Image of a burger used for representational purposes only
Image of a burger used for representational purposes only

On a burger binge

Drawing inspirations from the food industry, two youngsters set their sights on gratifying the customers, offering them flavours of their creations and fusions

CHENNAI: Burgers have held a special place in the hearts of foodies. Soft buns cut in half; a variety of condiments spread on either side; soft, succulent meat placed above the base dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles; a slice of cheese on top of this stack completes this mouth-watering fast-food staple. Among the countless variations that cafes and eateries in the city provide, there is a new kiosk that has taken the local food scene by storm. Tucked away from the main thoroughfare, Temp Fried Chicken, started in April 2024, has attracted many with its dedication to quality ingredients and innovative flavour combinations that leave you craving more.

“The food industry is the best to work in as it is an act of service and you cook to fill people’s hearts,” say Mohammed Faizal and Mahathir, founders of Temp. They have already gained their experiences from the food background. Mohammed is the operations manager at Mount Road Bilal and owns Cafe 365 in Valluvar Kottam. On the other hand, Mahathir, who is a UK resident, spent his time working as a sous-chef under Gordon Ramsay.

Into the business

After college, these youngsters wanted to enter the food industry and start a business with a unique selling point to attract consumers. At Temp, the team focusses on not involving any external chefs to steal the show. “The idea of starting a shop started around February. We were initially looking for a cuisine to focus on and finally landed on burgers. The OG burgers from America include no veggies and the taste revolves around the healthy meat and the array of flavours from the sauces,” says Mohammed. Finally, they found a tiny kitchen with low investment, and with the help of friends and family, a scalable business was set up.

On the first day, Temp saw an impressive turnout of 30-50 customers. After an Instagram reel went viral, the crowd surged; so much so that the duo is making four times the sales they expected. “There were days when people had to wait for over an hour, and no food is worth that,” he says, expressing gratitude for their patient customers. Today after a lot of trial and error the team aims to deliver the food within 20 minutes of ordering. Mohammed highlights that they draw inspiration from Rams at Anna Nagar and Cosmo Cafe to stay open well into the night.

Customers can choose either a traditional bun brushed with a luscious amount of butter or a unique waffle that’s soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, paired with spices and sauces, each delivering a juicy and flavourful experience. This creative twist ensures a delightful mix of textures, making each bite memorable. “At Temp, everything is fresh; we don’t carry the leftovers for the next day. We outsource freshly-baked brioche buns and a variety of sauces to achieve the perfect flavours to tingle your taste buds,” Mohammed adds.

A burst of flavours

Temp’s burgers made with soft and sweet spongy buns set the stage for an exceptional dining experience. On the menu are options that can easily put customers in a dilemma.

For those with an adventurous palate, the Nashville Waffle Burger beckons them. Featuring a Nashville-seasoned patty nestled between savoury waffles that offer a delightful twist with their thickness and lack of sweetness, this creation is generously adorned with pickles and an assortment of sauces. On the menu, you will also find Korean Style Burger, Slaw Burger, and Donut Burger.

On the other hand, the Original Burger remains a testament to simplicity done right. Anchored by a perfectly grilled patty ensconced in the bun, complemented by classic sauce and pickles, it carries the essence of a timeless burger experience.

Beyond burgers, the menu extends to various indulgent treats, including rich milkshakes, refreshing ice cream floats, abundantly topped loaded fries, and crispy chicken tenders. For aficionados of fried chicken, Temp presents Korean Tenders which has four generously sized strips of chicken tenders with a satisfying crunch. Paired with fries and slathered with a Korean-inspired sauce that strikes a delicate balance between sweetness and piquancy, this dish is a symphony of flavours that demands extra dips for a fully immersive culinary journey. Do not miss the Loaded Fries, an indulgent ensemble of chicken pops, crispy fries, and sauces.

Temp ideals

A key aspect of Temp’s appeal is its commitment to offering halal food, catering to a broad audience with dietary considerations. “We are only going to use chicken as our base meat and are not planning to include other forms of meat so that it can easily blend with other flavours and stand out in its taste,” he adds. However, as primarily a takeaway spot, Temp lacks dedicated parking arrangements, so customers are advised to plan.

Looking ahead, Temp is planning to expand their menu in a month or two, promising a bomb of flavours that are yet to be revealed. They hope to open more café diners in and around Chennai and consider franchises across states. With its no external chef policy, Temp will expand their central kitchen to increase the production and supply of raw packed materials and provide detailed guidelines on temperature and flavours to ensure consistency across all branches.

Despite lacking self-marketing resources, Temp’s social media influence has made it a popular burger spot in Nungambakkam.

Time: 5 pm to 3 am.

Price for one: Rs 200-Rs 400

Address: 16/20, Wallace Garden 3rd Street, Nungambakkam

The New Indian Express