Last Updated: June 30, 2020
It’s no secret we love our burgers—the Shake Shack queues that snaked around Jewel is still a pretty vivid image in my mind. Not to mention, the almost rapturous reception that Five Guys received is another testament to our love of burgers.
Given that I have eaten my fair share of burgers, I feel equipped to evaluate any new burger joint that has thrown their sesame bun into the ring.
Dirty Buns at Sprout Hub is one such contender and I was mighty excited to try what they had to offer. I had their burgers when we were in the midst of our Circuit Breaker, so I couldn’t have the pleasure of trying their burgers right there and then. Nevertheless, it’s a good gauge to see how your burgers will travel if you place an order from Dirty Buns.
Dirty Buns is located at Sprout Hub, a social hub that encourages urban farming. When you get there, you might even see some chickens clucking about and plots of land used for agriculture. It’s a pretty exciting space that lets us be in touch with nature amidst our concrete jungle.
Dirty Buns is somewhat of a hidden stall, with only a small laminated yellow menu as the signage. An understated approach to marketing but one that made it all the more fun if you know what you’re looking for.
Since Sprout Hub occupies the space that used to be Henderson Secondary School, Dirty Buns resides in the ‘canteen’ along with some other food stalls. The ‘canteen’ has since been cleared and given that clean, millennial Instagram-friendly makeover. So, the area is spacious and airy, making it an ideal weekend brunch location if you ask me.
Dirty Buns has a pretty lean menu of DB Classic, Dirty Double and Hot Chick and as your resident burger connoisseur, I knew I had to order all of them.
I started with the DB Classic (S$11/with a meal, S$8/a la carte), which—as the name suggests—was your quintessential cheeseburger. This one features a large, glossy freshly baked bun cradling a juicy beef patty with a square of cheddar and slathered with their Dirty Sauce. You have to excuse the picture, it doesn’t do the burger justice.
I have to commend how soft and pillowy the bun was. A lesser burger joint would sometimes overlook the importance of the bun, but I’m glad Dirty Bun paid attention.
Another thing I appreciated about Dirty Buns was that each patty is freshly ground, using their own mix of brisket and chuck roll. The patty was a little firmer than I was used to but provided a good bite and texture. The pickles and Dirty Sauce provided that zing and cut through the richness of the burger.
To keep things really fresh, Dirty Buns limits their production to only 80 buns a day. Once they’re sold out, these buns are gone —so it’s a game of fastest finger first.
The construction of a burger is somewhat of an architectural feat. Each element has to play a significant role and work well together. Even though the DB Classic might seem simple, each element is deliberate and well-thought-out—which makes this a truly excellent burger.
To go all out, you can indulge in the Dirty Double (S$14/with a meal, S$11/a la carte) which is exactly like the DB Classic but with an extra patty. While I would never say no to a double patty, I felt like the firmness of the beef patties did not play to its advantage here.
Though the patties were flavourful and thick, this burger did not have quite the enjoyable mouthfeel as the DB Classic. Since the patties are of the firmer variety, having two patties together was more of a meatier bite than I would have preferred.
Still, it was a pretty satisfactory burger that might be even better with few tweaks.
Next up was Hot Chick (S$10/with a meal, S$7/a la carte), a hot and spicy chicken thigh marinated in Dirty Buns’ own blend of chillis. As a spice fiend myself, I was eager to sink my teeth into the burger.
Crispy and tender, the chicken burger was off to a promising start. As I continued to munch on this burger, I found the only thing lacking was that crucial spice element that was promised. It was milder than expected and I would have liked a little bit more of a kick from this burger.
On top of that, I also felt that the burger needed something sharp and acidic to further enhance those flavours and bring it to the next level.
The last piece of the burger jigsaw has to be the Fries (S$2/a la carte). These taters come with any meal set or you can order them separately. Dirty Buns uses russet potatoes which are starchier, drier and mealy—all components that make excellent fries.
Non-greasy and also velvety soft on the inside, I have to declare these fries a winner. These rustic hand-cut fries were well-seasoned, albeit a little soft due to the commute, but it’s nothing a couple of minutes in the air fryer wouldn’t help.
There is no doubt that Dirty Buns serves up a pretty commendable burger, one you wouldn’t mind getting your hands messy for. After all, burgers are one of the great equalisers of the food world. The fact that you have to eat it with your hands already takes ‘fancy’ out of the equation.
There are perhaps a few tweaks that Dirty Buns can make, but they are already off to a great start.
Expected Damage: S$7 – S$15 per pax
Our Rating: 3 / 5
102 Henderson Road, Sprout Hub, Singapore 159562
102 Henderson Road, Sprout Hub, Singapore 159562