Nostalgic taste-bud medley
JUICY burgers and super-sweet milkshakes are what childhood taste-bud memories are made of. Now the American dream meal has found a home at a joint classier than usual: the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! on New Church Street.
The hotel is rolling out a trio of burgers paired with milkshakes, each month from now until September. At R125 for a 200g burger and R45 for a 650ml shake, the offering is not exactly affordable. Judging from the bells and whistles being dished out on the burgers, this combo is a treat for serious lovers of patties and buns.
The three burgers are the “Lamb” borghini, the Stars and Stripes Southern Fried Chicken Burger and the Bakkies Wors Burger, and the Good Weekend was invited to a tasting session last week.
Each burger will be served in a different month, and there are only a few days left to taste the “Lamb”borghini. It’s a mint lamb patty topped with warm brie and glazed berries.
It is a fruity burger, with so much glaze that it drips off the side. It can get messy. The lamb was soft and easily sliceable.
The burger is paired with The Bees Knees, my favourite of the three shakes. Made with real, dark Lindt chocolate, it infuses citrus syrup and chewy honeycomb bits. Dark chocolate drips down the inside of the glass, making it taste like a slab. If you pull hard enough through the straw, you should be able to draw up some of the Lindt. This beauty is garnished with orange zest.
True to burger and milkshake form, next month’s burger pays homage to all things American. Although chicken is not my favourite choice for a patty, the Stars and Stripes Southern Fried Chicken Burger and its secret ranch sauce is my favourite of the burgers. It’s equally messy, so keep a serviette on hand. The chicken was soft and the burger generously garnished with lettuce.
It is paired with the too-sweet Ouma and Oupa shake. It features rooibos and honey flavours and tasted quite like tea. It is a good colour match for the burger.
The last burger is the Bakkie Wors burger, which will be served in September. The patty is made with boerewors mince and topped with mustard-coated onion rings.
It tastes like what you expect, a sausage on a bun. It’s low on saucy condiments, perhaps to bring out the sausage flavours.
The carnival milkshake is its partner and is a combination of toffee apples and creamy fudge flavours. The shake is served with a mini toffee apple that looks like it could break your teeth. Maybe smash it open with a knife if you really must try it. It is also a thin shake but with good taste. Garnished with apple shavings, it has the texture of a blended milkshake. I don’t quite get the apple and sausage pairing, though.
● Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! is on New Church Street in Tamboerskloof. Call 021 488 2555.
THREE’S COMPANY: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! executive chef Jason Scott puts together designer burgers as part of the hotel’s winter burger and milkshake season.
SPOILT FOR CHOICE: Three different burgers for three winter months.
DIFFERENT STROKES: Each burger is linked to a particular milkshake.