Wildfire Kitchen + Bar
Time Out says
Burgers might be slightly off-trend of late, but at this joint, longtime restaurateur Michel Lu makes a legitimate case for the versatile and gratifying qualities of a good stack of burger and bun.
Wildfire Kitchen + Bar takes over the slightly ulu spot off Bukit Timah Road left behind by the closure of eggy brunch spot Hatched. The small dining room and front counter are suitably steakhouse-y, with raw brick walls setting the tone for the wood-accented walls and furniture. A deck at the back, shared with Wine Company and its whiny jazz-pop soundtrack, plays the alfresco option.
For a restaurant serving fancy burgers, the setting is disarmingly casual. It could be the neighbourhood-y crowd that racks up in relaxed linens, or the quick service-like ordering system where you pay for your meal before picking it up after your buzzer goes off. But Lu makes up for saving on staffing with reasonably priced burgers ($16-$26 with fries included, thank you very much), each packed with its own careful balance of patty, veggie, sauce and crunchy add-ins.
Full-blooded Australian wagyu from Blackmore and aged Angus meat from Rangers Valley are fed through the grinder for two specialty options ($26). And while we're quite against the idea of filling the humble burger with expensive cows handled with kid gloves, Wildfire's juicy takes are certainly opinion-changing and worth the upgrade. Like the other regular gourmet burgers on offer here, each jaw-stretching bite crunches through buttery, glossy, made-for-Wildfire bun before descending on tender meat fired in a charcoal-fuelled INKA grill.
In the more embellished, better-value options ($16-$23), mix-in ingredients add to rather than detract from the satisfaction of the grain-fed pucks: the Umami ($17) includes a heap of mushrooms, a Parmesan crisp and mysterious ‘umami dust’, while guac, chunky stew and sour cream star in the Chilli Con Carne ($19). Equally satisfying is the French Onion ($18) burger, which pairs with a mess of beer-caramelised and battered onion rings.
A separate category on the menu is dedicated to steaks of different stripes and cuts ($26-$36), offering meat purists a pared-down way to enjoy the beef Wildfire's worked hard to source. That Lu also offers craft beer ($11-$16) by the bottle and on draft just shows how beautifully the concept works. There's a good selection of sweet Japanese and punchy American ales from the likes of Hitachino Nest and Rogue to wash down each bite.
Wildfire's Evans Lodge location is a little out of the way, and it isn't exactly the best idea to be pigging out on burgers while looking on at the fit basketballers and runners sweating it out across the road at the Ministry of Education's Co-Curricular Activities Branch. Yet, you should. Making the pilgrimage for a good burger every now and then is more than forgivable. In the case of Wildfire, it’s utterly soul-satisfying.
26 Evans Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily 11am-10.30pm|
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