Burger Geek — 4.5/5 — our favorite burger joint in the Philippines! — 16A, Molito Lifestyle Mall, Madrigal Ave, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, Filipina
So this is a bit different than my usual Pinoy Pride Monthly posts, but I have been on a bit of a food bender lately – writing a lot (and often) about food, recipes, reviews, etc; and so I thought I might talk about one of my favorite things about coming home: what I consider to be the best burgers in Manila!
As you may already know from my review on Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Jakarta, we love our burgers and steaks. So, this post is an ode to our favorite burger joint in the Philippines: BURGER GEEK. Situated in Molito Lifestyle Mall along Madrigal Ave in the Alabang area, this little burger joint is small in size but big in flavor. It’s square footage is just enough to cover a semi-open-concept kitchen, and about 10-12 tables (excluding the bar-style ones facing the front windows). When we go as an extended family, we basically fill up the restaurant.
The concept is simple: straightforward burgers, and complementary sides — Western with a slight Asian (Japanese) twist here or there. On the menu, you have a small assortment of burgers in keeping with the “Geek” theme (for example: their classic signature The Geek – P210, made up of smashed beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato; as well as the B+ – P255, which is essentially a Geek with bacon); several accompaniments (Umami Corn – spiced corn on the cob with bonito flakes – P95; fries – P75); 2 rice bowls; and milk shakes (with a choice between Classic flavors like chocolate or vanilla – P165, or Premium flavors like Chunky Monkey – P215).
What Burger Geek has going for it in particular are the following: 1) the “smashed patty” approach (I’ll get to that in a bit, but read about the technique on this article from 2014 by Serious Eats); 2) their made-in-house potato buns; and lastly 3) the way they stick with a simple concept where the burgers (the meat itself) sings.
Let me go into each of these in detail:
- Burger Geek’s smashed patty can be asked for at any done-ness you choose, and at any done-ness (except perhaps “rare”), the patty comes straight out of the kitchen dripping with flavor and a gorgeous crispy crust all over. The meat is taken from premium cuts of chuck, loosely formed into a patty and then smashed on the grill and cooked until the desired point, then it is served immediately still dripping with fats. The con of not resting it is that it gets messy quickly while you eat, but the pros of the smashed patty are its soft and succulent interior, complemented by a crisp charred exterior, and the loosely held together patty just melts in your mouth in a combination of mouthwatering texture and flavor
- Their house-made potato buns were the first of their kind that I’d ever tried: lighter, fluffier, and more moist than any other burger bun I’d tried, they make for a beautiful complement to these juicy burgers, sopping up those fats and turning into the best possible partner to absorb all that flavor and pair against it
- Lastly, with a simple menu, no fancy sauces or add-ons, Burger Geek allows their premium ingredients – especially their patties, to delight your tastebuds without distraction. No fuss goodness to keep you coming back for more
I highly recommend this place to anybody in Manila, and will myself be back as a first order of business this Christmas trip home.