American diner fare in Damansara
Burgers are a universal food item – everyone likes them. Us Malaysians love them so much that we’ve even localised the dish by adding a mata kerbau egg and dousing the patty in cili sos. But the market here will always have room for more lip-smacking burgers, especially if it’s something like the first-of-its-kind deep-fried burgers.
Taking inspiration from American carnival food – where everything from Snickers to even a whole stick of butter is fried – born-in-Malaysia burger restaurant Mean Mince specialises in deep-fried everything. They are the first to introduce deep-fried burgers to our shores. But there are other sinful treats to discover too, as we found out during our recent visit to their one and only Damansara outlet.
Deep-fried burger – hailed the best in town
Burger aficionados would have heard of MyTown Burger Fest 2019, a burger festival and competition that was held back in July. But for those who aren’t in the know, Mean Mince beat out the likes of MyBurgerLab and Define:Burgers to win the title of “Best Burger” in town with their signature MM Deep Fried Burger (RM18.90).
If you didn’t have a clue what a deep-fried burger looked like, you’d be surprised to see something like a ball of fried dough being served to your table. Imagine those Chinese doughnuts that’s sold along with you tiao – but 10 times bigger, and skewered right in the middle with a steak knife.
Before you slice the burger open, get your phone ready for a boomerang shot – once you cut through the burger and pull the two halves apart, you’ll see a satisfying cheese pull from the cheddar and mozzarella mix in it.
You’ll also find that the Langos bread dough that encases the ingredients – a beef patty, caramelised onions, and of course, cheese – has replaced the usual burger bun. The crust of the deep-fried bread is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – like a warm cinnamon roll.
And while the ingredients are simple, the flavours are impressive. The caramelised onions had a burst of sweetness and the subtle notes of tanginess complemented the fried dough plus cheese combo.
Each order comes with a complimentary bucket of spiced popcorn so you’ll have something to munch on while waiting for your order.
The popcorn is unlike your usual movie popcorn that’s drenched in caramel or butter, so you won’t be too jelak for burgers after.
The burgers also come with a side of fries and coke, but we opted for a bottle of Jarritos (RM11.90) instead after spotting it in the chiller. It turned out to be a good – and even healthier – choice as we got to try the Mexican-branded drink that’s made with all-natural cane sugar.
With flavours like Tamarind, Guava, and Mandarin & Lime, these aren’t your of-the-mill soda drinks.
Sliders and sides
MM Sliders (RM19.90) pickled red onions, caramelised onions, and mustard mayo
Besides deep-fried burgers, Mean Mince also serves up mean sliders. The MM Sliders (RM19.90) are a trio of mini-sized burgers perfect for those who want to get a bite of everything on the menu. The portion is just right too – you’ll get to try 3 burgers in one sitting without stuffing yourself silly or wasting food.
Each slider sandwiches a 40-gram beef patty in between 2 buttery brioche buns that have been seared on the grill. They also come with a slab of American cheese that’s almost as thick as the patty itself, and topped with mustard mayo, pickled red onions, or caramelised onions.
You can spot the slab of cheese underneath the scoop of caramelised onions
We ordered Mozzarella Sticks (RM13.90) and Onion Rings (RM7.90) to cap off the meal.
Mozzarella sticks (RM13.90)
We’ve never come across Mozzarella Sticks (RM13.90) so good – the crispy breaded shell comes apart crisply in your mouth to make way for the oozing warm cheese packed inside. There’s so much mozzarella, you can see the cheese threatening to burst out at some spots.
The cheese sticks are served with a tomato salsa dip. The tanginess from the fresh tomato puree refreshes the palate and balances out the cheesy, greasy goodness.
Onion Rings (RM7.90)
Next up is the Onion Rings (RM7.90), made with the largest hoops you can get out of an onion. We love how the rings are only lightly battered, so you can actually taste the onion instead of only getting a mouthful of fried batter with each bite. The rings are seasoned with just a sprinkling of chilli flakes, so that its natural sweetness still comes through.
A special Christmas treat
We were lucky enough to also sample Mean Mince’s new holiday dish, which incidentally has the same wow factor as the deep-fried burger, and also happens to be the first of its kind in the city.
Lo and behold, Mean Mince’s Deep Dish Pizza (RM69.90).
For the uninitiated, this is a Chicago-style pizza – think of it as a savoury pie, where the bulk of it is made up of cheese and chunky tomato sauce, similar to the addictive salsa served with the mozzarella sticks and onion rings.
But it’s not just all crust, dough, tomato, and cheese because buried under the sauce are slices of house-made beef sausage that adds a bite to balance the cheesiness of the pizza.
Each slice is about 2cm thick, just from the large amounts of cheese
You only have till 31st December 2019 to get a taste of this pizza and orders can only be done by first making a reservation. For more details, visit their IG page here.
For indulgent #cheatday meals
If you are counting your calories using an app, you’ll have to delete it for a day or turn a blind eye to it when you pop by Mean Mince. The dishes here are not diet-friendly, but you can afford to indulge for just one meal, especially if you’ve worked hard to meet all your deadlines at work this week or if you’ve successfully kept to a strict diet for the entire month prior.
Even if not for the novel deep-fried burger Mean Mince serves, we can still see this burger joint teeming with patrons hungry for their A+ burgers and pizzas. Their recipes may be simple – cheese, meat and dough – but they’ve skillfully mastered the balancing of flavours so you’ll never feel too jelak to finish up your meal.
Their cosy interior bears American influences, from the vintage car plate numbers to the black and white photo prints of US landmarks.
And while we love the deep-fried burgers and other staples such as onion rings and mozzarella sticks, we’re low-key hoping to see more indulgent deep-fried treats coming our way, even if we have to do a 3-hour HIIT session the next day to burn off the extra calories.
Address: 31-1, Jalan PJU 7/16A, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Opening hours: Thu-Tue 12PM-10PM (Closed on Wednesdays)
Telephone: 03-7733 2512
If you’re looking to group your foodie friends together for an adventure, check out these places for other good food: