Monday, July 16, 2012

Las Vacas, Yap Kwan Seng & MyBurgerlab, Seapark

Las Vacas was never in need of the 'third time's the charm' rule. Its outlets in Kelana Jaya and Mont Kiara were immediate hits, but every empire must keep expanding; the beef specialist's latest branch at Yap Kwan Seng could become its biggest triumph.

This is Las Vacas largest eatery, offering indoor and alfresco tables. Signaling surefire success, every table inside was booked by 6:30 on opening evening. Beware, latecomers who sit outdoors: mosquitoes might plague those fearless or foolish enough to wear shorts here.

The concept is clear: meat is the main event, but this branch boasts Las Vacas' widest menu, encompassing everything from beef croquettes to beef bruschetta.

Wagyu Karubi (RM35+), boneless spare ribs that score for succulence.

Pan-sauteed beef wraps, coating roasted vine tomatoes (RM18+). Everything we ordered here was flavorful, but there's a problem: Las Vacas seems to rely too heavily on sauces and pepper.

Ox tongue, thinly sliced and grilled, then drizzled with wasabi mayonnaise (RM45++). Many will like this, but we long for the simplicity of a Korean barbecue version, where the meat shines unadorned. Still, that's a matter of preference.

Angus grass-fed rib-eye (RM78+ for 300 grams), cooked a little too much past medium-rare, but still acceptable. Blessedly, the credit card facilities here are working already, curbing a repeat of what we encountered at Las Vacas Mont Kiara two years ago.

The meat might be halal, but we're thankful that wine is sold here, by both the bottle and glass.

We wanted to try Las Vacas' RM120, 250-gram-patty Wagyu burger, but it was unavailable during our visit. A beef-lover nevertheless can't surrender so feebly, so we drove more than a dozen kilometers from Yap Kwan Seng to Petaling Jaya's Sea Park ...

... returning to MyBurgerLab, where some of the Klang Valley's tastiest beef burgers can be had. No, they're not Wagyu-grade, but they're still wonderful.
Main entry on MyBurgerLab @ Sea Park: July 11, 2012.

MyBurgerLab might be PJ's busiest eatery this week, thanks to a largely college-age crowd; it opens at 5pm (except on its Monday rest day), but it sometimes finishes its entire stock of some 150 burgers by 9pm, two hours before it's supposed to close.

Brace yourself for a bit of a wait at peak hours. It might take thirty minutes, but hey, folks who want burgers in a hurry have numerous other options.

We tried a trio of MyBurgerLab's charcoal-bun bovine beauties, including "The Hangover" (RM16), topped with hash brown, maple syrup and shiitake and enoki mushrooms. Satisfyingly hearty, but when we contemplated this burger's name, we wondered whether we were the restaurant's only patrons legally old enough to drink.

Say Cheese 2 (RM17), with a double patty and double slices of sharp cheddar for (wait for it) double the pleasure!

A Beautiful Mess (RM18), the most expensive and expansive burger here, with a smashed patty partnered with a portobello mushroom and sunny-side-up. Impossible to eat like a gentleman, but it's one fine mess.

MyBurgerLab is a pork-free eatery that serves no liquor, but burgers taste better with booze, so ask the friendly service team here for a disposable Pepsi cup and pour some red wine into it. Or maybe not _ we gulped this without permission, for which we are deeply ashamed.

Las Vacas (taking over Tony Roma's location),
Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur.
MyBurgerLab,
14, Jalan 21/22, Sea Park, Petaling Jaya.
Both Las Vacas and MyBurgerLab close on Mondays (note: that's today!)

36 comments:

  1. I like the name of Beautiful Mess!
    The portobello mushroom and sunny-side-up combination look good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CK: heheh, a nice name for a nice burger. ya, the mushroom is very juicy and the egg yolk is perfectly soft :D

      Delete
  2. Wow myBurgerLab looks so busy! Cheap, cheerful and delicious burgers sure attract the crowd. I also like the look of the Beautiful Mess ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baby Sumo: ya, it gets quite crowded during dinnertime, but luckily, there might be a table available if you're willing to wait 5-10 minutes. the burgers are worth the wait! =)

      Delete
  3. Las Vacas in KL...hooray! :D

    Love the cheesy goodness of the Say Cheese 2 lar...hehe =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ulric: heh, i think the KL branch is gonna be pretty packed for dinners, so reservations are highly recommended =) you'll probably love the taste of the say cheese too. it's one of the purely cheesiest burgers i've ever tasted :D

      Delete
    2. Put a runny fried egg in the Say Cheese 2 and I am all in...might have to rename it to Heart Attack though...hehe =)

      Delete
    3. Ulric: oh yeah, they do allow add-ons at myburgerlab, usually for extra cheese or mushrooms or even an extra patty, but i figure they'll also oblige a request for egg =)

      Delete
    4. Hey...tats great! Maybe the egg n a hash brown...carb overload it!...hehe =)

      Delete
    5. Ulric: sounds like a big but brilliant mess =)

      Delete
  4. Good prices! My goodness the Say Cheese 2 looks quite extraordinary...but think it would be the beautiful mess for me too. Tell me you didn't go straight here after your beef session at Las Vacas?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YouHadYourLunch: it's difficult to decide which burger to have, so sharing might be best! i've enjoyed all of myburgerlab's beef offerings so far :D heh, we were at myburgerlab within 30 minutes of leaving las vacas =)

      Delete
  5. wow...that MyBurgerLab is so crowded. Hmm...college students these days does know how to enjoy food huh ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa: heh, i assume some of these customers might also be young adults who've started work in the past few years :D

      Delete
  6. Been to MyBurgerLab yesterday. Pretty like their concept and simple menu. Their food is alright with the decent price. But it was packed to the brim!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chong: yeah, even parking can be difficult on this street now, probably thanks to myburgerlab! and you're right, the basic menu is fine ... for now. here's hoping there'll be more varieties and weekly/daily specials soon! :D

      Delete
  7. the las vacas in yks looks familiar to how a casual pub steak house would operate over in australia (well brisbane)..nice open kitchen, choose your meats on display, paid and wait to dig into some juicy steaks, although you won't get as much non steak items like you ordered!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joe: ooh, maybe they're trying to emulate the aussie steakhouses, or at least borrow some inspiration and ideas from there. but yeah, it's a cool concept and it's certainly gonna bring them success (i can imagine lots of customers will buka puasa with a steak dinner soon) :D

      Delete
  8. There was a typo in my earlier comment, so here we go again....this place looks fantastic, can't wait to try it sometime soon :)
    http://talkwok.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TalkWok: hope you enjoy it! especially if you're a beef-lover :D

      Delete
  9. i want to give burger lab a try but am afraid my mom would protest... - -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle: oooh, maybe you could buy a burger for takeaway and have it as a snack :D

      Delete
  10. Those burgers are so impressive. I like the look of the charcoal bun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Yum List: oh yeah, those buns are baked daily, underscoring the freshness of the ingredients here. i think i might be addicted to my burger lab! :D

      Delete
  11. I've been craving steaks all weekend...and now you made it worse! Lol!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bangsar Babe: the thought of a good steak is always alluring for me! i wish i could have steak today, but it's probably not gonna happen, heh :D

      Delete
  12. Las Vacas on Yap Kwan Seng! Perfect! Now I just have to save up enough lunch money for one hearty steak. =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drops of contentment: here's crossing our fingers that they'll offer value-for-money steak lunch sets here at some point! :D

      Delete
  13. I search for the burger lab when I saw your 1st post abt the restaurant...
    it was 2 blocks away from my house..Shall try it this weekend...
    Seems a lot of burger shop popping around.. first wallop burger and then burger lab..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple Person: hope you enjoy my burger lab. ya, i guess burgers is something that a lot of people enjoy. tasty and filling :D

      Delete
  14. The burgers look good enough for me to lick the screen. Im gonna check it out.better be better than fat boys! hahahah :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ciki: oh yeah, the 'lickability factor' is very high, heheh! :D they're doing very well here in sea park. i think they've sold nearly 1,000 burgers in just five or six days (especially impressive since they're only open for dinner) :D

      Delete
  15. I love the A+ Chicken! super verb yummy, fresh burger without MSG.. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. June: i haven't managed to try the A+ Chicken yet, but it sounds good! i really liked the A+ Beef :D

      Delete
  16. The hashbrowns filled my tummy to the brim! They were out of the A+ chicken when we visited though. We both loved the beautiful mess and will definitely be back to sample the rest of their menu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unkaleong: really glad to hear you liked the burgers! =) i prefer their beef ones to the chicken ones. i kinda feel the chicken isn't as juicy, for a bunch of reasons. and ya, i think if i had to pick a favorite, it'd be the beautiful mess, even though i'd like it even better if it had some cheese. i hear they have a beautiful mess version 2.0 now, with a fried portobello mushroom :D

      Delete