Published on 11 October 2021
"In Mumbai, vada pav is the OG street food," says Payal Bisht, owner of Burger Shurger. Vada is a spiced potato patty, while pav, which is pronounced "pow", is a soft white bun.
Bisht's friendly, beer-loving diner specialises in taking traditional Indian dishes and refashioning them while staying true to the soul of the original. In this case, Bisht dismantles a ubiquitous and inexpensive bite-sized snack – "people will grab three or four at a time" – and reimagines it as a lavish burger.
The mashed potato patty is the hero here: it's flavoured with curry leaves, mustard seeds and turmeric and rolled in a chickpea-flour batter before it's fried to a golden crunch. This tall vada is then stuffed in a toasted, buttered, fluffy milk bun and piled with chutneys. "We make a green chutney with mint, coriander and chilli, and a garlic chutney with coconut," says Bisht. "Those two are traditional, but we also add a tamarind chutney to bring some sweet-and-sour flavours, plus puffed potato flakes to make it more fun to eat."
The burger is alluringly squishable, a spicy, crunchy carb-on-carb conqueror that gives its meatier rivals serious competition. Gluten-free and vegan versions are available too.
Burger Shurger, 297 Glen Huntly Rd, Elsternwick, burgershurger.com.au
By Dani Valent
You might also like
Sign up to our weekly news on Victoria's best food and drink.