Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
There was a time when I stopped eating burgers in Goa, simply because it was more of the flour bun that I was munching on and less of the patty, toppings, etc. Last year when the Miramar burger festival at Fortune Miramar by ITC that had buns in different colours (red and black) was announced, it became a riot. For many, like me who hadn’t tasted it then, it was a novelty to dig into a coloured burger.
But then, for chef Pranay Mallik, innovation ought to be there on every level. So there wasn’t just a chicken or a vegetarian burger, but the options were also in mutton, pulled pork, fish and turkey. It clicked instantly!
A year later, the Mirama Burger festival has gotten bigger and better with three new innovations. This time around you can also consider a purple bun. Let me tell you at the onset that the colours of the bun aren’t from any food colouring, but natural colours-black is from the coconut shell charcoal, the red comes from beetroot powder and reduction of the beetroot while the purple is from black grape powder.
This time, although there was an exciting addition of soft shell crab, following the formalin scare, they have stopped serving this and all fish. “Why take the risk though we buy/import quality products?” says Mallik.
A special Umami flavor has also been introduced for the spread (vegemite butter/ balsamic butter), besides the regular spread options like mayo, garlic butter or red wine butter. You get to choose how you want your burger, though chef Mallik will be there to assist and guide in making the best burger for you. Choose any one sauce from the 13 options including umami ketchup, soy mayo, miso sauce, wasabi tartar or the slightly bitter blue cheese Caesar which I opted for.
The burger can be super tall with the addition of veggies. I love the flavor of jalapenos and gherkins in burgers and subs! Like a lot of it.
Somehow when you’re given the form to pick and choose your burger options, it can get really confusing- who doesn’t want a little of everything. So I ticked marked bacon, fried egg, caramelised bourbon onion and dehydrated ketchup and some parmesean cheese too as add ons! That along with potato wedges and cheese fondue and pickled veggies
The hunger built up, for those twenty five minutes as all us anticipated the colourful burgers on our table. While my friends were contemplating on whether to use hands and get messy with the burger, my worry was that I didn’t want to waste the burger as I knew that it was going to be humongous and super heavy.
The wait ended and we were excited. The glee resulted in a photo session, as Mallik looked on and was pleased. He’s been witnessing the excitement over the success. Each burger, the pulled pork, mutton, chicken and turkey were distinct- credit to chef Mallik who told us what sauces and spread would complement the patty.
While my friends preferred to eat using cutlery. I didn’t think twice of the runny egg, or sauce that dripped down on my hand as I tried to get that big bite digging into heaven.
This was a guilt trip of overindulging in good food, but when you sin with all your heart, there is no sin left. The burgers available in red and black variants are there throughout the year at Orchid, the restaurant that’s open 24×7 (another good option to grab something, when Panaji is asleep). Priced at `300 + taxes (veg) and `350 + taxes (non veg), this is the burger you should try out. For me this was my lunch and dinner. So go prepared to walk out feeling a bit heavier, but happier until August 15.
I’m looking forward to 2019. Spoiler alert: The third edition next year is going to take this festival to a whole new level. Think metal, think pricey, think out of the box!