Islamabad has an abundance of burger joints; it’s like people in the city have a thing for burgers so it’s a pity that finding a joint that consistently serves a good burger is still a challenge. Most places launch on a really high note and crack the recipe for the perfect burger but somehow lose quality and taste along the way.
As a result, every few months I am on the look out for new places with good burgers. I recently came across a small but very interesting place called 160 Degrees. Essentially a place for great burgers and decent steaks, 160 Degrees is the place one would want to run to for a quick lunch during the work hour.
Hidden on the 2nd floor of Union Gold Mall in F-7 Markaz, 160 Degrees is a modern looking burger place with wooden floors and Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The lamp shades hanging on the roof give the space a very American burger joint feel and that’s where they hit it right with the ambiance.
Coming to the menu, what I particularly liked was how basic and streamlined it was. Just a few starters, 4 chicken and 5 beef burger options and 4 steaks along with a few side options was about all. My friends and I decided to skip the starters and go straight for the burgers. The burger menu at 160 is restricted but looks very interesting. With names like The Ghetto, Wicked Killer, Shroom Bomb and Mr. Smokey, one is left intrigued and curious. We tried quite a few options from the menu and it’s safe to say that our taste buds were pleased. The big plump burger bun was melt in your mouth. Not only was it homely but it was big enough to fill the biggest of appetites.
If you ask a real burger connoisseur, they would tell you straight up that true burgers are only beef burgers, and anything else is a joke. So we went by this rule and tried the Wicked Killer, which had a smoky crisp slice of bacon followed by their thick signature beef patty. The patty is topped with a great serving of American cheddar and a royal dose of their signature sauce. The sauce, albeit delicious, is a little too much in abundance and that makes it the messiest of all burgers. At the same time, it’s not really spicy so spice lovers will have to either lather the burger with 160’s signature hot sauce given separately or will have to order another burger. I would recommend the chef to tone a little down on the sauce and increase the fat content in the patty to make it juicier.
Mushroom sauce lovers will love the Shroom Bomb, which has just the right flavors that go well with the meaty beef patty. The burger was served two halves, which made the eating of this mammoth a lot easier, without the contents of the burgers slipping and falling out. Shroom Bomb will cater to all those who aren’t always looking for spice.
For those who like to play it safe, Mr Classy is the perfect beef burger with a thick beef patty, some crunchy lettuce, condiments and a soft bun. The chef recommended medium well, which I found to be more well than medium. The burger over all was ample enough to satiate my hunger and was tasty enough to tickle my taste buds.
The Ghetto is the most expensive burger (Rs. 700) with the least description on the menu. It came double the patty, double the cheese and double the secret sauce, which made the experience of eating the burger double the fun. I would recommend Ghetto to only those who have double the appetite to take on the challenge.
We also tried the Glazed Goddess and it stood by its name. The signature marinated breast fillet topped with American cheddar had a very unique flavor that I couldn’t really spot initially. Going back to the menu made me realize that it had caramelized onions and a special mint sauce that gave the magical flavor.
It’s worth knowing that most burgers range between Rs. 450-550, which is a steal and makes 160 Degrees a great place to run to for a quick bite that’s not too heavy on the pocket. It is a little hard to find but all treasures are hidden. After the round of burgers, we were too full for steaks or wings so we kept them for another time. But we headed home with guts that thanked 160 Degrees for the delicious burgers.