Two-wheeled meals

Vroom away Bullet BBQ is grabbing all the right kind of attention with its grills on the move

Vroom away Bullet BBQ is grabbing all the right kind of attention with its grills on the move  

The Bullet barbecue rage is revving up a storm. Here’s the lowdown on what’s smoking hot about these street treats

There are many ways food leaves a lasting impression — but few come close to being served grilled delights cooked on a bike.

You read that right! Move over food trucks. Given it’s raging popularity, the Bullet barbecue food bike is evidently here to stay.

Serving up an array of freshly grilled meat and vegetables, the barbecue on a Bullet is rapidly catching on across the country. The brains behind the initiative are biker brothers from Bengaluru, Arun Varma and Krishna Varma, co-founders of what they claim to be India’s first food bike — BBQ Ride India.

What started almost eight months ago is now a flourishing enterprise with branches across the country.

The students-turned-entrepreneurs have used crowd-sourced funding to get their startup on the road and expand operations to other cities.

So where did this idea for meals on wheels originate? Arun looks back a couple of years to a time when they launched their culinary careers with a food truck. “Run completely by students, our ‘Streety Treats’ food truck tasted success and grew into three trucks within a year. I’m doing a BBM (Bachelor of Business Management) and my brother is studying aeronautics, so we had enough spare time to follow our hearts (or stomachs, in this case).

However, as Bengaluru’s food trucks began to multiply, they realised that it was time to do something different. “We wanted something that is compact and attractive.”

Biker game

Hence a food bike. “Trucks require manpower and parking is always a big issue. A bike, on the other hand, is easier to handle and parking is not such a hassle. It was a committed food startup — and Bengaluru was the perfect place to start it,” says Arun.

The brothers went on to redesign a 500 cc Royal Enfield with a sidecar into a barbecue haven. The customisation was inspired by the movie Sholay and the song in the sidecar. Arun says, “The sidecar cannot be used for anything besides passengers, so a lot of planning went into stabilising it for the barbecue. We made it stronger to handle more weight and balance the centre of gravity. It had to be flexible enough to be set up when required, as well as safe to ride in traffic. A lot of engineering went into making standardised frames. These are done by professionals: there are only two companies in the country who manufacture these frames.”

He goes on to point out that the grill can accommodate up to 15 orders at one time. “We usually cater to about 100 to 150 people on a single grill on any given day. The set-up is a total package with a grill, a tava, a fixed umbrella stand and customised brackets with which we can set up tables. It is compact with place for sauces, dishes, meat storage and even a small fire extinguisher.”

Arun adds, “We serve burgers, meat strips, wraps, grilled pineapple, veggies and more. There are definite crowd favourites, but we don’t stick to a fixed menu. We keep experimenting and adding new items to the list.”

Over the last eight months, the duo has expanded: they now have 13 bikes catering to big residential and commercial areas. “We also have two bikes each in Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi, apart from four or five more in the pipeline.”

A must-try experience

Philip Vijaykumar, a foodie by passion and software engineer by profession, tracks the food bikes, so he can grab a bite at pitstops. “While the biker chefs do have favourite locations, they also set up shop randomly at certain hotspots. The thrill of accidentally bumping into one is a joyride in itself. The tantalising aroma of grilled meat and veggies cooked to perfection on a bike and served with choice sides are a treat for the eyes and tummy.”

Sudha Mahendran, a Commerce student and food enthusiast, frequents the bike with her classmates when it’s near her college in Richmond Town. “We only recently discovered this street treat bike and it has won our hearts! Our favourites are the chicken legs and burgers. The wraps and rolls are also big hits. Sometimes, we have to wait for a bit to get all our orders, but it is worth the wait.” Her classmate, Nikita Sharma, chips in: “I never liked barbecues until I tried them from a Bullet!

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 7:40:41 PM |

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