HAMBAOBAO – Flipping Creative Singaporean-Style Burgers at Beauty World Food Centre
These days, it’s not surprising to see modern or fusion cuisine in hawker centres. At Beauty World Food Centre, there’s an interesting East meets West dish that not many have tasted before — Ayam Buah Keluak burger!
Affordable, yet shiok, is what HamBaoBao aims for. The catchy stall “HamBaoBao”, when translated from Mandarin, literally means hamburger. This reminds me of my childhood days when I get excited everytime my granddad promised to get me a hambaobao. Any kid will be happy to hear this word.
Making a burger is not that difficult, but coming up with a truly unique Singaporean burger is definitely not easy. No one expected Ryan and his wife, Clare, to open a food stall. No one expected them to open a burger shop. Most of all, no one expected them to combine traditional Asian flavours with burger buns, creating first-of-its-kind burgers such as the Crispy Pork Belly Burger and Ayam Buah Keluak Burger.
If there’s one thing that you must try, it’ll be the Buah Keluak Burger. We all know that buah keluak is an important ingredient in Peranakan cuisine. And Ryan’s grandmother’s Ayam Buah Keluak is one of his favourite dishes. It reminds him of Christmas and Chinese New Year, when his family would gather and this would be one of the dishes they ate together.
Even though Ryan has no culinary training, he has always liked experimenting with food and exploring new recipes. He added a modern touch to his grandmother’s recipe by creating a burger from this traditional Peranakan dish. To him, the burger is a dish where you can get all the flavours of a dish in just one bite. Combining minced chicken and buah keluak into a patty is very clever. The mix is sandwiched between two soft hamburger buns, with chap chai and rempah as garnish.
Having buah keluak, chap chye and rempah in a burger is very Singaporean. Sure, it’s not for everybody, but it’s not bad in my opinion.
The most popular dish on the menu has got to be the Crispy Pork Belly Burger. Four thick cuts of sio bak that’s been glazed with hoi sin sauce and topped with English mustard sit between two grilled buns. Slices of crunchy cucumber are packed into the burger as well.
The thick pork belly was heated up on the griddle upon order. Mustard was added to give a spicy kick, while the cool slices of cucumber kept things refreshing.
The fries? Addictive. They are made from real potato and the husband-and-wife duo skins the potatoes themselves
Today, HamBaoBao is loved by many. Ryan is a great example of our next generation of hawkerpreneurs who keep and honour traditions, and carry on legacies. It’s exciting to see how our hawker culture will change in the future!
Pledge your support for our hawker culture today – https://www.oursgheritage.sg
Address: 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Beauty World Centre #04-49, Singapore 588177
Phone: +65 96675254
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to 7pm