adjective(informal): extraordinarily good; wonderful.
This is the only word to describe my truest feelings after devouring the burgers at the Gourmet Burgers & Hops fest at the Atrium Lounge, Taj Lands End Mumbai!
The evening began with a warm welcome by Ms. Rajveer Kaur, Head of PR, characteristic of true-blue Taj hospitality. I had my cousin come along with me because he’s super chatty and enjoys good food just as much as I do, probably more. We also had the opportunity of having Chef Tandon describe to us what inspired the menu, the presentation, the ingredients, et al. It was in a tiny restaurant in Morocco where Chef saw burgers being presented, gourmet style. His main focus has been on procuring and using the freshest ingredients possible. Every part of the dish from the type of bun, to the slice of cheese, the vegetables, the sauces, the side dishes, have been tested in the kitchen before being put on the menu.
The menu, curated by Chef Gaurav Tandon allows you to choose from an assortment of burgers including The Farmer John – Vegetable Patty, Avocado, Tomato Salsa, Romaine Lettuce and Refried Beans, Aunt Millie – Vegetable Patty, Feta, Red Onions, Arugula and Kalamata Olives, The Gourmet Truffle Burger – Mushroom Patty, Sautéed Mushrooms, Truffle Pate and Oil, Dijon Mustard, Red Onions and Cheddar Cheese, and other vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Pair your burger of choice with earthy and dense brews such as Corona – Mexico, Tsingtao – China, Heineken – Netherlands, Bira White – Belgium, Hoegaarden – Belgium, Zen Weiss, Devil’s Dark amongst others. The burgers have been priced at Rs. 550 each.
For me (the vegetarian), Chef chose The Farmer John and The Roadhouse. The burgers were served with ‘Cutting Beer’. I absolutely fell in love with this idea of serving beer in cutting chai glasses. This way you’re not restricted to just one kind of beer and have several options to wash down your burger with. My personal favourite from the range was the Devil’s Dark, a local brew from Pune. Dark, smooth and earthy, this is nothing like anything I’ve had before.
The Farmer John was the first burger I gorged on. Made up of a deeeeep fried vegetable patty, layered with melted cheddar cheese, topped with avocado, tomato salsa, Romaine lettuce and refried beans, this without exaggeration melted in my mouth. The crunchy patty was complemented beautifully by the melted cheese. Both of these were in turn cut by the sweetness of the exceptionally fresh tomato salsa. The chunks of avocado were a wonderful (and always welcome) surprise. Served with a side of paprika fries, ketchup and mustard. A sucker for tomato ketchup, this was certainly the first time I didn’t need to drown my burger in ketchup.
The second one was The RoadHouse – made with a patty of kidney beans and vegetable steaks, chipotle mayo, pickled jalapeños, chilly sauce, crushed pepper, yellow cheddar stuffed between an onion burger bun. This was like a little Mexican fiesta in my mouth! Oh and not to forget, this was served with a side of crispy, sweet onion rings.
The fest has found so much popularity that the Lounge has no plans of discontinuing it anytime soon! I was certainly glad to hear that because I need to go back for the Truffle Burger. As a foodie I’m so grateful to Chef Tandon for having so meticulously prepared this menu where even the salad that is served with each burger has been carefully thought of. I give this experience 6 out of 5 stars because every single thing was just right about this marvellous evening. The wonderful company of Ms. Kaur and Chef Tandon, the drinks, the hospitality of the serving staff, and the fact that I got to see Rahul Dravid!
I urge you to book your table at the earliest. This is assuredly one food fest that you do not want to miss out on!