Chennai-based Tager is about juicy burgers, authentic tacos and an addictive artisanal coffee
This bright and cheery 60-seater diner in Nungambakkam has a extensive menu that includes all-day breakfasts, salads and desserts.
Perched on top of Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory in Nungambakkam, the all-new Tager begins by intriguing us with its nomenclature. A quick scan of the menu offers an explanation of ‘tacos and burgers’, though the offering also includes all-day breakfast, salads and desserts. Praghadeshkar R, one of the partners at this bright and sunny 60-seater tells us that his food trails across Europe have had a definite impact on the eclectic choice of cuisine and flavours at Tager. "We don't see ourselves stopping with taco and burgers. We are looking to explore cuisine from across the world and periodically update our menu. But all (dishes) sticking to the originality and sourcing the right kind of ingredient," he adds. Hailing from Trichy, the idea of a diner came to him about a year back and subsequently he teamed up with Hari K and Prithvi R to start the kitchen here four months ago.
Taco about taste
We start our tasting session with platters of tortilla wraps. Despite Praghadeshkar warning us about the burger platters coming our way, we end up stuffing our faces with the delicious Hottie Oyster Mushroom and the juicy Chicken Tinga tacos. Boasting corn masa flour, the promise of authenticity is delivered with a focus on the flavoursome filling that is not smothered with sauces, though there is a sweet pineapple -jalapeno dip with nachos that is our undoing. "We are trying to distinguish ourselves by using niche ingredients, not so popular cooking methods, going away from the tried and tested type of serving," says Praghadeshkar, who is a chemical engineer with a masters in business management. At this point we treat a tall cold glass of Tager Tisane Mocktail as an amuse bouche and sip on the sweet, flowery and refreshing drink till our burgers arrive.
The BBQ Pulled Chicken Burger is messy and scrumptious. Do look out for the aged-cheddar instead of the usual cheese that we are used to and the crisp hand-cut fries. However, it is the Surf & Turf Burger that we intend to write home about. Stuffed between briochelike buns, pulled pork is topped with plump saucy prawns making for a flavour combo that is a delightful first for our palate. We regret our earlier enthusiasm with the tacos, as we attempt humongous mouthfuls of the succulent sandwich. “We tried a lot of bun options from Japanese Hokkaido milk buns to French Brioche buns. We settled for something in between: it is soft and plump, and full of eggs and butter,” explains Praghadeshkar as we mop up the remains determinedly. Here, we reach for a robust cuppa that we are told is made from Single Origin Single Estate beans sourced from Valparai. The strong pour over prepares us for a spot of dessert that turns out to be a decadent scoop of Hazelnut Mousse and a delicately crafted Café Bom Bon.
Meal for two at INR 1,200. At Wallace Garden.