CARLS JR IN INDIA
By Prakriti Bhat
The burger lords seem to be in a good mood! This is quite evident from the opening of major burger chains like Fatburger, Burger King, Johnny Rockets and Wendy’s in Delhi over the past few years. And another blessing has been the recent launch of popular burger brand, Carls Jr in the capital. Known for their lip smacking char-grilled burgers, they are here to wow you with their enormous burgers. Their first outlet in India was opened on 8th August, 2015 at Select Citywalk Mall, Saket.
A blogger’s meet was held on 7th August, 2015 as they introduced us to the brand and its delicacies. It is located right next to Khan Chacha. The outlet is done up in hues of red and white. The ceiling has a big metallic star symbolizing the brand logo, from which hanging lamps illuminate the place. It’s quite spacious and the staff is affable. Every staff member was wearing a Carls Jr T-shirt with witty one liners. With beer on tap and free cold drink refills, it is definitely going to be a crowd puller. Carls Jr seems to have put a lot of thought into the designing of their menu since they have tailored it to suit the Indian palate.
To begin with, India is the only country where Carls Jr offers vegetarian burgers. So the vegetarians need not worry. The Paneer Tikka Burger is simply awesome. A Slice of cottage cheese is excellently marinated and grilled till scorch marks are visible. Unlike a few other burger brands which use spreads very sparingly, the sauces and spreads in the burgers here are quite liberal and appetizing. Their signature dish, Mango Jalapeno Burger has a piquant flavor and seems to be an ode to our ever growing love for mangoes. Because “aam ka season kabhi nahi jata!”
For the non vegetarians there is a plethora of dishes to choose from. I tried their Tandoori Pepper Chicken Tikka Burger. With a delectably seasoned char-grilled chicken fillet served in a multigrain bun, this burger is quite filling. You won’t need any ketchup with this since the spreads and sauces already have the required zing. Another of their signature dishes is the hand breaded tender chicken. Though they were quite succulent, I would still prefer KFC’s hot and crispy chicken over this. The Mile High Chicken Burger stays true to its name as it comes fully loaded with onion rings and chicken fillet. This is one flavorsome adventure you do not want to miss!
In other countries like the U.S., Carls Jr is quite popular for its hand scooped shakes, mini beef burgers called sliders and bacon cheeseburgers. While beef items are not included in the Indian menu, they do have hand scooped shakes. A lover of Tiramisu, I decided to try their Tiramisu Shake. This was the only low point in my meal. It tasted more like a Vanilla shake and the flavour of Tiramisu was very fleeting. For me, a burger-licious experience is incomplete without fries. Carls Jr presents a unique blend of American fast food and Chinese cuisine by introducing Wasabi Fries. Your regular fries are accompanied by a wasabi flavoured masala (tastemaker). It tastes exactly like Wasabi, sans the pungency; a very innovative idea. Mr. Sahil Baweja, Director of Cybiz Bright Star Restaurants explained, “We realize the need for spices in India and that prodded us to introduce Wasabi Fries. Yes, we Indians love spices, but it need not always be chillies.” The brand also serves hand breaded onion rings. They, further, plan to open 100 stores across India.
Burger chains seem to be mushrooming all over the country. This is owing to the fact that burgers are a part of finger foods which are easy to consume. You can have a burger easily while driving or rushing for a meeting. The same can’t be done with a slice of pizza or a noodle box. Moreover, burgers are hassle free; they don’t spill and are wholesome.
The burger war has begun and Carls Jr is the latest entrant. Only time can tell how it will fare!