Saturday night, 9 pm. Wife says she has a craving for burger. There is a Burger King nearby, what do you do? The easy, but wrong answer is to suggest Burger King. The better option is to ask your friend what is a great place for burgers that’s not too far away, take him as well and drive to HSR. What’s Saturday night for if you cannot indulge self, wife and your palate?
For EC denizens, Koramangala seems the most obvious choice as the nearest place to grab a good burger. Not necessarily – HSR is a good alternative, and Once upon a Flame (OUAF) is a great choice. It is right next to the familiar McDonald’s junction in HSR, above Subway. Interestingly, the other day when we had gone to House of Commons close by, we were thinking of going here, but did not because we were too lazy to park and walk. (#bangaloreparkingwoes)
OUAF’s ambience is very sizzler-burger-non alcohol like. The wife loved the basic style of furniture and the lighting. One issue she had was that the air conditioning wasn’t too great and she still felt warm, though I was fine. We requested for a change of seats closer to the AC, and a while later were all good. The place overall gives a cozy, homely feel – in fact the tables near the kitchen door look like a well made family dining table, choose that if you are visiting with your family of 6 people or more.
I thought the waiters were slightly distracted when we first tried catching someone’s attention and placing our orders, but over the course of the meal the service was actually good and smooth. The owner himself came to us around 1030 or thereabouts to check if we could order our main course as the kitchen would close soon and took our orders very diligently, checking with us very clearly on how we wanted our burgers and the steak that we ordered. He later came up to check on whether we liked the food as well, and seemed like an amiable host. Maybe next time I will click a picture with him.
I chose a Tropical Burst to quench my thirst when we arrived. The menu described it as a mix of pineapple, orange, mango, watermelon and strawberry – and I had a vivid imagination of a multi colored drink landing on my table. It wasn’t – it resembled a mild strawberry shake with a streak on the side, and the overwhelming taste was that of strawberry. I liked it, though the sugar was a little extra. Wife ordered the coconapple – it came with an actual piece of coconut! The kind you get from tender coconuts I think, the overall flavour was very mild but refreshing. The best I think was Aditya’s – the Nojito, the lime juice, the mint leaves, were all perfectly blended. Towards the end, he ordered a Blueberry Crush as well – did not get to taste it, but looked good.
You’ve got to try the garlic bread when you visit OUAF – I am a sucker for soft and fresh breads, and these folks had some of the best. Not oily, the right levels of garlic flavor and I had to restrict myself from not eating the others share. The grilled cottage cheese salad was a great starter that wife chose – I thought I wouldn’t want to dig in, but I did. Superbly cooked paneer with some very good sauce.
The menu lists three veggie burgers – one of which is called the Aww burger. You know why? Because it has Aubergine. OK, I don’t know if that’s the reason it’s called that, but that’s why the wife didn’t order it (the aubergines, not the rhyming). Wife chose the veg patty burger with BBQ sauce, and I went for the beef burger with the same sauce. Aditya decided burgers didn’t work him then and went for the pork steak.
The kitchen definitely made the burgers look more appealing with potato wedges all around and a capsicum indicator on top – a green one for the veggie burger and a red one for my beef burger. Nicely done. Mine did not have a patty, but actual cooked pieces of beef that was juicy and succulently soft. The bread in itself was so soft that it split through the course of eating and did not hold till the end – mildly uncomfortable, but the price of a good bread I guess. I enjoyed the burger till the end, well almost, as I was too full to finish it. Wife said her burger was good, but not as good as the one she makes at home,which means it is pretty good (to be fair, she does make awesome burgers). Aditya was gushing about the steak, which I did not taste, as I am not a huge fan of pork.
We picked up some blueberry cheesecake to go, but I never bothered to taste, wife said it wasn’t great and it is still lying in our fridge. Maybe an off day with the desserts.
I wouldn’t call OUAF as an expensive place, but it isn’t easy on the pocket either. But if you do realize one day you are craving for a burger, and in HSR, close to OUAF, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
PS : check out the photo on their kitchen door. I liked that sense of humour.
Address – #36, 1st Floor, 14th Main Road, 7th Sector, 80 Feet Main Road, Opposite Vedantu Online Learning Center, HSR, Bangalore
Phone – +91 7760533337
My zomato review for OUAF can be found below.