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Humpy Dumpty on the hill!

A burger at the Nina’s.

A burger at the Nina’s.   | Photo Credit: 11dmc Rahul1

Curious names and chunky fillings draw foodies to Nina’s burgers in Kathmandu

Let me tell something – I like burgers. I know, I know, foodies are meant to turn their collective nose up at something as mundane as a hamburger, but I am an avowed a burger-ite. I liked those deep fried buns that were served in university coffee houses (with a thick onion ring, a piece of tomato and a potato patty) and Nirula’s burgers when I was a callow youth. I even liked McDonald’s when I was neither callow, nor a youth. And, of course, I like gourmet burgers if and when I eat them.

But I have a grouse. As a young man, I loved the lamb burgers that we used to get. But in these difficult times when one man’s meat is – supposedly – another man’s poison, lamb meat has quietly been pulled out of burgers. In most places, you get chicken burgers, and chicken, as alert readers will know, is not one of my favourite meats. I like patties of lamb, beef and pork – but in Delhi even thinking of a beef burger comes with a red alert.

And that is why, to cut a long story short, I was very happy at Nina’s in Kathmandu. We had gone to visit our friend, Joe, and he had promised us that our Nepal visit would be one long food festival. And it was.

I had eaten Nina’s burgers the last time I was there, exactly three years ago. But that was when the burgers had been brought to us. This time we went to Nina’s, a small café in the heart of the city, and were wowed by young Nina, and her huge range of burgers.

Nina’s is an airy, well-lit place, with seating arrangements out in the open, and inside. Her café is moving to a new place, but somewhere not very far from where it is now in Maharajgunj Road. The menu has sandwiches, grills, spaghetti, curries, crepes, chops, kababs and what have you. And then there are burgers.

We had gone there for a burger meal, and a burger meal was had. I asked for a Meltover burger, one friend wanted Paul’s Hangover burger, three among us asked for a Humpty Dumpty burger, and the youngest, just 17, wanted the biggest burger – the Big Daddy Burger. The burgers cost between Rs. (Nepalese) 600 and Rs. 700, which roughly amounts to Rs.350 and Rs.450.

Most of the burgers had beef patties, with generous pieces of ham or bacon. There were lashings of cheese, and in some cases lettuce and tomatoes. The Humpty Dumpty burger came with an egg with a sunny side up. But those who like their egg well-done could have it fried. All the burgers came with a heap of fries. My burger had thinly sliced beef, bacon, grilled onions, mushroom topped with melted cheese. The Big Daddy burger had double of everything. I would have liked to have tried out the Blue Cheese Burger, but by then I was stuffed like a teddy bear. May be next time.

The burgers are delicious – the meat is well cut and grounded, the buns are soft, the cheese is gooey, and the veggies are crunchy. The ambience is young, and Nina, who personally takes care of every patron, is friendly and knows almost everybody. “Bye, Paul,” she said to somebody. It turned out that it was after him that the Hangover burger had been named. I wonder what he had imbibed to have a burger named after him.

Our lunch was a resounding success. The weather was good, the company was great, and the food was excellent. Kathmandu, I have discovered, is fast becoming a foodies’ hub. But more of that later. Right now, I can only think of big juicy burgers.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 8:35:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Humpy-Dumpty-on-the-hill/article14414731.ece

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