BurgerFuel – The Palm’s First “Better Burger” Chain Opens
Golden Mile Apartments, Palm Jumeirah
Surprisingly healthy options
Very reasonably priced
Staff a little too attentive
A little bare and 'open' in terms of design
BurgerFuel is one of the new “better burger” restaurants, a new ‘category’ that includes Shake Shack, Smashburger and Five Guys. All are known more for their quality, aesthetic and design, and for actually being restaurants – than for low prices or fast food. The group itself it still small in financial terms – making up just 4 to 5 percent of the burger market in sales, but its growing at a rate of about 16 percent as the market as a whole contracts in a flight from fake foods, and towards real, natural ingredients.
According to the burger aficionados at PJG, BurgerFuel is one of the very best of this better type of restaurant. Like Gourmet Burger Kitchen, the chain originated in New Zealand, and while has more of a fast food air in terms of design than its country peer, is just as focused on the food and taste – arguably more so. Burgers are made for you – not pre-made, taking about six minutes to prepare. Each of those minutes is more that worth it.
But before the taste, changing tastes. What’s been interesting to see has been the so far slow take up of BurgerFuel in the newly opened Golden Mile compared to its neighbours, most notably Zaroob and Nandos. We had expected BurgerFuel to be the most popular of the three but customers have taken more time to warm to the restaurant. The reason, we think, is very simply that Palm residents are a fairly healthy bunch (the restaurant looks out over a jogging track…). Burgers do not immediately suggest health.
But the truth is, it is possible to eat a delicious burger here, with just 3g of Carbs, and less than 230 calories. Try to find something like that in Zaroob or Nandos. Of course to achieve this you have to go for the ‘Low Carb’ option that will replace the bread bun with a lettuce wrap. Despite how that may sound, the result is lip smackingly delicious.
We had the low carb version of the “Chicken Burnout”, and the full fat Ford Freakout. Of the two the chicken was probably the tastiest – char-grilled chicken breast, beef bacon, fresh avocado, Stilton cheese sauce, Dijon mustard, salad, relish and fresh natural BF aioli. The chicken tastes very real, and in the lettuce wrap, despite the rich sauces, the overall effect is sweet, rich yet light – and hot. This is not called the burnout for no reason. Think a lot of mustard, think nasal cleansing.
The Ford Freakout is heavier, in part because we had it with the bun, but also because it is a bigger beast. It’s 650 calories and 30g of carbs – so while it is more satisfying, it is also heavier and sits for longer. It’s made of 100% pure NZ grass fed beef patty, wholemeal bun, bacon, avocado, lettuce, red onion, tomato, batch-made tomato relish and fresh natural BurgerFuel aioli. Of all of this, the meat is the weakest link – the patty is just a little dry for our tastes, while the beef bacon tasty, but a little too chewy. (Note, we did not find this in the chicken – so maybe a one-off).
Overall there is no doubt we left BurgerFuel feeling satisfied, and looking forward to a repeat visit. We’re total fans of the low carb options, and surprised at just how tasty something so low-calorie and carb-less can be. BurgerFuel represents a naughty option that does not really have to be so naughty – and that is something of a cause for celebration. BurgerFuel, prepare for some new regulars.