Restaurant Review: Burgs

March 24, 2012 1:42 pm

On the opening day of Bandra’s new gourmet burger restaurant, Burgs, we found ourselves in a line full of passionate burger devotees that included such city-based chefs as Hakkasan and Yauatcha’s Irfan Pabaney, and Café Zoe’s Viraf Patel. This wasn’t a crowd that had stumbled upon the restaurant. We overheard a group of four tell Burgs owner Krishna Kilachand that they had regularly driven past the establishment, located next to Subway on Waterfield Road, to see if it had opened. In a city starved of restaurants dedicated to serving what should really be an abundantly available fast food item, the eagerness was hardly surprising. As fellow burger aficionados who have scoured the city to find the perfect burger and have even made frequent trips to Pune’s Burger King (not an outpost of the international chain but a modest namesake in Koregaon Park that serves no-fuss albeit remarkable beef burgers), we too were excited to visit Burgs, which seeks to fill this gap in Mumbai’s ever-growing restaurantscape.

When we finally entered Burgs at lunchtime on Friday, we were surprised by the restaurant’s stark white décor. Our most memorable burger binges in India and abroad have been in pubs or barn-style venues characterised by wood furnishings and warm lighting. As one person in our party of three commented, Burgs looks more like a spa. The detergent-white furniture and walls are bathed in bright light, but fortunately, the look they’ve achieved is more contemporary chic than clinical. Thanks to decorative flourishes such as marine-blue cut-outs pasted on the wall, and LCD screens that play a slideshow of the menu, the feel is informal without being insipid.

We were most keen to try their signature burger, The Burg (Rs190), a minced buffalo tenderloin burger and incidentally, the only one at Burgs that is offered in a regular as well as large size (The Big Burg, which comes with two patties instead of one, see image). The satisfyingly plump and juicy patty was lightly smeared with sunny-yellow Bearnaise sauce (a tarragon-scented emulsified butter and egg yolks sauce), which to us is the perfect accompaniment to steak dinners. Pork lovers will appreciate the goofily named Notorious PIG (Rs199), which is on a par with The Burg. It comprises a soft and yielding bun enclosing a heap of char siu-glazed, melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork topped with strands of caramelised red onions. We didn’t care much for the Birdy Num Num (Rs215), a deep-fried chicken patty with a centre of cheddar; the flavour of the chicken was sadly overwhelmed by ketchup poured over the patty.

Six out of the 15 burgers on the menu are vegetarian, most of which incorporate either potato or cheese. We tried the Mac n Cheese Bomb (Rs195), a crisp, golden-brown potato patty stuffed with our favourite childhood food, and a final layer of creamy cheese sauce. A commendable vegetarian indulgence, the burger succeeds because it preserves the comforting taste of macaroni and cheese. At Burgs they’ve also tinkered with the classic PB&J to give us a peanut butter and jelly milkshake (Rs139), a frothy treat that nails the flavour of the popular snack—without the bread, of course. Less successful is their vanilla and lavender milkshake (Rs139), which tasted more like Rooh Afza (rose syrup) flavoured milk. The sides menu offers onion rings and French fries. Our fresh-out-of-the-fryer onion rings (Rs99) were served with an excellent garlic-infused tangy sauce, made in-house.

For the longest time, wishing for a quality burger joint in Mumbai has been at the top of our wish list and we’re happy to say that Burgs seems to have finally fulfilled that food fantasy. The quality of ingredients is fresh, the flavour profiles are interesting and the pricing is reasonable enough to afford frequent visits to the restaurant. However, as with all good things, there is a catch to eating at Burgs. About 80 per cent of their menu is deep-fried (only five out of 15 burgers have grilled patties) and even though we don’t adhere to either self-imposed or prescribed diets, we don’t see ourselves indulging in such unblushing excess too often.

This review was conducted anonymously.