Burgers- Sugar Vs. UBG.

Burgers.They are the ultimate in fast food. Easy to make, easy to eat, substantial and, at their best, absolutely delicious.

The might of US pop culture and the basic tastiness of meat in a bun means that a good patty must now rank as one of the world’s most popular foods; however, finding a good burger in our own city by the sea isn’t as easy as it should be.

Impediments to the creation of delicious Lankan burgers, that I’ve identified, include:

The local aversion to beef – a major problem given that any hamburger worth the name has gotta have a good chunk of ground cow. People will try and substitute lamb and pork, some will even resort to chicken but a good burger patty just has to be 100% quality beef. Even when beef is provided there isn’t enough of it. A quarter pound (100 grams) is the minimum meat quotient (rarely met in SL).

That raw meat is anathema. Rare- to medium rare, is burger perfection but in Sri Lanka the default setting is well done, then done a bit a more. Mmm leathery…. For a burger with any pretentions to quality you need the options – rare, medium and well done.

Lack of respect for/ interest in condiments. A limp piece of lettuce, a piece of greenish tomato(only if you’re lucky) plus a slathering of undesirable local tomato sauce. On a really good day, even at high-end places, you get a slice of tasteless ‘Happy Cow’ processed cheese.

What you want is a fresh crispy leaf of romaine lettuce, gherkins, some sharp cheddar or blue cheese and maybe just the tiniest dash of ketchup or chipotle mayonnaise. The option of bacon for two meats deliciousness is also imperative.

Unfortunately if you’re looking for burger perfection Colombo remains a sea of darkness but tucked away there exist a few shining lights.

The Sugar Burger – from its days outside the nightclub of the same name has long been the Holy Grail for Colombo’s burger seekers, while the Union Bar and Grill is a bit of an unsung star on the local meat scene. YAMU did a quick versus to see whose patty would come out on top

The Sugar Burger.

The Sugar Burger(Rs 550 ++) comes with lettuce, tomato, cheese and I availed myself of the option of adding bacon. Sadly, I wasn’t asked how I’d like it cooked which, in the high-end burger stakes, is a pretty grievous error.
To compensate it arrived fast and looked good on the plate; substantial, but fairly neat without too much visible grease. The proof though is in the eating and the first bite was a disappointment. The patty was a decent (unspectacular) size but the meat was bordering on overcooked. There was definite toughness in places. The condiments seemed fine but their effect was muted by lashings of a sweet pink sauce. The sauce wasn’t unpalatable but its sweetness killed the taste of anything else. As I continued munching the patty also had trouble staying together disintegrating into sloppiness (a flaw if you seek burger perfection). The end result was sweetish meat in a bun. Not un-tasty and for an off the cart effort excellent, but now that Sugar is a Bistro and Wine-Bar with prices to match this wasn’t sensational.

Union Bar and Grill

Disappointed with my sugar experience the following day (gluttony) I went off to the Union Bar and Grill (UBG) to fill the beef-hole. This is another of those places that’s been around for ages though it’s often overlooked perhaps because its JAIC Hilton setting is pretty bland. For your your fix of meat in the city though UBG has always been a good choice.

At Rs 800++ the burger is pricier than Sugar but I was asked how I’d like it cooked- Medium rare with extra bacon. While I waited a little bit longer than I’d have liked when it arrived it looked pretty spectacular- an enormous patty topped with a fried egg and a glistening rasher of bacon. While the generosity and patty immensity was appreciated at this size things become unwieldy. This is not a burger you can eat, easily, with your hands and eating a burger with a fork and knife is never satisfying. In the end though it’s all about the taste and this was a tasty burger. The meat was indeed medium-rare, soft without too much grease. The egg made it that much richer and there was the salty crunch of bacon with every bite.

All Good, but by no means excellent. In terms of a really good burger the patty was underflavored. Lots of meat but not enough taste (more salt, a charcoal grill?) and could have done with searing on the outside. The cheese added little so overall things were just a little bland – a dash of mustard seemed to help.

So while I’d rate this above the Sugar Burger my quest for CMB burger satisfaction continues.

Photos: Danbee Shin

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

The Delightful Indian Cuisine at Navaratna by Taj Samudra

Navaratna is an Indian Restaurant located in Taj Samudra Colombo. Taj Samudra is a 5-star

Kamu

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

An ideal dinner date spot in Colombo – Ward 7

By Shamrina Carim Are you struggling to decide where you could have a decent fancy

Kamu

Reaching new heights at Virticle by Jetwing’s rooftop bar & restaurant

We were so excited to go to the highest rooftop bar & restaurant in Colombo

Highlights Kamu

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

Savor The Salt Of The Sea At Hilton Colombo

Fresh from the seafood markets to your table Colombo, Sri Lanka – 20th June 2022 – Partake

Trending

10 Types of Sri Lankans in Petrol Queues

By Janani Vithanage These days, spending time in the petrol queue is almost every Sri

Highlights Trending

Celebrating life with Perera & Sons

by Shamrina Carim Perera & Sons holds a privileged history of catering to the most

Highlights Trending

Before You Watch… Jurassic World Dominion

By Shamrina Carim The movie On a critic of honest opinions, Jurassic World Dominion is

Trending

Treats fit for a King at Ramada Colombo this Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father's Day special Grill, Lunch, Dinner, Deliveries, and Stays… This June 19th, we all

Trending

Celebrate Father’s Day with your Super Dad at Hilton Colombo!

Looking to express your gratitude for the superhero of your household this Father’s Day? Hilton

Trending

Yamu Guide.

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

The ideal skin care routine with Bio Oil

By Shanali Fernando Feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or frustrated by the multitude of competing messages about

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 common causes of Dry Skin

The general cause of itchy, dry skin might seem like a no-brainer: It's a lack

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Watch the SL Vs. AUS ODI Matches

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lankan cricket may ot have been on its best footing over

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 Cooking Tips from Knorr

By Janani Vithanage Being a mother in today’s world is no easy task. From waking

Highlights Yamu Guide

How Bio Oil reduces scars

By Shanali Fernando Still curious about this little pink bottle of magic and what it

Highlights Yamu Guide