Burgreens, Bali – Tried and Tasted: Delicious Showcase of Green Rebel’s Plant-Based Meats
6 Mins Read
While only a three-year-old company, Green Rebel is taking the Indonesian plant-based meat scene by storm. I visited Burgreens – its sister restaurant – in Canggu, Bali, which makes an array of dishes from across the world using the meat alternative brand’s vast product range. Here’s my review.
In 2012, Max Mandias and Helga Angelina Tjahjadi – an Indonesian couple living in the Netherlands – came up with the idea of opening a plant-based restaurant. This was much before the idea truly hit the mainstream. It gave birth to Burgreens, a fully vegan restaurant chain that’s evolved into so much more, with 8 locations across Indonesia and counting.
Now, 11 years on – and after a few twists and turns, especially post-pandemic – Burgreens is the country’s largest plant-based chain, and parent company to two retail brands: vegan instant noodle maker Whymee and alt-meat giant Green Rebel, the leading Indonesian plant-based brand, offering a range of whole-cut meat alternatives designed especially for South East Asian and Asian cuisine applications. From beef rendang to chicken katsu, Green Rebel products are MSG-free, made from non-GMO ingredients, have zero cholesterol and boast 50% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than their animal counterparts, according to the company’s website. The company sources many of its ingredients domestically in Indonesia, from spices to virgin coconut oil.
Since launching in 2020, Green Rebel has expanded to multiple countries and debuted partnerships with a host of foodservice brands including Starbucks, Nando’s and Air Asia. The company is now preparing for a Series A fundraiser.
Last year, it opened a Burgreens eatery in Bali’s Canggu area – home to resorts, surfers and a lot of tourists. I visited the restaurant when I was in Bali, sampling dishes spanning continents, which showcased the versatility of Green Rebel’s plant-based meat range.
The western platter: chicken tenders (AKA popcorn chicken), nuggets, fries and ribs
Burgreens has an extensive menu, so it feels like a minefield when trying to decide what to order. Thankfully, we’d agreed on a menu beforehand! It started with two platters of plant-based meat: a western one, and an Asian-themed one.
The former comes with chicken tenders (described to me as popcorn) and nuggets, fries and ribs, served with tartar and BBQ sauces. Straight off the bat, the tenders/popcorn dish was outstanding. It had the right amount of crunch and was seasoned to perfection – easily among the best chicken alternatives I’ve had.
The chicken nuggets had a nice crunch too, though I would have liked some acid or bright spices as an add-on. Compared to the popcorn chicken, it was a little on the drier side. As for the steak, while visually fantastic, I found it a touch too tender, and it was sweeter than I expected – I did love that it came with a lime, a welcome addition. Both the tenders and the nuggets worked really well with their respective sauces so be sure to dip away.
The Asian platter: chicken katsu, Korean-style Buldak ribs, rendang bites, maranggi beef satay and chicken satay
The Asian platter was the standout for me and it’s clear that Green Rebel’s products shine in Asian applications. The platter comes with chicken katsu, Korean-style Buldak ribs, rendang bites, maranggi beef satay, and chicken satay, alongside a peanut sauce and garlic-chilli oil.
The katsu is fibrous and tender, a major win when many vegan chicken products can be a little too tough. The panko coating is well-seasoned and the peanut sauce is addictively good. As for the delicately flavored chicken satay, the sauces do the heavy lifting, but they very much hit the spot. The beef is wonderful – succulent and tender, but not overpowering.
The other two dishes are among the best of everything I tried at Burgreens. The shiitake-seitan beef rendang is insanely good (this jives with most reviews of Green Rebel products- the rendang is a notable crowd favourite!)- well spiced and with just the right amount of heat, it’s a brilliant tribute to an Indonesian staple and I wanted more ASAP.
Next up: the Buldak ribs, whose spiciness took me by surprise (in a great way!). I can handle my heat (I’m Indian, after all), but I went in with the expectation of a sweet-and-sour sauce, and instead, the spice kick completely threw me off and I was delighted. There’s a lingering aftertaste that takes getting used to if you’re not into chilli, but this is moreish, lick-your-fingers-off good!
The mains: cheeseburger, tempeh parmigiana and black pepper beef
On to the main courses during which I was served a cheeseburger, tempeh parmigiana and a black pepper beef rice bowl – which was a lot after all the appetizers! But someone’s got to take one for the team. The burger patty itself is very flavourful and juicy, and well-complemented by the brand’s plant-based cheese), but for my money, it was overpowered by the toppings -cucumber, tomato, coleslaw and ketchup. When I’m ordering a cheeseburger, all I want is the cheese and the patty (at a push, maybe some onions), though I realize I may be onto controversial burger territory here!
The tempeh parmigania was an interesting experience. It’s a reimagined and vegan version of the classic Italian-American chicken parm, which consists of breaded chicken topped with marinara sauce and lots of cheese. Burgreens’ take makes for a decadent dish and I loved my first few bites of the tempeh parmigiana, savoury and umami-that classic tomato-cheese combination is always a delight. I also loved the tempeh itself, which is deep-fried here. The later bites were a tad mushy. Burgreens may consider a bite-sized version of this dish to ensure the texture stays on point!
The meal ended on a high- the black pepper beef bowl was delightful. I liked the sauce so much I almost asked if I could take some time and the beef itself is texturally on point: meaty, juicy, and easily the star of the dish. Are you sensing a trend hear? Green Rebel is really, really good at all things beef (alternatives)!
Burgreens as an eatery has a relaxed vibe and a tremendously kind and accommodating staff so it’s a pleasure to dine there. Patrons can also peruse Green Rebel’s retail-ready products, as well as plant-based goodies by other brands. I had a wonderful experience with some truly mind-blowing, spectacular dishes. In fact, I can taste the chicken popcorn and the Buldak ribs as I write this (and I may have stocked up on a few packs of the rendang for home dinners).
Burgreens is located at Jl Pantai Batu Mejan No. 1, Banjar, Canggu, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361. It’s open daily from 9am to 10:30pm. Green Rebel’s products can be found in supermarkets and restaurants across Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries.