Kaffana Bar – formerly their pop-up venue Kaffana Burger – launched today in their permanent premises. This was actually their existing building for Kaffana, so literally across the road from where it was before on Peel Street. Kaffana the restaurant has moved to Gilbert Place, so the main thing to take from this is there is now extra Kaffana permanently in the city. This is a good thing.
We have loved the burgers from Kaffana in the past. You can read about that here and here. So to get a dedicated venue for their already extremely good burgers, with an expanded menu including ribs and wings, is an incredibly exciting thing. Add to that the promise of $10 burgers and chips for launch day, and it really was just too good to be true.
BUT – capitals entirely intentional – things almost went terribly pear shaped today. Unless you are a pear, in which case choose a different shape, as you probably think your shape is just fine. Maybe banana might fit better for you. Service time was best described in terms usually reserved for glacial movement. We ordered by around 10-15 past 12 – I got the clucky chicken – yet our 3 burgers didn’t hit the table until basically 1pm. Sure, they were reasonably busy, but this timeframe, during what is for most people a lunch hour, would be for some pretty much a deal breaker.
To add insult to injury, their beer taps were apparently frozen, so we had to choose from their bottled Serbian beers instead – at $9 a pop, thank you very much. So the $10 burger quickly became a $19 lunch, with a beer that I wouldn’t have ordered otherwise (and didn’t really enjoy that much either if I am brutally honest).
However….once the burgers hit the table, my resolve of holding onto this building resentment immediately began to crumble. The rolls were there as always, bespoke, house made amazing things that always impress. Poking out from there was the marinated chicken, with the slices of chorizo and cabbage making their presence known. There was lashings of aioli adding creaminess, a slice of bright yellow melted American cheese, and that unmistakable and absolutely mind blowing aroma of charcoal grilled food.
One bite, and I just didn’t care any more. Time….yeah whatever. Deal with that when I get back.
Make no mistake – burgers don’t get any better than Kaffana. I have gushed over them before from the prior links, but today was even a couple of steps above those. Despite the wait. Despite the frustration. Despite the less than great and quite expensive beer – this was as enjoyable a burger as I have ever had. Yep – ever. And that is really saying something coming from a blog that used to be entirely dedicated to burgers (including this nifty top 50 leaderboard!).
They are LUCKY their food is so freaking amazing. Very lucky. It’s like being in a relationship where you are always waiting for your partner to get ready, and it always makes you late, but then when they do finally stroll out, looking amazing, being all charming and delightful, all is forgiven. Again.
Ok, so maybe they aren’t lucky on the food bit – there is great skill and love in their food you cannot help but notice – but a genuine plea to Kaffana Bar – please sharpen the service times and general organisation a bit. Not everyone can take an hour and a half out of the office at lunch time.
Your probation is extended, but we will see next time….
Oh, and putting my old burger judging hat back on, if I was going to score this, I genuinely think it’s at least a 9.7, maybe even a 9.8 or (gulp) 9.9. Basically flawless. Utterly amazing. Delicious. Making me drool just thinking about it. Just go and get one ASAP.