SINGAPORE: Malaysia may not have McDonald's celebrated Nasi Lemak burger, but it seems to have plenty of options to rival it.
Since Kuala Lumpur's myBurgerLab unveiled its nasi lemak ayam rendang burger, there has been the spicy Korean burger (also from McDonald's), as well as the nasi kerabu burger (adapted from the much-loved Malaysian herb rice salad) created by Publika cafe Pan and Tamper.
And soon, foodies in Malaysia could get to try the Char Kway Teow burger - thanks to online food channel FungryTV.
Like its famed nasi lemak counterpart, this burger has everything you'd expect in a traditional serving of Malaysian char kway teow except - you guessed it - there won't be any kway teow.
Instead, it will have fishcake, cockles, chilli, beansprouts, salted duck egg yolk and even halal bak kwa "to emulate lap cheong", said creator and FungryTV co-founder Razif Hashim.
A "PATTY" ARGUMENT
In a video promoting his invention, Razif said the nasi lemak burger craze made him question if the dish was truly Malaysia's national dish. Despite a quick survey turning up more nasi lemak lovers than fans of char kway teow, he got to work on the burger with Ahong Yeang, chef of Petaling Jaya diner, Grub.
"In my mind, a char kway teow's success depends on the 'wok hei' burnt taste, which I feel will work better in a burger than the creamy spicy combination the nasi lemak has to offer," said Razif.
When asked what he thought about feedback that the Char Kway Teow burger was not a "real burger" because it didn't have a patty, Razif told Channel NewsAsia: "Well, I would say it's a 'patty' argument.
"Jokes aside, as a serious foodie I too believe a burger should have a patty to be called a burger. I'm not going to get into the fine line between a burger and a sandwich. But in order to retain the unique taste and texture that emulate the experience of (eating) char kway teow, we needed to have it as it is.
"The essence of a burger here is then in the method that it is held and consumed. Our timeless Ramly Burger is defined as a patty that is wrapped up in an egg."
Razif cited MyBurgerLab's creativity as one of his inspirations.
"MyBurgerLab has some of my favourite burgers ever. I might question some of their choices, but they have a consistency that is unbeatable ..." he said.
"With nasi lemak ayam rendang burger, they managed to capture the honest essence of eating the dish even though some of the ingredients used do not even exist within nasi lemak," he added. "It's in its own right, delicious. It's not a nasi lemak, it's a burger first and foremost. It inspired the char kway teow burger."
WANT A BITE?
The char kway teow burger has not been launched. It only will on Sep 16, should there be enough "pledges" submitted via FungryTV's Facebook page.
Those who would like to see the item get on the market only have to comment their interest and tag a friend, which equates to a pledge.
FungryTV says that if it gets 1,000 pledges, the burger will be cooked up and served at Grub by Ahong and Friends for at least two weeks from Sep 16. Each burger will cost from RM18 (US$4.30) to RM23 (US$5.50).
There were 547 pledges as of Saturday evening, said Sheril A Bustaman, also co-founder of FungryTV. "We're hoping it steadily builds up in the week to come," she added.