It sounds simple enough, but it seems you are spoiled for choice these days when ordering a humble burger. Beef, lamb or chicken? A classic bun, a wholegrain or a brioche? Ketchup or mayo or perhaps Massaman curry sauce? Fresh tomatoes, grilled bell peppers and…? The options seem endless and chefs are constantly coming up with new and exciting combinations to tease your tastebuds.
Jay Leshark, the man behind the Phuket’s Best Burger contest, reveals (or rather confesses) that he is somewhat of a purist preferring a classic beef burger.
“Everyone loves different things about burgers. Personally, I am a yellow mustard kind of guy, a ketchup kind of guy. Just a plain, nice burger, that’s all I like,” Jay says.
It’s hard to argue that a simple, classic burger is a thing of beauty, but the contestants at Phuket’s Best Burger 2018 were out to impress with a whole array of remarkable burger creations, ranging from Balinese- and Thai-inspired delights to veggie burgers and much more.
Below you’ll find the top three burgers that were chosen by judges out of more than a dozen and the good news is that you can try your hand making them at home – just get the ingredients and fire up the grill.
Thavorn Beach Resort & Spa entered this year’s competition as the reigning champion of Phuket Best Burger and managed to become the first contestant to defend their title and returned again to win again for a back-to-back victory. What’s their secret? Cheese, cheese and more cheese. As simple as that.
With copious amount of melted cheddar and brie, Australian Wagyu beef, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes, fresh rocket leaves and mushrooms all doused in house-made tomato sauce, Thavorn’s Cheese Lava burger kept to trues to the classic but with a very cheesy twist. Served in a Brioche bun, the burger clearly impressed the judges again and landed Thavorn their second title.
Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, a country know around the globe for its financial institutions, watches, chocolate and cheese fondue. It must have been the latter that inspired Coast Beach Club to create The Valaisan, a Swiss-inspired burger with a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese known as Raclette.
To make a culinary voyage to the valley of the Rhône, you’ll need some 180 grams of Australian Wagyu beef, several strips of crispy bacon, Raclette cheese, fresh tomatoes, minced Iceberg lettuce and rocket leaves all topped with tartare and BBQ sauces.
Coast Beach Club served their award-winning burger in a Brioche bun topped with pumpkin and poppy seeds. Again, this new take on the classic beef burger impressed the judges and was good enough for Coast to be awarded second place at Phuket’s Best Burger 2018.
The inaugural Phuket’s Best Burger event was held in March of 2015 and saw Xana Beach Club crowned as the winner. Since then Xana has been trying to replicate their initial success and this year they came close enough to get the bronze.
At Phuket’s Best Burger 2018 Xana presented their Mediterranean-themed Kuzu Burger, which was a brilliant demonstration of what you can achieve if you have a nice brioche and enough bravery to experiment with some unconventional yet tasty ingredients.
The heart of the burger was a spicy smoked lamb patty topped with feta cheese and rosemary, green papaya and cucumber mint Tzatziki, bell peppers and mushrooms roasted in extra virgin olive oil and homemade smokey mint ketchup. Absolutely amazing – but not too challenging to attempt to cook at your next backyard BBQ.
The judges of Phuket’s Best Burger 2018 certainly had their work cut out this year, trying to evaluate a total of 16 different burgers – all prepared by some of the island’s best chefs. If you are interested what was inside of them, head to The Phuket News TV channel on YouTube where a full, mouth-watering report from the event is available to watch.