Fine Fare Kitchen is set up in a box container, located in a currently buzzing Victoria Street in Christchurch Central. Most of the more interesting food joints pop up in the form of boxed containers these days. Victoria Street, by day, is littered with well-dressed urban office-goers that pour out of the buildings during lunch hours. By night, it is run-over by these same lot of people (just a little more high-spirited), hopping between the many food places that light the street up. You know how it is, urban office-goers love good food. But more than that, office-goers love to be seen loving good food even more.
We were in Fine Fare Kitchen that day to check out the Karma Burger. These guys pride themselves in making food that takes time – as a homage to great produce and traditional methods. Karma Burger is a perfect example. For a burger that you demolish in about ten minutes (five, if you’re quite hungry), the meat has been marinated in Karma Cola for a week, letting the stuff in the cola break down the fat in the meat, leaving a beautiful tang in it. Simon Levy, the ‘Executive’ Chef insists that the point of his work is not to bombard you with taste "like a tandoori would," but be more of a celebration of the subtle taste which lives in great produce, that comes out only when treated with the right combination.
That must have been what I was impressed about with the Karma Burger. It was hard to pin point what exactly was so memorable about it. It was something quite subtle and restrained. For something that took so long to prepare (a week, let me remind you), it's a shame that a burger must have such a short shelf life. But that’s the point isn’t it? That’s why it is so cool – that someone would bother to go through all that effort to make a burger to reward a Victoria-Street-office-going metrosexual who may or may not even have the time to appreciate anything about it. It’s almost like an open-ended story. To craft a great narrative and leave it to the audience to interpret it and use it however they will.
Photography by Rishi Patel.
Oh, and $1 from every sale of this burger goes toward Karma Foundation helping farmers in Sierra Leone. Next time you’re tempted to click ‘like’ on a post on Facebook that claims to donate $1 for every like, don’t do that. Buy a Karma burger instead. That way, you walk away having enjoyed a legitimate food experience, plus at the same time, knowing that you’ve done something good for humanity.