The unbeatable vegan burger

The unbeatable vegan burger

Plant-based vegan restaurant SALA launched its latest addition meatless burger – Sambal Belacan – in conjunction with Merdeka Day

CONCEIVED eating a delicious burger and then finding out that there is no meat in it. Well, imagine no more!

SALA, a local restaurant known for redefining plant-based food in Malaysia, recently introduced its latest offering – the spicy and juicy SALA Burger Belacan in conjunction with Merdeka Day.

The burger also highlights local flavours. It consists of crispy fresh coral lettuce, deep fried tortilla chips, a vegan beef patty, salsa, and spread with a special ingredient – ​​sambal belacan – and topped with thinly sliced ​​onion inside a soft and pillowy bun.

It’s completely meatless, but is far more satisfying than any meaty burger.

Though there are so many vegan or vegetarian burger recipes out there, this patty’s taste and texture is a treat to the taste buds.

The vegan beef patty was perfectly created by alternative meat experts at Phuture Food, and it is rich in flavor and has a buttery tenderness. The patty is cooked in an air fryer and this helps lock the juices inside.

So, in every bite, you can enjoy the perfect combination of the flavorful big-sized patty, tomato salsa, spicy and tangy sambal belacan, and all different textures.

Every burger lover should not miss the chance to try this burger. The burger will be available for a limited time only at all SALA restaurants, except for SALA at Avenue K.

On Aug 2, 2022, SALA introduced the SALA Burger Belacan at their first outlet at Galeria Hartamas. At the launch event, members of the media were given a chance to stack their own burgers before they could taste the mouth-watering burger.

Apart from the SALA Burger Belacan, guests were served with popular SALA dishes like Nasi Lemak, Pina Colada smoothies, and creamy and delightful Kelava vanila and ondeh-ondeh ice-cream, a locally made vegan ice cream brand.

The food was simply mind-blowing. In fact, everything tasted so good that it was hard to differentiate between the ‘real meat’ and the vegan version.

SALA is a Latin-inspired plant-based vegan restaurant serving Tex-Mex cuisine (derived from the words Texan and Mexican).

The restaurant was founded by Fauzi Hussein about five years ago to promote healthy eating and to create awareness of environmental sustainability. In 2020, SALA was acquired by Berjaya Food Berhad (51% shares).

Back then, when Fauzi opened his first restaurant at Desa Sri Hartamas, veganism was a very new subject to Malaysians.

One of the main reasons Fauzi decided to open up a vegan restaurant was because back then there weren’t many options.

In his speech, Fauzi said that there were several vegetarian restaurants with some Chinese and Indian vegan options, but there was not that much variety.

β€œI lived in the USA for quite some time and I loved wraps. One of my favorite foods was Tex-Mex. I lived with a Puerto Rican and a Mexican roommate, and this is pretty much what we ate on a daily basis,” said Fauzi.

β€œSo, when I came back, Tex Mex wasn’t much available around,” said Fauzi, adding that it was difficult to find vegan wraps, tortillas, and enchiladas.

β€œSo, I decided to fill in the gap by opening a Tex-Mex fusion vegan restaurant, and I named it SALA. ‘Sala’ means ‘living room’ in the Spanish language, and it is also an acronym for salvar a los Animaux (saving the animals).

β€œI wanted to make the space very comfortable for people to come and hang out and feel like it was their living room,” said Fauzi.

At that time, people thought it was a crazy idea, but his passion was to educate the public about veganism, not just about its philosophy and the meaning, but to show how flexible vegan food can be.

Back then, he wanted people to know that vegan food is not just about vegetables and salads; instead, it could be anything – including vegan nasi lemak, burritos, or burgers.

Speaking about how he first embraced veganism, Fauzi said: β€œI started to delve into veganism because of my health. Almost ten years ago, my cholesterol (level) was increasing and my uric acid (level) elevated, as well. My doctor decided to start with medication.

β€œI wasn’t too comfortable with medication and I decided to do research about what I could do if there was any way I didn’t have to depend upon it.

β€œI stumbled on a vegan plant-based diet and I decided to just dive in. What else can I do, other than to try it, to see if it works or if it doesn’t work?”

Fortunately, Fauzi managed to lower his cholesterol, and after a year, his doctors were shocked that he was able to do it without medication.

β€œAfter that, I wanted to share my experience and this is another reason why I opened up SALA – to tell people ‘don’t give up and don’t be comfortable taking medication for life’. Do your research and try out different things,” he said.

For the past few years, more and more people have been intrigued by veganism. β€œI did not realize back then, that so many people would be interested in plant-based food,” he said.

He had thought it would take at least ten years for the local public to come to understand veganism.

However, social media and increasing interest among the younger generation to try something new, healthy, and interesting has aided veganism’s exponential growth in Malaysia.

β€œI did not know in five years we could make it this far,” added Fauzi.




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