In Indonesia, as is pretty much anywhere around the world, celebs and social media influencers (ugh) often milk their own popularity for a head start in their foray into the F&B scene. Some were ill-fated, while some proved to be wildly successful (Ruben Onsu’s ayam geprek chain comes to mind).
One of the latest to join the game is Insta-celeb Anya Geraldine, who partnered with Broadway Group — the F&B and leisure company behind urban Chinese restaurant Lei Lo — to establish an affordable burger joint in Central Jakarta.
Coconuts was recently invited for a taste test at this newly opened restaurant, where we also sat down with Broadway Group’s president William Ernest Silanoe, who regaled us with the story of how his partnership with Anya came to be.
BURGERBAR, located opposite the London School of Public Relations (LSPR) campus in Sudirman, first opened its doors to the public in November. The restaurant has a simple, industrial look, though the space itself isn’t too big.
William told us that his company’s partnership with Anya was the result of their friendship.
“Sometimes we talked about doing business together. Then one time I had a long talk with Anya, talking about her favorite food and she said she likes burgers. Why, I asked? She said because burgers are instant, as she’s pretty busy,” he said.
So busy, in fact, that Anya, arguably one of the most famous Insta-celebs in Indonesia with 3.5 million followers on the photo-sharing platform, serves as a part-owner and the face of the restaurant. The running of the business is left to Broadway.
Broadway Group’s head chef Jodie Adrianto said that among the restaurant’s specialties is its delivery-friendly, no-frills burgers.
“Our target market is mainly from our surroundings, most of them being university students and people who order food through app-based delivery services. The prices aren’t too cheap, but not too expensive either, still in the middle,” Jodie said.
Brioche buns are signature to the burgers at BURGERBAR, to ensure it remains bouncy even after having gone through the delivery process. During our visit, Jodie demonstrated this quality by pressing the brioche buns, which ballooned back to its original shape in a jiffy.
We were given several items off the menu to try, including sides. There are three kinds of house-made sauces that you can choose to be included in your burger or to go with your sides: barbeque, blackpepper, and demi-glace.
The Potato Skin Fries (IDR18,000/US$1.32) were crispy and not too greasy, and it went well with the barbeque sauce we tried. We secretly wished that the restaurant would serve beer to go with this, because it would’ve been a perfect pairing. On the other hand, the Poutine Fries (IDR36,000/US$2.63) was served with the three sauces and a truffle oil-infused cheese sauce as its dips — it was good, but we’d expected it to be served in a way they serve poutine in Canada, in which they slather the fries with gravy.
Moving on to the burgers, we went for the Fried Chicken Burger (IDR45,000/US$3.29) first, which comprised of buttermilk chicken thigh, coleslaw, and chipotle aioli. This was probably our favorite of the burgers, for it is a mish-mash of different textures; the juicy and crispy fried chicken, the coleslaw, the spicy aioli, and the soft brioche buns. Plus points for the coleslaw, as it wasn’t too sour and tasted just right for the burger.
The second sandwich we had was the Philly Cheese Burger (IDR55,000/US$4.02) with sliced beef belly, cheese, and truffle oil. It pretty much tasted like how we expected a Philly cheese dish should be, with the beef slices juicy and the cheese not overpowering, although we could barely taste the truffle oil.
The Breakfast Burger (IDR50,000/US$3.65), notably Anya’s go-to item at BURGERBAR, comprised of house-made beef bacon, omelette, pickles, and barbeque sauce. Taste wise, it was similar to the Philly Cheese Burger but with the cheese replaced with an omelette. The house-made beef bacon slices — which Jodie said required 4.5 hours to cook — were thicker than most beef bacon we’ve had, for better or worse.
Lastly, we tried BURGERBAR’s Original Beef Burger (IDR45,000/US$3.29). The patty is made of freshly ground beef with a strong blackpepper taste with pickles, barbeque sauce, and a slice of cheese. We thought it was great and clearly a safe choice if you can’t make your pick out of their menu — cheeseburgers are a classic after all.
BURGERBAR is currently available to order via Gojek’s shopping service Goshop. The most you’ll pay for one dish is IDR60,000 (US$4.41) before tax for the Patty Melt Burger.
All in all, BURGERBAR offers some very decent burgers with few shortcomings. It almost feels unfair to grill Anya and Broadway Group’s effort considering how cheap the burgers are. At the very least, BURGERBAR is a fantastic and easy choice to satisfy a homemade burger craving without breaking the bank.
Opens Mon-Sat, 10am-10pm. Sun closed
Jl. KH Mas Mansyur No. 14AB, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta
Transit: MRT/TransJakarta Bendungan Hilir