoming vibes at myBurgerLab SEA Park. The service staff (almost all part time) are youthful and their approach is earnest and genuine.
I like it that myBurgerLab burgers are cooked a la minute with fresh, premium ingredients in the open kitchen. The prices are competitive too.
We had an Ultraman or 咸蛋超人 (RM18.80).
It has to happen, myBurgerLab or any good local burger joint has to have their version of the salted egg yolk burger :-D
It's a meaty crispy fried chicken thigh set on creamy salted egg yolk buttermilk sauce spiked with chili padi and crushed curry leaves between potato charcoal buns. Familiar savoury sweetness with teasing hints of chili and aromatic curry - a sure win with local taste buds. I like it too.
We also had A Beautiful Mess (RM19.50).
Looks pretty neat to me :-D
Anyway, it's cheddar cheese, beef patty, deep fried portobello mushrooms slathered with honey mustard and topped with a sunny side up egg.
First bite and I was delighted by the unexpected crispness of the grilled savoury cheddar cheese. Then, it's all beefy goodness blended with egginess and savoury sweetness of the portobello mushrooms. The sweet honey mustard and signature potato charcoal bun held it all together.
->> I enjoyed myBurgerLab's delicious innovative burgers and hope that they will come south and open in Johor and Singapore too :-D
Restaurant name: myBurgerLab
Address: Jalan 21/22, SEA Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia (myBurgerLab has 3 other Malaysia outlets in OUG KL, Sunway PJ and Cyberjaya)
GPS: 3.110830, 101.622138 / 3°06'39.0"N 101°37'19.7"E
Tel: +60 10-369 5275
Hours: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date: 24 Apr 2016
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