Big Hug Burger @ SS15 Subang Square – what’s so good about it?

Onions imported from the Netherlands, fresh greens from an organic farm, 100% Australian beef, house baked buns, sauces made from scratch and food only cooked by professional chefs, not part timers.
All that and all I got was a bad taste in my mouth after visiting twice and eating a total of 7 burgers, even repeating their signature Big Hug Burger and Marios’ since I couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t the slightest bit impressed with it after my initial visit.

** The professional chefs remark was from their FB page – posted on 24th May 2013.
By the way I’m in support of the fair remarks made by How Kam Hing and Ong Wei Juin. 🙂

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But of course, we must credit the owners for reassuring their customers that food here is prepared with highest quality control. Just like how some of us would mind having our hawker food cooked by foreign workers, I guess knowing that professionals chefs are handling my burgers did somewhat bolstered my confidence in this joint a little.
I mean, I do appreciate such dedication. You know professionals do not mess up your food.
Or so I thought.

My first visit was on 16th May 2013, a week before this FB status was posted. I didn’t know then my subpar burgers were prepared by professional chefs. Or perhaps they had part timers then?
Oh wait, they NEVER hire part-timers as cooks. My bad.

My Big Hug Burger – RM23 for set.
Impressive in size. And that’s about it.

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I would recommend the Big Hug Burger if you’re a person looking for a value meal. No doubt it would fill you up quite well.

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Personally for me it wasn’t anywhere near “value for money”. Bite after bite it turned out to be merely mouthfuls of dough and batter from the deep fried chicken. I don’t deny there was chicken meat underneath all that flour, but please don’t be deceived that the actual chicken is as pictured.

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The fries were heavily dusted with herbs resulting in very strong fragrance of herbs which gave me the initial impression that it would be as good as its looks. Regrettably they turned out to be were pretty bland and badly in need of salt.
Perhaps low-salt is in accordance with the philosophy of healthy eating by Big Hug, but healthy doesn’t mean it has to be tasteless right?
It could be argued that those fries are meant to be eaten with their housemade sauce, which indeed would have helped, if the sauce itself didn’t turn out as dismal as the fries. The sauce tasted too much like mayo for comfort.

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While all the top domes of their buns here are nice and fluffy (trust me I would know after eating 7 of Big Hug Burgers’ burgers), the bottom part of the buns are a little dense and doughy, a sign that perhaps it wasn’t thoroughly baked through or a tweak in temperature/recipe is needed. A pastry chef friend of mine suggested that it could be due to proofing time.
Funny, considering that they only hire professionals in the kitchen. One would think they could get a simple bun recipe right.

We couldn’t finish the fries, nor the bun. The chicken wasn’t a problem, considering that there wasn’t much meat to begin with!

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I love my greens and fruits, but bland tomatoes and hard pineapple slices were tough to swallow. I wouldn’t have minded sweet, ripe tangy pineapples.

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My Mario’s Beef Burger (RM21 for set) was another set-back. If there’s any consolation, all the burgers does look appetizing. My only regret is the taste doesn’t quite match its appearance!

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The Mario’s came with onion rings (which wasn’t one of the ingredients listed on the menu) and the sauteed shitake mushrooms were missing. I’m guessing one is to substitute for the other.
I would appreciate it if they have told us about the swap beforehand. I was expecting mushrooms and was surprised with the appearance of onion rings.
Nevertheless, I realized how lucky I was to have missed the shitake mushrooms this round, for during my 2nd visit my Mario’s was brimming with shitake mushrooms and they didn’t taste the slightest bit good!

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I’m a fussy carnivore and I find the patty lacking in beefy flavour. Since they claimed that they uses Australian beef I suspect the grade and cut was the issue. It was also a tad on the dry side and in between some bites I even got bits of meat (suspected tendons) that just won’t disintegrate though I chewed rather laboriously.

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My friend and I struggled through our burgers and both of us were perplexed. Such raving reviews online and those pictures of happy diners of Facebook – surely it was just an off day today? Even professionals have their low days right?

And so we spent another RM92 on 5 more burgers yesterday. And ate every single one of them with a bunch of burger loving friends just to be sure.

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The Big Hug Burger was consistent. Large bun, more batter than chicken; except that this time I got a softer, sweeter piece of pineapple – thank God!
My complaints for the fries remained the same; a little bit more salt would really help. And no, the homemade sauce (that was packed for us in little tubs) didn’t make it any better.

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We cut this into 4 to share. One particular quarter was just batter. As pictured below, there wasn’t much meat to justify the price paid.

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My Mario’s Beef Burger finally had sauteed shitake mushrooms and no onion rings, just as how it was described on the menu.

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I wished they had kept the onions rings instead. The shitake mushrooms tasted like dried Chinese stir-fried mushrooms commonly used in chinese cuisine and totally wrecked the taste profile of the burger. I love mushrooms and I think mushrooms in burgers are fabulous, but a different type of mushroom or a different recipe for cooking these shitake may have worked better.
Anyhow that’s just my 2 cents. After all Big Hug Burger are manned by professional chefs. One wouldn’t want to argue with the pros.

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Remember the lower part of the buns that I mentioned earlier that was a bit dense and doughy? I have them highlighted as below just in case you missed my point.

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The same can be seen on the Lamb Burger we bought. The top domes fluffy but bottom flat and dense.

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And yes, the lamb burger. Which didn’t taste anything like lamb. And one of my fans on my FB page thinks so too.

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Just like he said, the onions were too sweet. And the professional chefs of Big Hug Burger finds it necessary to add copious amount of it in every burger. Even the salmon one. Which again, totally killed the taste of the overall burger. Especially when such a meager portion of salmon was tucked in between the buns.
The result? All I tasted was bread and onions. This Salmon Burger cost us RM14.00 by the way.

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And since I’m complaining, I would like to add that the onions were not really caramelized, but tasted more like it was pan fried. For all it’s worth, I don’t think you need onions from the Netherlands to make good caramelized onions.

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The saving grace? The Crispy Fish Burger – RM12.00. Minus the offensive mushrooms and onions. Heck, that’s probably why it tasted good.

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The onion rings weren’t too bad either since there were actual onions inside. If I were to nitpick I would add that it was too greasy and for some of the rings the onions itself wouldn’t disintegrate as I chewed, leaving behind a stringy filament in my mouth which I had to dispose of into my napkin.

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While I offer due respect to the owners for their unwavering passion for providing good food using quality ingredients and spreading love and homeliness with their outlet, I have to say that overall it came across as more hype than anything.
I won’t deny that the ingredients are fresh, but the cooking/preparation methods and choice of components within a burger could probably do with some tweaking. And please, those mushrooms.. really.

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Big Hug Burger - SS15 Subang Square - burgers in subang

To be fair, I didn’t quite fall in love with Burger Junkyard’s burgers immediately but with their current improved recipes and new burgers, BJ had since became one of my favourite burger joints so who knows, I might have a change of heart for Big Hug Burger too.
Since I have sampled the chicken, beef, lamb and both fish burgers, I’ll won’t be revisiting anytime soon but I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled for anything new from them that might be worth trying.

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If you have been here and enjoyed the burgers, do let me know if your burger were anything like mine. Any feedback; positive or otherwise – I’ll like to hear it from you! 🙂

Big Hug Burger
CT-G-03, Subang Square Corporate Tower
Jalan SS 15/4G, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Hours: 12.30pm – 10.30pm. Close on Sundays.
NOTE: Its within the building that houses the MiddleSex University.

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UPDATE:
All the hate comments down here? They are FAKE! 🙂
Post: Follow up visit: 3rd round for The Big Hug Burger
The TROLLS – I think it’s ONE delusional and bitter person. Can you guess who? 

Category : Food