2021 food trend: How cloud kitchens in Mumbai are redefining the burger
The last 12 months saw a surge in cloud kitchens catering solely to burgers. But what makes them so tempting? We ask the people behind four such cloud kitchens
Mumbai is synonymous with the vada pav. But the year 2021 belonged to vada pav's American counterpart, the burger. Several cloud kitchens serving only burgers launched in Mumbai. Backed by some of the giant food entrepreneurs, these delivery-only platforms are attempting to reinvent the basic burger to cater to different tastes and palates.
INDULGE spoke to the people behind four such leading kitchens about this trend that's heating up the culinary circuit in Mumbai:
Zorawar Kalra's Louis was born out of his desire to open a gourmet burger kitchen in his city. It was an attempt to offer diners a global menu while he also reminisced his younger days when he was in the US. “When I was studying in the US, I always craved burgers. And when I came back to India, I couldn’t find a good burger which would evoke the nostalgia of the ones I had in the US or Europe,” shares Zorawar, Founder and Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt Ltd. Launched in July this year, Louis Burgers have already created a loyal customer base in Mumbai. The reason, Zorawar says, is ‘its simple and uncomplicated nature’. “We did extensive research and made thousands of buns before we came up with the perfect bun. They are made fresh, twice a day. The USP of the brand is quality ingredients, and making sure they work well with one another... right from the matured cheddar cheese to lettuce, meat patty and truffle, every ingredient is carefully sourced. We wanted to give (people) a real gourmet product and have sourced premium ingredients. We are gourmet in taste but not in pricing,” he adds.
Zorawar’s favourite from his own menu is the Truffletake burger. “It is the only burger in India that you can have with real black truffles,” he quips, adding, “Even though I am a non-vegetarian, I prefer that to most other non-vegetarian burgers.”
Star products: Smash Buff Burger and Truffletake Burger
Price: INR 215 onwards
Availability: Zomato and Swiggy
“A burger is an art for me,” shares chef Jaydeep Mukherjee from Smoke House Deli, who takes care of the cloud kitchen development at Impresario. “The USP of BOSS Burger is the fact that we have not allowed convenience to take precedence over taste. In most restaurants frozen patties are fried and the bread used is generally baked a couple of days earlier and is frozen. We use freshly made patties. We bake all our buns in-house and make some of the sauces as well. All our burgers are made to order.”
It wasn't just the dearth of good burger chains in the city, but also the fact that many diners were eating at home that prompted Jaydeep and his team to start BOSS Burger. “The past year has seen a massive surge in consumers seeking high-quality food delivered to their homes. With BOSS Burger, we created a brand that is fun, packed with bold flavours and innovative combinations,” says Jaydeep.
Star products: Holy Guacamole! Black Bean Burger, Truffled 3 Cheese Tenderloin Burger, Juicy Lucy Mutton Burger
Price: INR 199++
Build on the idea to ‘let Mumbai enjoy gourmet burgers at affordable rates’, Speak Burgers by celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani draws heavily from his travel across the world and the idea is attention to detail.
“In order to deliver excellent quality food using only the freshest ingredients possible, all our buns, pickles, patties and sauces are made in house. The meats are grilled on charcoal to ensure it's cooked to perfection while also having a distinct smokey element,” explains Chef Vicky about his two months old brand.
Star products: Harissa Lamb Burger, Buff and Brie and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burger, Italian Grilled Veg Burger, Mother Earth Mushroom Burger, Pesto Paneer Burger
Price: INR 199
Launched one year ago, Nino Burgers was born from the desire to create ‘not very indulgent’ gourmet burgers that one can have regularly. “With the burger market dominated by Mc Donalds and KFC, we wanted to carve out a space for high quality, not very indulgent gourmet burgers, something that we felt missing in the market,” says Nishant Jhaveri, co-founder of Nino Burgers.
One of the key points that he kept in mind while developing this cloud kitchen was designing a menu that has just as many options for vegetarians as non-vegetarians. “When people think burgers, they think non-veg burgers, we wanted to change that thought and make burgers an amazing experience for vegetarians too. We also used flavour combinations in our sauces that were unique to Nino only - not sticking to the basic ketchup and mustard as a side sauce for burgers,” he adds.
Star products: Crispy chicken with pineapple salsa and sriracha, NINO shroom, Avo Beet and Feta Burger, Buffalo Chicken with our house hot sauce and Buff and Brie Burger.
Price: INR 340 onwards
Availability: Swiggy, Zomato