I am a convert. I’ve always been a hamburger hater (the only exception being the Umami burger in Los Angeles) but after four Burgs meals (spread over months) I actually started lusting for those patties snuggling in pillows of buns. I’d been getting mixed reports about the gourmet burgers at Burgs (which opened in March, in Bandra.) I went with dread thinking that all I’d get is carnivorous patties in buns.
And then wham! surprises. Surprise no1 it aint only about the American carnivorous fix, but burgers are interpreted in six cuisines flavors (and most of these work) are priced at an average of Rs 170 each ( a combo meal of choice of any burger, fries and a drink for Rs 299). Next surprise? On a monday I bump into the third generation owner of my most favorite and legendary Café Madras and I’m floored. The very non vegetarian Gopalkrishna Kamat and his charming companion Ashwini Narayangaonkar (a professional devotional singer ) are so addicted to it that they eat here every monday. And driving this with single-minded hardwork, vision and enthusiasm is the 25 year old Krishnaraj Kilachand along with Sanat Patel.
When a restaurant interprets burgers in six gourmet cuisines you know that it is willing to flout conformity and flirt with adventure. Chinese, Mexican, French, American, Indian and Japanese flavors here. 16 burgers (6 are pure vegetarian). Surprisingly, the Mac n Cheese Bomb succeeds in delivering the taste and comfort of our childhood food in a crisp cheesy way. The other veggie burger (Corn Colonel) is worth trying too. Non vegetarians looking non-deep fried options go for the roasted grilled options of Notorious PIG (char siu-glazed, melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork,) Teriyaki chicken, Dijon chicken, Buffalo tenderloin, (The Big Burg, which comes with two plump, juicy patties and Bearnaise sauce). I loved the thick, creamy icecream shake (espresso cold coffee,). The choice of sauces (chipotle mayo, Inferno, habanero, Barbecue) and whole wheat bun options is commendable.
You’ll love it or hate it. Walk into a snow white, brightly lit comfort zone pillowing in pure white dotted with a few bright blue cut-outs and LCD screens playing a slideshow of the menu.I love the music too (70s and 80s)
Serving these gourmet burgers in a mass-fast-food presentation (wrapped in paper, plastic trays) not only takes away from the experience but also confuses.Purists will cringe at not finding the classic 8 ounce American burger here. Soggy fries during two meals, an aubergine burger that ends up tasting odd, not the greatest chicken (Birdie num num) and the peanut butter jelly shake (which Im told the kids love) are avoidable.
Never mind if there are no desserts (the luscious smoothies fill in) or alcohol or the classic American burger. This gourmet burger multi-cuisine menu is sagely balanced between curiosity-piquing surprises and consoling favorites, it keeps its price points (Average Rs 170) in control, service swift and deftly works its way into your affections. May the Burgs tribe increase.
4/5 New Kamal Co-operative Housing Society
Waterfield Road,Bandra (West),2655 7722
Daily, 11am to 12.30am
RATING FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5
A VEGETARIAN IN ISTANBUL
Khulja sim sim.The gourmet treasure trove of this fascinating city(which pirouettes between Europe and Asia) dazzles. I go on blind dates with the lovely Ekin Erim and the dashing Chef Ugurcan Ugumu who guide me to the secret heart of this city which was capital of the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine empires. By the inky blue Bosphorous the Four Seasons “Aqua” serves memorable meals. The Ottoman empire’s magnificence comes alive on my plate in the Ciragen Kempinskis “Tugra”. I eat my way through tiny Kebap and seafood eateries and onto the Modern Anatolian “Mikla” on a terrace(all thanks to my food critic buddy Dimitris Antonopoulus). Finally, what floors me is the third generation Huncar restaurant’s robust yet sophisticated fare and trip out on the fact they are certified by the “Vegan society”. A Four Seasons luxurious Turkish Hamam ritual and I come away feeling like Queen Hurrem, wife of Soltan Kanooni, Sulaiman the magnificent and ready to start work on my vegetarian guide here. Such is the magic of Istanbul.