The last two weeks I’d been staying off and on just south of the border in Saudi and while I was there I found a branch of Hungry Bunny. Back in the 80s in Kuwait we just had a handful of burger joints in Kuwait and Hungry Bunny was one of the popular places. The TV ad was pretty popular too and you can see at the bottom of this post.
My first night there I ordered a Jumbo meal with Onion rings and considering I had just driven over 150 Kms that evening everything tasted great! The next couple of weeks I visited the place a few more times to try out other stuff from the menu [link]
I don’t remember if it tasted like it used to back in the 80s but their burgers are pretty good and everyone’s favorite were the crispy Onion Rings. Prices are comparable to joints in Kuwait, with most meals are around 20-22 Saudi Riyals.
The Hungry Bunny TV Commercial – [Youtube]
Hungry Bunny Homepage [link]
Recently I watched Heston Blumenthal’s “In search of perfection” series for like the millionth time and was eager to try out making the perfect burger on my own. I used to think that a perfect burger would require exotic cuts of meat like Black Angus or Wagyu but since it all boils down to the freshness and quality of the meat I tried it with fresh Indian beef (chilled, not frozen).
The new City Center in Dajeej has a really good meat section and the guy there will adjust the meat:fat ratio based on your requirements. The pre-ground trays were all extra-lean with 95:5 so I asked him to portion out a piece of lean rump (I think it was rump or shoulder) and add approximately 20% fat. Fat, as I understand is what gives the patty a juicy and soft texture. Meat that is too lean will end up in a patty that’s too dry and tasteless.
As much as I love cooking, the thought of writing all these notes is a pain in the neck. Now without going into too much boring detail into the making of the patties, I’ll list some of the things I learned in the process. Click to read more for pictures and video;
There’s been a lot of chatter about this place so I picked Elevation Burger to be my lunch spot today. Its located right behind Napket in phase 2 of the Avenues mall, you’ll have to take the corridor outside the building and you’ll see it on your left. The place is small (or snug, based on how you see it) noisy and you’re hit with the smells and sounds of frying burgers and fries as soon as you enter.
Now I must tell you that its been a really long time since I’ve had a decent burger and as I was telling my wife today, the last time I had a burger and shake from Johnny Rockets was in the winter of 2009 (yeah this stupid diet thing and my battle with weight has put a damper on my love for burgers) ok more on that later. Lets get to the menu.
The menu is straight forward, you’ve got an Elevation Burger (double patty), a Cheese burger (single patty) and the Vertigo (you can order between 3 to 10 patties). There may have been other items on the menu but I had a sudden case of tunnel vision so this is all I saw. I ordered a triple patty Vertigo with 2 cheese and Elevation sauce, a side of fresh cut fries and a chocolate banana milkshake.
Service was excellent and our order arrived in less than 5 minutes. Now based on the raves in some blogs I was expecting to have an oral orgasm or something similar the moment I bit into the burger but that not what exactly happened. There was no ray of light, no singing angels descending from the heavens above, not even a Halleluiah chorus. Instead I was just thinking to myself “hey this meat is pretty good!” You could tell that the meat was fresh and not tightly compressed like other fast food burger patties. Since I had a triple patty I could really sink my teeth into that wall of meat and feel all that juicy goodness just gushing out onto my plate. Speaking of juices, the potato buns did a great job of absorbing all the juices from the meat and it didn’t crumble or fall apart in my hands.
The fries were probably the weakest part of the whole equation.They were fried in extra virgin olive oil, which may be good for the heart but it did feel a little too greasy and tasted different from the usual fast food variety. I think I’d prefer crinkle cut fries to this one. To wash down all this protein and carbs you get a tall cup of thick frothy milkshake. I liked it a lot and its as good as the ones at Johnny Rockets.
The staff are super friendly and I was chatting to a nice gentleman from Thrissur who was explaining to us about the ingredients used in the meal, the organic meat from grass fed cattle etc. They take a lot of pride in their product and make an effort to make sure that you have the best experience possible. Elevation Burger will be opening more outlets soon and there will be one in Salmiya as well as one inside the Hamra tower.
Now why such a long post about a sandwich? well this will probably be my last food post for a while since it won’t be possible to have lunch in a restaurant during Ramadan so I just spent some extra time on this one. Overall I’d give this one a 4 out of 5, I’m not counting the fries in the score since that would bring down the average by a point.