Paws Up for Bear Bites
The standard burger has three elements: Two buns, a meat patty and a hint of green veggie. How adorable can the mundane trio get? Or so you might think. Walk past the hole-in-a-wall stall, Bear Bites, located just a stone’s throw from the entrance of *SCAPE Underground and you’re most likely to give their burgers a double take.
New not only to the popular youth hangout in Somerset, but also in Singapore, the original and famous Bear Paw Buns from Taiwan have lumbered over to our island to earn a place on your list of favourite snack joints. The innovative concept fuses Taiwanese steamed buns with Japanese nuances, molding eastern flavours into the western burger world. Bear Bites takes the Chinese idiom ‘魚與熊掌不可兼得' , which suggests that you can’t have the best of both worlds (A literal translation: You can’t have both the fish and the bear’s paw at the same time) and proves otherwise with their tagline ‘誰說魚與熊掌不可兼得', seemingly retorting with a robust “You can.”
Left: Original Milk bun, Right: Brown Sugar bun
In fact, they do it quite literally. Fluffier than your usual Kong Ba Bao, each steamed bun bears an iconic paw print complete with five claws, representing The Formosan Black Bear - Taiwan’s national animal. The unique bear paw buns, shipped directly from their Taiwanese counterpart, hold your choice of meat, either Karaage Crispy Chicken or Oishii Fish Fillet and unlike most burger joints; you actually get to choose your desired flavour of bun! For a start, safe players would go for the Original Milk, Brown Sugar or Whole Grain options. Risk takers? Try Squid Ink, Yam or Japanese Curry.
Japanese Curry bun with Oishii Fish Fillet, drizzled with Black Pepper Sauce
Left: Whole Grain bun with Karaage Crispy Chicken smothered with Mushroom sauce, Right: Squid Ink bun with Oishii Fish Fillet and Thai Chi sauce
Golden Cheese sauce on Karaage Crispy Chicken, held by a lavender-coloured Yam bun
A great sauce enhances the flavour of the meat without stealing the show and encapsulates your entire eating experience. With a range of six savoury sauces freshly made on a daily basis, you’re bound to find one that completes your customized burger like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle. For a classic finish, choose the creamy Tar Tar. The Honey Mustard and Mushroom sauces (with actual mushroom slices) make excellent complements to the Karaage Crispy Chicken while we find the sweet and spicy Thai Chi to go best with the Oishii Fish Fillet. If you prefer your burgers drizzled with more explosive flavours, Black Pepper or Golden Cheese would be your best bets.
Sides include the option of a delectable serving of Cheese Fries
Smoked Salmon Salad with Japanese Yu Tzu Sauce for a lighter companion
For sides, available are the usual serving of fries with a pumped up cheese version for your indulgence. If that’s too filling for you, perhaps the Smoked Salmon Salad lashed with Japanese Yu Tzu Sauce will be a better option. Instead of your fizzy colas, Bear Bites offers only teas, which make a better pairing with their delightful burgers. We also hear that juices may be added to their fridge in the future!
Background: Green Tea Gelato in a Yam bun & Chocolate Gelato in the Original Milk bun, Foreground: Salted Biscuit in the Brown Sugar bun
If you can’t get enough of the adorable bear paw buns, hold your cool because you might melt with adoration before they do. We’re talking about Bear Paw Gelato – A perfect end to the meal.Out of the six bun flavours, pair your choice with gelato options such as Green Tea, Salted Biscuit or an all-time favourite – Chocolate!
So the next time you’re wandering around *SCAPE for a good spot for a meal, hustle up your bear instincts, look for this ‘cave opening’ dishing out charming burgers and have them under the big shady tree, alfresco style.
Written by Peh Yi Wen See Also: Find the best burger in town Find the best Japanese restaurant to satisfy your craving
Bear Bites
Japanese Infusion
Fast Food
Peh Yi Wen
Yi Wen likens the gourmet world to a theme park that never closes – full of adventure with endless rides to discover. When not writing, she dabbles in calligraphy and gawks at lego displays.
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