If you’re ever in Geylang, you may pass by Burgers by Danny OneStar, a vibrant stall in a coffee shop along Changi Road. Though it boasts an impressively flashy storefront, this eatery had humble beginnings as a home-based business, helmed by the livestreamer, Danny OneStar, and his family.
Muhamad Iqbal Bin Abdul Razak, whose online alias is Danny OneStar, initially started off as a content creator and livestreamer on Facebook, where he would garner hundreds of likes on his posts and sometimes get a few hundred to over a thousand watchers on his livestreams. In around April 2021, he started selling burgers from home, and soon, his F&B venture exploded in popularity.
Iqbal’s home-based burger business became so popular that he managed to sell 4,000 burgers in the span of just two to three months. Following the response to his burgers, Iqbal opened Burgers by Danny OneStar’s first brick and mortar outlet in a coffee shop, where his business has continued to boom.
However, the road to the opening of his physical store was not a smooth one. In 2021, Iqbal lost three beloved family members in the span of 66 days, which he described himself as feeling “incredibly lost”.
He shared that the “H” symbol on the stall’s sign board was actually a bracelet that he had gifted to his late mother, who passed from COVID-19 in October 2021. He included the image of her bracelet as a tribute to keep him going. “Every time I look at it, I am reminded to persevere and work hard,” he shared.
Together with his wife and family, Iqbal serves a selection of his popular burgers, as well as old-school Western fare at his humble yet lively stall.
What I tried at Burgers by Danny OneStar
Iqbal prides himself on the fact that every single dish is freshly cooked to order, resulting in a slightly longer wait time. All burger dishes came a la carte with the option to add on Fries (S$1.50), Cheese Fries (S$2.50) or Truffle Fries (S$3.50).
The most popular dish at Burgers by Danny OneStar is the Berserak Burger (S$9.50), filled with minced beef, a fried egg, lettuce and cheese. According to Iqbal, the Berserak Burger went viral during the home-based days of the business, with customers loving the messy and chunky nature of the dish.
For the uninitiated, berserak is a Malay word that roughly translates to “scattered”, perfectly describing the nature of this burger. Unlike most burgers that have firmer beef patties, Iqbal’s patties are cooked over a low heat to give them a crumbly and soft texture.
I found the beef texture to be incredibly similar to beef bolognese, and it certainly lived up to its name. Despite being made with no salt, I was impressed at how flavourful the beef was, and when paired with the soft buns and fried egg, the Berserak Burger was elevated even further.
The generous drizzle of cheese sauce was the perfect finish to the already messy burger. It tasted like a lighter version of nacho cheese, and complemented all other elements nicely.
The burger that intrigued me the most was the Cheesy Lava Burger (S$12.50), which was served with a tantalising layer of cheese sauce coating the surface of the bun. Iqbal shared that this burger was rather popular, and that he managed to sell 900 of them during the Ramadan period. As an avid cheese lover, I had high hopes for this burger.
The cheese sauce easily made this my favourite dish of the lot. It tasted like nacho cheese, but milkier and lighter on the palate. Iqbal explained that the sauce was made with a blend of different cheeses, giving it its unique taste.
The other elements of the Cheesy Lava Burger reminded me of the Berserak Burger as it, too, came with a fried egg and crumbly beef patty. The cheese lava made the burger taste a lot more indulgent, and I would definitely order this again. I would have liked it if more cheese sauce was added because of how delicious it was, and it would help to justify the S$12.50 price tag even more.
Next up was the Buffalo Chicken Burger (S$8.50), containing a thick fried chicken thigh coated in spicy buffalo sauce. Though this burger had less elements than the previous two, it did not hold back in terms of flavour.
The buffalo sauce had a pleasant spicy kick that satisfied my spice-loving taste buds, and the chicken was tender, juicy and slightly chewy. I’d recommend eating this first as the chicken thigh may lose its crisp after a while, but this was still a superb burger.
The biggest surprise to me was Burgers by Danny OneStar’s Cheezy Fish & Chips (S$9), which was served with a gigantic piece of fried dory and a side of fries and coleslaw. For S$0.50, you can also get a fried bun.
Let me make this clear: I don’t eat fish. I typically steer clear of Fish & Chips dishes in fear that the fish would have that pungent, seafood-y taste that I despise, but these Cheezy Fish & Chips absolutely blew me away. Let me explain.
Aside from its impressive size, the main thing that struck me was the incredibly crispy exterior of the fish. Despite leaving it to sit for around 20 minutes before I ate it, it still maintained its glorious crispiness and was not soggy in the least.
The fish meat was very soft and tender with a melt-in-the-mouth texture, and to my delight, it had a pretty neutral flavour without any fishy taste. The addition of the cheese sauce made the whole dish even better, as it gave the fish a slightly salty and milky flavour.
I can confidently say that I would travel back to Geylang just for Iqbal’s Cheezy Fish & Chips. The size, freshness and quality make this dish worth the price!
Next, I tried Burgers by Danny OneStar’s take on a classic old-school Western dish: Danny’s Chicken Chop (S$8). The chicken chop came drizzled with brown sauce, and was served with a side of fries and coleslaw, with the fried bun also costing an additional S$0.50.
Iqbal told me that the size of the chicken chop served was smaller than usual due to Malaysia’s ban on chicken exports that was ongoing at the time of this review being written, causing his supplier to provide smaller chicken pieces. Usually, his chicken chops are much larger in size.
The chicken chop was tender and slightly chewy, and the brown sauce generously coated it, providing lots of flavour. The brown sauce itself was much sweeter than most other Western stalls, which was unique. The pairing of fries and coleslaw made this a really classic and nostalgic dish.
Finally, I ended off with the Buffalo Wings (S$8), consisting of six pieces of fried chicken wings coated in buffalo sauce. Iqbal advised me to have these wings last, to allow the buffalo sauce to seep into the chicken.
Like the Buffalo Chicken Burger, the buffalo sauce on the wings was spicy with a moderately strong and satisfying kick. It was sweet, salty and tangy, providing lots of flavour to the wings. While I enjoyed the wings, I do think the taste of the chicken meat itself could be elevated if they were marinated, for an even greater explosion of flavours.
At Burgers by Danny OneStar, Iqbal’s passion and love could be felt both in his dishes and around his stall. As I was enjoying his food, I got to witness loving interactions between him, his wife and his daughters, who were helping to man the stall, and his fans, who had visited the stall to support him and order his popular dishes.
The concept of family is one that is very important to Iqbal, with his online moniker, Danny OneStar, being inspired by his 16-year-old son, Danny. “Everything I do is about him,” he commented when speaking about his son. It was also heartwarming to see how involved and enthusiastic Iqbal’s young daughters were in helping out in the stall.
Iqbal shared that his eldest daughter had an intellectual disability, but had learnt to cook the chicken, beef and other meat dishes under his guidance. Meanwhile, his youngest daughter would help to sell burgers in his livestreams, back when he was still running a home-based business.
I felt something at Burgers by Danny OneStar that I can’t seem to put into words. Perhaps it was warmth, from seeing how loving and supportive Iqbal’s community was, and I know that it was unlike any other dining experience I’ve had.
The pleasant and incredibly welcoming atmosphere, paired with the wonderfully tasty food, makes Burgers by Danny OneStar a stall that I would most definitely return to in the future.
Expected damage: S$8 – S$15 per pax
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