Getting ‘yes’ to all the orders at the new joint was the appetiser and then the crunchy, yummy shrimps swimming in sriracha turned up to nosh on. Alvin Thomas discovers the pleasures of serendipitous indulgence.
Of late, heading out to discover a decent place for lunch has become a daunting task owing to my work schedules. The Indian restaurant next door to work has become my staple location for a quick bite. But every so often I like to take some time out to explore some place new; a place no one really knows or talks about.
That was my situation this week as I headed into a new hole in the heart of Azaiba – Love That Burger. And you know what? I really did love that burger, and then some. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The burger joint is located adjacent to the Audi car showroom in Azaiba and isn’t one that will catch your eye immediately. Strangely, even after I had tracked it down, I had to peep inside the outlet to see if it was open. And thank heavens, it was.
The insides are really spacious – every booth is spaced out well and is also generously sunlit. I particularly admired the privacy between each booth. Nevertheless, I settled into my spot and started scouring through the menu my waiter had already placed down for me.
There’s plenty to choose from: Salads, pastas, burgers, sliders, milkshakes, nachos and even a gourmet of appetisers, but the menu clearly stated that the restaurant was still in its soft opening stages.
Thus, it was with haste that I chanted out my orders: “Can I get a penne pasta, shrimp slider and (our editor Nishad’s favourite) red velvet cake milkshake?” To my surprise, he said “yes” to it all. My last encounter with a newly opened restaurant saw me munching on slices of dry bread, half-baked beans and chewy grills. Still, I was just happy to know that it was not to be the case today.
I was also exceedingly chuffed to be served my slider within five minutes of placing the order. But upon handing me the dish, the waiter warned me that the shrimps would be a tad spicy. I obliged and hesitantly took a bite.
Moments later, my eyelids popped wide open. It was not because of the spice but rather the brilliant tang. I had never noshed a slider as succulent and fresh as that. The thick, crunchy shrimps were neatly garnished in sriracha sauce and topped with cheese and a portion of bib lettuce.
All of this was then nestled safely and securely in between two slices of soft home-made buns. It was delightful – and as you all would’ve guessed by now – the best slider I had ever tasted.
Enthralled by the slider, I quickly ordered a plate of sriracha glazed shrimps. The kind waiter brought it to me rather quickly, but it was neatly laid out and garnished with spring onions and till seeds. As was the trend of the day, I fancied my dish. Heck, I finished the eight large pieces of shrimps in less than the time it took to be prepared.
My red velvet cake milkshake was the next to arrive. It looked nothing like the ones I had seen before in restaurants, but it was definitely palatable. The shake contained small chunks of (soft) cake which were smooth when I decided to chug it down. Do keep in mind that the milkshake alone can be quite stodgy.
A few minutes later, my pasta arrived. Although, by then, I was completely stuffed. In a bid to not waste food, I asked for it to be packed.
As expected, by the time I went home – hours later – and dug into the dish, it was cold. So, in all fairness, I cannot judge the dish.
Still, I fancied the grilled chicken and the mushroom sauce-heavy pasta. I’d rate it at seven on 10.
In all, I can say that I had been longing to dine in a restaurant as this for long. I cannot remember the last time I actually got time to sit down and enjoy a warm, hot and indulging lunch. And now that I have done it, I don’t think I’m going back to my routine of stale and quick lunches. Now if you all will excuse me; I must head back there for a burger. Adios, amigos.
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