Alvin Thomas and friends are on a mission to find the perfect burger, and find an eatery that cuts the mustard with military-like precision.
What makes a perfect burger? Well, to me, it must start with just the right bun. It must be fresh and warm yet sturdy enough to hold the contents of the burger. It must be followed by a slab of American and cheddar cheese; a garden-fresh slice of lettuce, the kind that makes a deep crunchy noise when you take a bite; a few slices of pickle, preferably cured in a brine for a few weeks; a squirt of full-fat mayonnaise; and finally, a juicy slab of beef (!)
Oh, and don’t be shy to daub the meat with thick mushroom sauce and maybe even a few slices of those ‘shrooms. No ketchup, please!
Anything else, and I’m probably walking out of the burger joint with a frown on my face. And to be completely honest, this has been my remit for the past three months or so, during which time I have struggled to find the right burger joint for a late-evening dinner.
But, wait! I’m not here to whimper. I’m here to tell you about my recent burger venture, this week. The time is 9pm, and Y’s online editor, Nishad; his friend Praveen Divakar and I are on the lookout for a quick bite to eat.
And that’s when we stumble upon the Bunker burger joint at the Al Masa Mall, in Shatti al Qurum.
The restaurant – or shall we say, eatery – like its name suggests, is designed to look like an army bunker… of course, with air conditioning and all that tchotchke.
We even have to sit at a small chair and table, but then I suppose our hardworking army brethren don’t particularly get to enjoy such luxuries.
Still, we slide into our spots and spend the next 10 minutes taking in our surroundings. Camo-coloured decor takes up most of the roof while there are barrels and other paraphernalia thrown in to give it that Bunker-esque vibe.
The waiter soon hands us our menus – a thick one-page slab. There are not many selections to go through, so Nishad and I opt for the Blackout burger and glass of Strawberry and Oreo shakes, respectively. Meanwhile, Praveen – who seems to be on a workout regiment – asks for a Gannas slider and a chocolate shake.
It doesn’t take long – perhaps only 10-odd minutes – for the food to arrive. Our Blackout burgers are the first to arrive, and we are both shocked by the presentation of it all. Looking at the platter, we would have first imagined being astounded by the small (and cute) army figurines that accompany the burger but the burger – with its black bun – is definitely the show-stopper.
The burger is neatly laid out with a generously-sized and juicy beef patty, potato rosti and bacon, garnished with Bunker’s secret sauce.
The potato rosti gives the burger all its crunchiness while the patty rejuvenates the bun. In all, it is like indulging in one of the finest burgers I have ever had. The sauce is tangy and zesty but is also well within the limits of one’s taste buds.
Nishad concurs, and adds that the Bunker sauce is a “unique touch”. Meanwhile, the fries are freshly-cut and seem to be air-fried, as opposed to being deep-fried.
Praveen chimes in to say that his Gannas slider, with its grilled chicken, crispy onions and adobo sauce is a “blast of ingredients” and “very indulging”.
Also, while Nishad and Praveen quickly finish their strawberry and chocolate shakes and say that it is nothing to write home about, I find my Oreo shake to be outstanding, and again, one of the best ones I have ever had.
We opt against pudding as we are stuffed by the end of it all. But, I must point out that there is only one pudding although the waiter promises us that more are on their way onto the menu soon.
In all, I am extremely happy with my meal, and I can say this: Bunker is by far one of the better, and well-priced, alternatives to eating from more reputable fast-food outlets, around the country. Oh, and it’s not just better, it’s miles away from them… and is definitely worth your time and money.
I’ll be heading here, soon. And maybe next time, I’ll even try out that pudding. It’s called “The Grenade”, by the way, and it may very well be explosive (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Do you have a favourite restaurant that you’d like to see reviewed? Let Y know at email@example.com
Value for money burgers, with a twist.