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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.

20150807_152520A 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.

20150807_161033To 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!

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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The Artful Baker

                             Art on a plate at the Artful Baker

                                    By: Shagun Nayar

11827001_887725531297087_44392148_oThe Artful Baker , presently situated at My Square In Select City Walk Mall, Saket is a pop-up Patisserie and Boulangerie cafe by Lite Bite Foods which is shortly also going to take Khan Market by storm with it’s wide array of freshly baked bread, delectable pastry’s, airy macaroon’s & more (End August) . The idea and inspiration behind the Artful Baker and I quote the brand chef , Sahil Mehta , ‘ is to give the masses an authentic and traditional taste of a quintessential European bakery’. The chef who is credited with being India’s first certified Bakery,Pastry and Chocolate expert from the Harvard of Bakery Schools Lenotre, France is the man with the magic wand who has stayed true to his cause by incorporating the finest baking techniques and using premium ingredients. Owing to his previous experience at L’opera,Choco Diva and Rennaissance as the Consultant Chef and Deputy Director Food& Operations (L’opera) , the chef is well aware of the functioning of Patisseries and the intricate details that go into making any menu a success.

 My experience at the Artful Baker was pleasantly interactive where i was told about what i had ordered and the ingredents that went into making it , something which transformed merely ‘eating’ to ‘tasting’.I ordered the Lemon Tart, Salty Caramel Macaroon, Chocolate Macaroon, Paris Brest,Cheese croissant, Ham and Cheese Sandwich and Monte Cristo. The order itself is reflective of the variety and the thought that has gone into crafting this menu. “We want to give you a taste of the best European bakes goods across the world” My favourites were the Monte Cristo,the Lemon Tart and the Macaroon’s.

 11824110_887725501297090_468011541_nThe Monte Cristo is a dark chocolate mousse whipped together with french cream and a hazelut-almond base. As you dig into the sinful Monte Cristo you get the silky chocolate mousse and the nutty hazelnut-almond base which perfectly compliments each other. The Monte Cristo is different from the usual lot because it wasn’t overly sweet like the typical chocolate mousse which ends up killing the taste & overriding the other ingredients. It was a perfet blend and left you wanting more!

I was almost tempted to call a rain check on the macaroon’s , having never tasted the perfect macaroon. However, the chef was confident that the macaroon’s at the Artful Baker would be a definite game changer for me. I can safely admit that the Salty Caramel & Chocolate macaroon’s at the cafe are  the best I’ve had in Delhi. They hit all 3 of  the check marks on my list : Airy,Delcious filling and Proportionate.

Ending my tasting with the Lemon Tart was just what i needed to balance my taste buds. It was a bite of perfectly balanced lemon curd and meringue on the top with a perfect flaky pastry at the botom. The lemon tart is the perfect dessert for someone who isn’t a big chocolate fan but at the same time has his/her share of sweet-tooth cravings.

To all the dessert lovers, food enthusiasts and the ones who are searching for their guilty pleasures through their cheat-meals , come down to the Artful Baker to get a taste of a traditional and authentic bakery with a wide range of delcious deserts & savoury goods. You don’t have to spend a bomb to experience a little bit of Europe , it’s lagely affordable and definitely worth the money.

Cost for two – Rs. 500

Timings : 11:00am-10:00pm

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.