KGB Kiwi Gourmet Burgers (Taipei)
Burger joints in Taiwan are a dime a dozen, but one that keeps creeping up in recommendations is KGB (an acronym for Kiwi Gourmet Burgers), which as the name suggests was set up by a couple of ex-pats including a Kiwi.
It’s not an easy place to find, tucked away in a tiny alley off Shida Road, a short walk from the Taipower Building MRT station. The restaurant itself is small and cozy but nicely fitted to look like a chic cafe you might find in Sydney’s Newtown.
So what sets KGB burgers apart from the rest? Quality ingredients, apparently. They say the only use the freshest produce along with New Zealand beef and free range chicken, and the burger buns are made fresh to order from special bakers.
Your meal at KGB involves a few choices. First of all, you pick your patty: beef, chicken or vegetarian. Second, you pick your burger type, and third, you pick your side, be it salad or fries. They also have a range of specialty burgers such as satay, lamb, bacon avocado, aioli (the KGB), and CC Heaven — Camembert with cranberry sauce. For some burgers you can also choose the “slim”, a smaller version of the “regular”. The prices range from about NT$200-260 for a regular, which is only about NT$60-70 more than the slim. In other words, I’d go for the regular every time.
We ended up choosing two burgers — a KGB (which comes with their special ginger lime aioli) and a Satay Chicken Burger. For the sides we got garlic fries and a rocket salad.
First up, the KGB, served on a fresh bun with tomato, onion, lettuce, cheese, a thick, grilled NZ beef patty and some of that awesome ginger lime aioli. It was excellent, and if it’s not enough flavour for you, there’s always the option to add some ketchup. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had, though it’s definitely one of the better burgers I’ve had in Taiwan. It’s indeed fresh, doesn’t overload on too many things like some of the other Taiwanese burger joints, and the size is manageable (you know it’s not when you struggle to figure out how to take a bite). But if you’re talking aioli on your burger, no burger joint can top Brodburger in Canberra (review here). It’s the best, you hear me? The Best!
The garlic fries were fairly good. Instead of garlic powder or flavouring, KGB offers crunchy fries with herbs and actual chunks of crushed garlic. Unfortunately it doesn’t taste quite as good as it sounds or looks. Not bad, but just not mindblowing.
The Satay Chicken Burger was a little disappointing, mainly because the chicken itself was overdone and not that easy to chew through (the satay sauce was good — thick and flavoursome). I’m not sure if it was a once-off thing or if their chicken is always like that, but if I go again I’m sticking with the beef. The rocket salad was fresh and crispy, but I’m not a big fan of balsamic dressing (though I know I am in the minority).
Perhaps I didn’t have the best first experience there, but I’d be interested in heading back to KGB again to give some of their other burgers a try. I like their style and the effort they put into creating burgers that are fresh, tasty, and with just the right amount of flamboyance.
KGB Kiwi Gourmet Burgers
Address: No. 5, Lane 114, Shida Road, Taipei (nearest MRT Taipower Building, green line)
Phone: (02) 2363-6015
Hours: 12pm to 11pm (kitchen closes at 10pm)