Try American favourites at this new restaurant at Thiruvananthapuram

With Chinese, Indian and fast food ruling the dining scene in the city, a joint that serves food that one finds in an American diner comes as a fresh change.

The newly opened restaurant with limited seating called 1976 Once Upon A Time, has no parathas with beef curry or fried rice with chilli chicken on the menu. Instead, there are thick, juicy burgers and tall, frothy milkshakes. And no, there are no salads or ‘health’ food for the calorie conscious.

Not feeling particularly hungry but curious to try out the dishes, my friends and I order a plate of Chilly Cheese Fries (Rs. 80), Chicken Fingers (Rs. 150), Juicy Lucy (Rs. 140) and The 76 Roll (Rs. 125) although there are a host of other dishes with interesting names such as Tatsuta Chicken Burger, Curry Wurst, and Chimichanga. Although I wanted to try The Italian Hot Dog (sausage, cheese, mayonnaise, tomato, barbecue sauce and caramelised onion), my waiter disappoints me by saying that the order of ‘special’ buns used for the hot dogs have yet to come.

While waiting for our food, we take in the décor, which is rather curious. It’s neither a garden themed restaurant nor a diner. The day’s news fills the night air from an antique radio, which the waiter thankfully turns off as the volume was rather high. A gramophone and a couple of black and white photographs help create an old world look to a certain extent. Our paper placemats have a brief write-up on how burgers came by.

The food comes piping hot to our table. The Chilly Cheese Fries has long strips of crisp French fries, covered with curried meat and strips of cheese. The dish is a fusion of flavours, though one wishes that the fries had a bit of salt in it and the curried gravy, less of spices. The lack of salt in the fries is forgiven when one scoops it with the curried meat and melting cheese.

The Chicken Fingers is passable: thick strips of boneless chicken dipped in batter and fried. While the outer coating is crisp, the chicken could have done with a bit of seasoning. Expecting something resembling a sausage roll, we are pleasantly surprised when our waiter brings us the 76 Roll. It is a wrap with pieces of chicken, mayonnaise, lettuce and caramelised onion. It is served with a helping of fries and a glass of fizz of our choice. The pate for the Juicy Lucy burger is juicy but the burger bun merely passé. Although I want to try the fried ice cream, as none of my friends are willing to risk their waist lines, I decide against it.

1976 Once Upon A Time is at The Capital, GPO Lane, and is open only in the evenings. Contact: 2471987