EAT IN AN ARMY STYLE SET­TING

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - story and pho­tog­ra­phy by salim al afifi

If you want to take a bite in an ad­ven­tur­ous am­biance, then visit Bunker in Qu­rum and feast on your favourite mil­i­tary style burg­ers.

I’m a stick­ler for themed restau­rants and my un­con­di­tional love for the cre­ativ­ity that goes into mak­ing these restau­rants is seam­less. While in Oman the old favourites con­tinue to at­tract their pa­trons, when it comes to con­cept restau­rants there’s a whole new list of op­tions to pick from. From the ones por­tray­ing rugged garages and Shake­speare-in­spired eater­ies to trains and forests, theme restau­rants are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. This week we take you on a cam­ou­flaged ad­ven­ture as we visit Bunker in Qu­rum, where you will be shel­tered only to feast on gourmet burg­ers in a cel­e­bra­tory am­biance.

Stick­ing to the army-style theme, the restau­rant has added quirky dec­o­ra­tions tak­ing us back to the war era. As I en­tered the place, I was wel­comed in by friendly sol­diers (wait­ers) who were sport­ing black tees and cam­ou­flaged pants. I chose a seat by the win­dow at the left end cor­ner of the place, and glanced around the in­te­rior, which had ta­bles with cam­ou­flaged stick­ers, chairs in flashy red, toy tanks, minia­ture sol­diers on walls, mas­sive Jeep poster, wartime pho­to­graphs, and more cam­ou­flaged cre­ations on the ceil­ing. There were a cou­ple of toy com­bat hel­met for chil­dren to play.

Af­ter hav­ing a word with the sol­diers I found out that Bunker is not your typ­i­cal Amer­i­can burger-and-fries joint. The own­ers took a cre­ative ap­proach with their menu by in­fus­ing Asian flavours such as Adobo Korean sauce in the mix. That trig­gered my ex­cite­ment to an­other level. I couldn’t wait to or­der my pat­tice.

Bunker’s menu is short, sim­ple, and pol­ished, to say in a mil­i­tary lingo. I wasn’t sure if it was hunger or cu­rios­ity, but I ended up or­der­ing a cou­ple of slid­ers, a burger, and an en­ergy drink.

The slid­ers’ pre­sen­ta­tion was pre­cise, with cam­ou­flaged buns and minia­ture com­bat­ants guard­ing the burg­ers. The first was ‘the marine’; a shrimp slider deep-fried to crisp, and dipped in a pi­quant buf­falo sauce. The sharp taste of the sauce gave this burger quite a char­ac­ter, and it tasted amaz­ing. Then ‘the gen­eral’ ar­rived on a wooden flat-board; a beef slider topped with a bunch of mush­rooms and mild-flavoured Swiss cheese. It tasted amaz­ing. Af­ter the slid­ers I met the star of the show, the ‘black­out’; a juicy beef patty, topped with potato roast and smoky beef ba­con, show­ered with Bunker’s se­cret sauce, sand­wiched in char­coaled bun. This was my ab­so­lute favourite; the creamy taste of pota­toes mixed with the beef juices and the sauce de­liv­ered all that you’d ever want in a burger — a burst of flavours. To seal the deal, I had an im­ported orange-flavoured Bomba en­ergy drink that was bot­tled in a grenade shape glass. Not a huge fan of en­ergy drinks but I had to get that grenade, and now it is sit­ting com­fort­ably on my shelf at home.

The con­cept of Bunkers sets it apart from other burger joints in town, which makes it a great place to have an ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent to the usual clas­sic burger joints. Do I see my­self mak­ing this place a weekly rit­ual? Maybe, but one thing for sure is that when­ever I would stop by I would have a great time. Apart from the Ara­bic mu­sic in the back­ground, it was a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence, over­all. Can’t wait to come back and ex­plore the other op­tions on the menu.

BUNKER Al Masa Mall, Qu­rum +968 2234 4344 What to Or­der: Black­out Burger OMR2.300 The Marine Slider OMR2.350 The Gen­eral slider OMR1

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