Mumbai Food: Belapur fast food chain fails with burgers
A South African fast food chain known for its colourful burgers fails to impress with its USP but makes amends with their peri peri and seafood versions
The summer of 2015 sparked a new-found love for burgers in Delhi, courtesy of a South African casual-dining eatery making its debut in the capital. Though loved worldwide for their flame grilled peri peri menu, the Indian outlet grabbed more eyeballs for its colourful burgers — red, black and eventually, white — organically coloured at Barcelos' headquarters in Pretoria. So, when we heard they had finally come to Mumbai, well, Navi Mumbai, we decided to treat ourselves to a dose of nostalgia.
Firstly, if you don't live in the area, commuting could be harrowing due to the ongoing construction on the roads — the distance and dust reminding us of travelling to Gurugram. We are hopeful and ravenous when we finally reach the cosy outlet (after two hours). We pick the relatively less-crowded al fresco area. Most of the families and office-goers seem to have opted for some variant of the black burger, so we follow suit and order the southern fried chicken, only to be told it's unavailable.
We get the next best thing — the crunchy fish ('385), accompanied by potato skin fries, spicy mayo and creamy corn and peas salad. The service is quick (with our order arriving in 10 minutes) and the burger has subtle per peri heat and a crunch that tells a good burger apart. It's the measly patty that's the downer. Next, we get the California prawns ('395), which are crisp (finally) without being too greasy or stingy.
Out of curiosity, we order their red gourmet burger — grilled chicken (Rs 385). When served, we think they have got our order wrong because the burger is more orange than the red we've tried before. But the staff insists it's red and we take a cautious bite. The small chicken patty is succulent but biting into the orange bread is a task. We are forced to abandon it, hoping the kitchen is still learning the ropes.
Flame grilled peri peri quarter chicken. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
We team up the leftover fries — the highlight of the meal till now — with the flame grilled peri peri quarter chicken (Rs 395), as suggested by our server after we are informed that the garlic fish with rice is also unavailable.
The chicken and spicy rice smell promising and we finally remember why we frequented the Delhi outlets. The juicy chicken is well-marinated and tangy, and the rice is packed with heat — like a better version of Nando's. We leave for our long ride back home, knowing that the chain will be less known for its burgers in Mumbai than its peri peri menu. And hopefully their seafood, if it's available.
Time 12 pm to 12 am
At Plot number 51, Thapar Complex, Sector 15, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai.
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