Burger Mania fest offers excellent variants like chicken tikka burger
The fest is happening at Kochi Marriott Hotel till February 4
To say that Kochiites were disheartened when beef patty was disavowed by international burger brands opening in the city would be an understatement. Only a couple of city-based outlets have managed to satisfy the Malayali’s palate when it comes to this continental favourite.
This is the reason why we walk straight towards the small cart as soon as we enter Kochi Marriott’s 24-hour cafe. As we stand there confused on what to choose, Chef de cuisine Tanuj Bahuguna leads us to our table. We rest assured knowing that this expert, who has spent over 11 years in the industry, will bring us his best.
“When you work as a continental cuisine chef your challenge is to fuse the right flavours together. In this burger fest, we carefully curate how each flavour is combined,” says Tanuj, as he places a falafel patty squished in between spinach buns on the table. Though topped with feta cheese, the dish, which sports West Asian influences, would only please those who’d enjoy a rather extra crispy filling.
Although we were ready for a meat overload, the reality hit us as more variants start arriving on the spread. The barbequed chicken burger is a pleasure to bite into releasing tangy and smoky flavours.
The Indian quirks usually exploited by burger outlets are the tandoor grilled version, but chef Tanuj’s experiment involves a chicken tikka burger. A jaw-breaker at the first sight, the patty is brittle and falls apart as we try to dig in. But there’s no resisting it once it makes its way to your palate.
Vegetarians who’d love a morsel of North Indian-Continental fusion can opt for an aloo matar tikki combination.
It’s hard to miss the beetroot bun burger topped with pickle and a bite is sure gonna ensure that you’ll remember it. “We use one of the oldest blue-veined cheese called gorgonzola which is a unique experience for the uninitiated,” says the 32 years old chef, as I register the pungent flavour of the cheese.
The less popular and miniature versions of hamburgers called sliders are served on English muffins instead of regular buns at the fest. Served with chicken or beef filling, the slider which uses Swiss cheese Emmental can pique the interest of gourmands.
Sated to my heart’s content, I take one last bite of the tenderloin burger and ruminate over the sweet aftertaste of the maple syrup glaze.