Burgers … soul food for men like me, who love the combination of meat and bread. America’s, which introduced the world to Burgers, innumerable fast food chains which dish out these countless wonders by the second is a haven for burger lovers. Back here in our country, Burgers have become both a fast consuming item (I will not get into the Junk food debate) and a quick selling item for restaurants too. With specialized burger chains hitting the Indian market and stand alone restaurants opening Burger bars, the Indian food lover is in for a “Love at first bite”. Not restricted to a mediocre fast food chain dishing out inedible burgers, this food item has become serious business.
Fat Burger India is the latest entrant to the Burger business. Originally called Mr. FatBurger and founded in the same year when India got its independence, this chain has a CULT status in California. Vikramjit is the man who is instrumental in getting this Burger giant from Los Angeles, California to India. Diversifying from his family business Vikramjit during his academic days in LA, used to eat at Fat Burgers and preferred its quality over the other Burger chains. Years later, naturally for him this was the first choice to get to his home country which turned out to be a boon for Burger lovers.
First stop for Fat Burger has been Cyberhub, a food lover’s paradise where a foodie is like a kid in a toy store. On the first floor right above Soda Bottle Openerwala, the bright red Fat Burger logo is hard to miss and of course difficult to avoid with a pleasant looking staff ready to greet you. I was invited by the restaurant for a Burger tasting session and the hostess was ready with our table for lunch, despite the heavy office rush at the restaurant. Though the crowd was increasing, I did see the waiting diners being politely accommodated as fast as possible.
Now, Fat Burger might sound like a fast food chain, but the menu and the experience guarantee a more wholesome restaurant experience. The staff has been trained well and quick on their feet, plus they know very well what they are serving you. The English is crisp and you don’t have to ask twice to understand what they say (a huge plus point in today’s times). Make sure if you are not too well versed with burgers or the meats they are using, to ask them and the servers are happy to oblige. Service is definitely a plus here.
The bright Red Yellow & Black interiors greet as you step into the restaurant and the whole place has a fresh, contemporary feel to it. The crisp lines in design, the Red Leatherite sofas, the Walnut coloured wooden chairs with red seats and the Laminated table tops completes the American Diner look of the place.
The False ceiling though, is quite the focus of the restaurant. Vikramjit says that although most of the design elements are from the US, the ceiling has been exactly replicated as you see it in LA. The elliptical ceiling is divided by stark black lines into asymmetric quadrilaterals, either coloured Red, Yellow, Black or showcasing a landmark from America. A lot is happening in the ceiling and the walls and while you wait for your order the interiors can be a learning experience for you too. I always believe if the décor of a place can tell you a story about the food you’d be eating, the designer has achieved his objective. And though FatBurger is in between a QSR and a gourmet restaurant, full marks for the interior design of the place.
Fat Burger and it is no surprise that Burgers would be the focus of the place. America’s burger legacy to the world is quite feat in the food world. Surprisingly, the starters we ordered were pretty “awesome” and that always raises the expectancy bar for the main course.
World Famous wings in Franks Red Hot Pepper Sauce – I can devour Chicken wings at a pretty fast rate and have yet to find the spicy sauce that can make me stop. The Franks sauce was spicy enough but the Wings looked a little low on meat. Again the expectancy from an American chain plays where you expect larger than the normal helpings. Hope they improve the quality of wings. The sauce is the perfect with the exact balance of spice and tanginess for our Indian palate.
Wild West Chicken Chili – A bowl of mince chicken (truly Indian style) but topped with Onions and melted Cheddar Cheese makes it one of the best starters. Accompanied with Homemade Nachos I was not able to stop at one, knowing fairly well that a line of burgers would be waiting for me. Even though I told the server to take the Nachos away from me, I did not have the heart to part with the Bowl of mince Chicken and kept it till I hit bottom.
Amritsari Onion Rings – Onion Rings again with an Indian Twist. Fried in a blend of spices which is similar to the batter in which an Amritsari fish is fried. Interesting but I do prefer the classic style of Onion rings.
The hungry souls we are and after the initial attack on starters, a milkshake (which is another standard with American meals) was highly desired. A coffee and chocolate milkshake was served in a tall glass. The size is above average but not as tall as Johnny Rockets. The Shake was thick, creamy and milky enough to as give it, as a friend says “Ghar jaisa taste”. I however would say no one does shake as good as Johnny Rockets.
Now I had heard so much about the Fat Burger being so thin and small that I did mention it to the owners, and the obvious comparison to the other burger joints. They serve a standard 5 inch bun, but the surprise is in the pricing. A most expensive non-veg burger at Fatburger is less than Rs. 300. A price thought of for the Indian market and Rs. 100 lower than competition.
But, what about guys like me who want the original Fat Burger. That is where the “Fat Stack” comes in. A Fat Stack is a double Patty with extra topping and add-ons for an extra price. But even though, I ordered the most expensive one with Double Patty and extra toppings, the price of the burger stayed well below the 500 mark. That for me is Value for money.
The star of the afternoon was the The “Fat Stack” Tenderloin Burger. Have it the way I had it and remember me when the flavours hit you first. To order a Fat Stack is an art which of course I would tell you. The Tenderloin patty tenderized and oozing jucies on the patty topped with the lettuce, onion and cheese. Above that another Tenderloin Patty topped with a fried egg (Sunny Side Up) and finished with the top bun. Bacon to add to it if you are like me and your meal is set. The height and the size does become formidable and this starts getting messy the moment you hold it. The yolk of the egg when it starts melting and flows though the patty and veggies, like a waterfall snakes through a rock in the forest is pure romance. Love at first bite is what happens. If you can’t finish it, call me, I would be there to help for sure.
Also if you are sure you cannot devour the Fat Stack the normal size is always there to be sampled. The standard order has a single patty with veggies, but more like an appetizer for me.
I also did sample the Shroom Tenderloin Burger, Outlaw Spicy Cripsy Chicken Burger and the obligatory vegetarian Triple “P” Burger, definitely in the standard size. The Crispy chicken was spicy with a chicken breast fried golden and jutting out of the the 5” bun. Great option for those who eat only chicken. The Triple P was just a bite of the Paneer burger seasoned with Peri Peri spices. Fat Burger has a lot of vegetarian spices and the menu has been adjusted to the Indian Palate.
Fat Burger also does wraps and I did try The Chicken Caeser Wrap but after the burgers the wraps did not hit the Home-run for me. Maybe I will try them extensively next time.
This however was a Burger binge and after trying our 4 burgers (that is barring the starters … yes I do eat that much), My Verdict … naahhhh verdict sounds too much like a critic … My Emphatic Suggestion is try the Fat Stack Tenderloin burger. One of the best I have had, great value for money and excellent quality. And for those who have been asking me the obvious question, Fat Burger and Johnny Rockets for me are neck to neck and making India a haven for burger lovers like me.
And yes, they have applied for a Liquor license, so soon the 3 Bs for a foodie all at one place, BURGER, BEER & BLISS.