Burger joints are everywhere. No, we're not referring to the fast-food chains, we're actually referring to the likes of My Burger, The Burger and the OG of them all, Fazly's (previous Burger's King). And Happy Burger just so happens to be one that belongs to this particular category.
On the side of the road, with a McDonald's and a KFC within 100 meters of it lies a little shop dedicated to serving up some okay burgers that give us forever broke people a reason to eat junk food.
It's a known fact that most affordable burger places come with a price. And in most cases, it's that the place is in no way "fancy". Meaning, you'll have to get used to the grease-stained walls, staff not wearing gloves when they make your food and such. That being said, the ambience at Happy is separated into two very small sections – the outdoor seating area and the indoors. We happened to sit at both and came to the conclusion that the outdoor seating is relatively nicer than in.
We say this because not only do you get a front-row seat to the Nugegoda traffic but, you also don't have to breathe in the fumes from the deep frying chicken. Because no matter how nice it smells, it just gets a bit much to handle.
Cement blocks as chairs, plastic tables and a vast variety of people, it's alright. We wouldn't necessarily recommend dining in, but, if you have to, it's not as bad as you'd imagine.
The most beautiful perk about eating from these podi burger joints is that the food is hella cheap. With options ranging from a bunch of burgers to Cheese Kottu and Fried rice, the spectrum isn't large, but, it's satisfactory enough.
So, we decided to kick things off with their Chicken Drumsticks. We start with this because this happened to be the base of almost every other chicken option we got.
Three pieces for Rs. 180 is a solid deal and you don't really need us telling you why. At the same time, the chicken was obviously re-fried, and not freshly made. It's obvious from how dark the coating is and the extent of oil covering it.
Nonetheless, tasting oddly like KFC chicken, the drumsticks were in no way a disappointment. Plus, for Rs. 180, are we allowed to complain?
The Crispy Chicken Burger (Rs. 250) was essentially two surprisingly moist buns sandwiching a layer of onions, lettuce, mayo, ketchup and the same exact chicken we ate as the Chicken Drumsticks. As basic as it sounds, it wasn't bad. The bun was beautifully soft and whilst the chicken was in no way amazing, it was as good enough for the price we paid.
Plus, the tang from the onion mixed with the sweetness of the ketchup and the bits of mayo here and there made it quite nice actually.
We mean, it's no McSpicy, but it isn't bad. We suggest giving it a shot – especially if you're broke.
The submarine (Rs. 350) flew along the same lines as the burger. With the ingredients being pretty much the same as the burger, there wasn't much of a difference between the two – except for the shape of the bun.
And like the burger, this too had a really nice bun to pull everything together. However, we wouldn't necessarily recommend this extended version of the burger. That too only because the amount of chicken included in this was a lot less than the burger.
The last one on this list of food from Happy Burger is the Chicken Cheese Kottu (Rs. 400). The only reason we ordered this was because almost everyone at the restaurant had ordered this, making us wonder why.
Unfortunately for us, this was far from perfect. The godamba was all clumpy and the cheese was actually just a whole heap of milk which made everything super soggy and clogged up and there was close to no chicken in it. The addition of chilli paste helped with the sheer lack of flavour but the sauce just made everything a little bit more soggy on that particular end.
In terms of service, we can't really complain. The staff was super-efficient with everything from placing your order to the making part. They managed to bring our food within 15 minutes of placing our order and whilst not being overly friendly, they weren't rude either, which is a win-win really.
In conclusion, it's an alright option for cheap burgers when you're around Nugegoda. Sure, the cheese kottu was not the best out there, but, as a potential place to get burgers when you're bored of the same of fast-food chains, it's not bad checking out.