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The Rasa Sayang is now serving burgers, but these are as different from mainstream fast food as it’s possible to imagine.

First of all, the setting is idyllic. The Pinang Restaurant and Bar by the beach at Batu Ferringhi has a cool sea breeze and plenty of shade, so you can eat al fresco comfortably while enjoying the natural scenery. The chairs aren’t deliberately uncomfortable to encourage you to eat and go as rapidly as possible, rather they invite you to linger over your delicious meal as long as you want.

A variety of fresh natural juices – such as pineapple, lime and green apple – are offered to accompany your meal rather than chemical compounds, and the fries! You can choose from crinkled cut, straight cut, spiral curls, or spiced wedges and they’re all made from real potato.

But, of course, it’s the burgers that are the real royal treat here. With a choice of some spectacular flavours from around the world, the spread at Pinang is truly impressive. These are bespoke burgers, and need to be tasted to be believed. Try the Lamb and Cumin Burger on a layer of fresh rocket (arugula) if you’re in a Middle-Eastern mood, or take a trip to the New World with the gently spiced Mexican Beef Burger, which is served on cucumbers and onion rings, with guacamole salsa instead of the more traditional ketchup.

If you prefer your burgers traditionally presented, then try the Double Beef Burger; two layers of meat separated by melted cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and beef rashers. The whole combination is smothered with hickory smoked BBQ sauce and a seriously comforting meal.

There’s also a more delicately flavoured chicken burger – generous, not nugget sized – with mayonnaise and sautéed mushrooms, but if you’re feeling really hungry then the Pinang Bar’s Signature Burger Tower is the way to go. This mighty stack consists of beef, lamb, and chicken patties topped with melted cheese, beef rashers, a fried egg, and sautéed mushrooms. It’s truly delicious but not for the faint-hearted; this burger is subtitled the Rasa Giga Bite, and there’s a great deal to get your mouth around.

If you’re visiting the Pinang Restaurant and Bar with friends or family, a great option is to order different burgers and share, enabling you all to experience the variety of these upmarket burgers. With yummy desserts such as apple pie and ice cream, a meal at Pinang is definitely a treat fit for a king.

First published December, 2012

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