SINGAPORE — Burger King Singapore just launched its meat-free Plant-based Whopper recently, which features a plant-based burger patty from The Vegetarian Butcher.
For the sake of our planet, we always welcome any addition to the meat-free options that we have when eating out. Any way we can reduce our meat consumption collectively helps in reducing the meat industry's substantial impact on climate change. For some of us, we'd rather not contribute to the animal cruelty that often occurs in industrial farming as well. And of course, not to mention the overall health effects of eating more plant foods and not over-consuming meat.
We got to taste BK's Plant-based Whopper, and considering overall value-for-money, it's honestly a great-tasting meat-like meat-free burger at an affordable price point – S$6.90 à la carte and S$8.40 for a meal. Considering that Impossible burgers (and menu items made with Impossible generally) are still kinda expensive at the moment, it's a great option for flexitarians who'd rather not pay through their nose for meat alternatives.
The Vegetarian Butcher is a brand owned by Unilever which makes plant-based meat alternative products. It was founded by Dutch farmer Jaap Korteweg, who set out to create meat substitute products that taste just like real meat after he became vegetarian because, as a meat-lover, he still craved the taste and texture of meat.
We found out from The Vegetarian Butcher that the plant-based Whopper patty was specially customised and created in collaboration with Burger King Singapore – so it's a unique product and you won't find it listed among the other products on their website.
BK at first didn't provide the ingredient list for its Vegetarian Butcher burger patty. However, on the Vegetarian Butcher's website, you can see all the ingredients in their products; and if you purchased meat alternative products at a store, you'd be able to see the full list of ingredients on the packaging. We thought: why should that be any different for a meat-free burger from a fast food restaurant?
Hence, just for you, our dear readers, we inquired about the full list of ingredients in BK Singapore's unique Vegetarian Butcher patty. Here it is:
Soy protein, textured vegetable protein (isolated soy protein, wheat gluten, soy protein, wheat starch, soy meal), vegetable oil, palm fat, flavouring, stabiliser (E461), yeast extract, dextrose, potato protein, colourings, spices, salt.
Interestingly, this patty doesn't contain onion and egg white, which are ingredients found in The Vegetarian Butcher's NoBeef burger patty. Hence, for vegetarians and vegans who don't consume onions or egg, this patty is safe for you. It seems that the good people at Burger King SG have customised a patty that's more inclusive of different forms of meat-free diets – why they didn't publicise the full list of ingredients escapes me.
Note, however, that the Whopper does contain sliced onions and mayonnaise, which contains egg, so vegans and vegetarians may have to ask for no mayo or no onions in your Plant-based Whopper.
The meat-free Whopper is prepared in a similar way to the classic Whopper, except that the beef patty is replaced by the plant-based patty, which is also flame-grilled using Burger King's signature broiler, and served in toasted sesame buns together with sliced tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, and onions.
Note that the plant-based patties will be cooked in the same broiler as animal meat patties, which means that they may come into contact with bits of animal products. This won't matter for flexitarians, but may be a deal-breaker for vegetarians or vegans.
Anyway, on to our review proper. Here's the Plant-based Whopper we received from Burger King:
Here's what the burger patty looks like. It looked slightly burnt but didn't really have a burnt taste. The patty has a similar thickness as the original Whopper patty.
Here's what the half-eaten burger patty looks like:
Here's a closer look at the texture of the patty. It really has a very meat-like flavour, texture and bite which wasn't too chewy, which would truly fool any meat eater. It's not really as juicy as advertised by The Vegetarian Butcher, though I wouldn't call it dry – that might depend on the skill of the cook, though, haha...
I detected a very faint non-meat flavour which might have been the soy protein in the patty – but it's really very faint and overall the burger tastes exactly like meat.
Anyway, I would recommend the Plant-based Whopper as a really great option for anyone who loves burgers and yet wishes for a meat-free burger, whether you're a carnivore or flexitarian, and with slight modifications (no mayo or onions) for some vegetarians and vegans.
Meanwhile, check out all these meatless options we reviewed: