The renaissance of the humble hamburger has become one of the more enduring dining trends of the last decade or so – particularly in the Middle East, where a new burger joint seems to appear every other week. At the higher end of the culinary scale, they have also become a dish to underline a chef’s creativity, as the options below illustrate.
Inferno Burger at Qube Sports Bar
Where: Meydan Racecourse
How much: AED60, free if you finish it within 30 minutes
Where to begin with the infamous Inferno burger? Described as the hottest burger in the Middle East, the fact that it contains a selection of the world’s fieriest chillies makes the claim definitely believable. Cayenne pepper flakes, chocolate habanero chillies, bird’s eye chillies, lava sauce and even Scotch bonnet oil (made from a Jamaican pepper) are all packed into the bun to offer a mouth-tingling sensation – as long as you have a fire extinguisher and a bucket of ice on hand. You get it for free if you finish it in half an hour; if you don’t you merely end up on the chef’s personal wall of shame. But don’t worry too much about that – you’ll have plenty of company.
Wagyu Burger at Jones the Grocer
Where: Sheikh Zayed Road
How much: AED69
The Aussies seem to have made a name for healthy, hearty food and Jones the Grocer has become one of the best of an increasingly impressive bunch. Although there are plenty of excellent dishes on the menu – and fantastic food in the store – the Wagyu beef burger is not only one of the highlight items, it might be one of the best burgers on offer in the emirate. Matched with a brioche bun, it has a softness and a slight sweetness that makes it a satisfyingly rich eating experience.
Clinton Street Burger at Clinton Street Baking Company
Where: Downtown Dubai
How much: AED72
While the speciality here is the breakfast menu, from chicken and waffles to pancakes, the ground-in-house burger is a recommended option for diners arriving after midday. Choose the Swiss cheese, add some beef bacon on top and enjoy the fresh patty with caramelised onions, and a soft toasted French roll.
Wagyu Beef Burger at Manhattan Grill
How much: AED135
Where is it? Grand Hyatt, Umm Hurair
While the interior of the Manhattan Grill could be described as run of the mill, the wagyu burger offered here is anything but. The restaurant, as its name might suggest, specialises in prime cuts, and although many diners may turn their nose up ground-up beef, this ought to be an exception. It is served simply with Monterey jack, veal bacon and crispy Idaho fries. Admittedly on the expensive side, but when combined with speedy and polite service, it’s a definite winner.
The Bolt-On Burger
Where: Zero Gravity, SkyDubai Drop Zone
How much: AED80 with a drink
High quality, great value and prepared to your exact specifications, the Bolt on Burger at Zero Gravity is a gourmet self-assembly option that diners can compile from a range of premium ingredients. Essentially, it’s a five-star meal for a food-court price. The various options include a Wagyu beef patty, beef short-rib, Thai chicken and Atlantic crab and cod. There’s also a range of condiments, such as chipotle chili sauce, onion jam, garlic sauce and crushed avocado. Combined with a sea-front setting and airy atmosphere, this is one lunchtime spot that might easily dribble into evening.