The basics. This is a double burger, with double cheese, onion, pickle, lettuce, tomato, on a homemade sesame bun. Cost 300NTD, includes fries and soft drink.
Tasting notes. From outside in…
The bun is beautiful, a dome set perfect above the beef, and fully dotted in sesame seeds. The hearty texture holds all the juices squeezed out in the initial bites, but also yields its deliciousness to the burger itself, a perfect partner. Fresh lettuce, tomato, and red onion add flavor, texture, and color. Pickle slices, requisite to any burger, lay across softly melted cheese. These are longitudinal sliced dills, giving more crunch for your crisp. The beef patty has a juicy, crumbly softness that burger enthusiasts should all appreciate. I was concerned when a friend asked for his to be cooked well done, that mine may be mistakenly over cooked. My fear in vain, my anxieties all eased when I held this burger between my hands and juice dripped. The first bite flooded my taste buds with cumin flavor. On ensuing chomps, I debated the Mediterranean versus Tex-Mex quality of this spice. Perhaps that is the beauty of a top notch seasoning, when it can’t be pinned down to one mode, allowing for free form flavor associations. The burger avoids the pepper trap that many less seasoned chefs fall into, and emphasizes the sweet satisfying beef flavor.
Try “Kooks” home-made ranch dressing as dip for french fries. It has the classic tanginess of ranch with the underlying sweetness of buttermilk. Delicious. Where I would normally let fries soak in burger juices, I tried to protect the potato purity so as to enjoy the uncontaminated flavors of ranch on fries.
This is a top notch burger, well worth a trip uptown. “Kooks” is located five minutes from DanShui MRT, on foot. The staff has a sharpness of service rarely seen in the expanding arena of laid-back burger joints in Taiwan. And anyone needing a lesson in Taiwan history and politics should be educated by Liam, owner and head chef.