LF Exclusive: Mumbai Gets its First Asian Burger Joint!

Chef-couple Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane are re-imagining Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes as food on the go

Suman Mahfuz Quazi

Indian joints and delivery kitchens have flagrantly bastardised burgers, incorporating everything from aloo tikkis to paneer tikka in it. And so, your quest for a satiating burger might often either end in dismay or defeat. And yet, we keep looking for that perfect burger, which has the softest buns, the tenderest meat, chunky enough to warrant a big bite and a big appetite. Cheesy, saucy and served with fries! 

You wouldn’t be wrong to be wary of anything that teeters away from a conventional burger, especially when so many fusion versions have only been a letdown. And that’s precisely why the latest Asian outpost by Seefah is sure to be a draw for all burger lovers. We tried four of the 10 Asian burgers at Asian Burgers by Seefah—and here’s our verdict. Wholesome, flavourful and full-filling. 

At the heart of every innovation lies the wish to call something your own. And that is exactly how chef-couple Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane’s journey began four years ago when they started The Blue, initially as a catering service, blossoming into a 20-seater and finally finding a larger, swankier abode on Hill Road in 2018, rechristened as Seefah. The duo have become a name to be reckoned with in the Asian food space in India. And are now, ready to launch Asian Burgers by Seefah, an ancillary of their existing brand and a delivery kitchen.

“We have always tried to introduce Mumbaikars to the true flavours of Asia. Authenticity is key. But it is also important to play around and have fun,” Ketchaiyo says about the new venture that goes live on January 19, 2020. 

Finding Asia between breads


The concise menu at Asian Burgers by Seefah comprises burgers re-imagining Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes in a compact format. “People love burgers, but most of the time they are loaded with mayo and cheese making them very heavy. So, we thought, why not incorporate Asian flavours – using things we already make here at the restaurants, like salads and our meat offerings – into a burger,” Bane shares, adding that the two had been contemplating the idea for the past two years, but began working on it only a month ago. 

Bahn Mi

The result is a colourful spread made with locally sourced ingredients and meats, barring sauces and condiments, which Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane import from Asia, and chiefly Thailand. Asian burgers feature fun versions such as the chicken katsu burger, where the breadcrumb-fried piece of chicken comes with a Japanese-curry-flavored mayo, pickles and a wasabi mayo salad, all ensconced within buns sourced from Magazine Street Kitchen. There’s also a moong bean burger that has a lentil-based patty, Thai herbs, peanut sauce, achaar and som tam salad. And the most delightful on the menu is the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, which comes with moist tenderloin, homemade pickles and a piquant salad tucked between a crusty baguette. 

Chicken Katsu Burger

A testing ground 

But Asian Burgers by Seefah is in effect only the first step to a much larger vision. Prod the couple and they’ll tell you, albeit with a little hesitation – “It’s a testing ground,” much like their very first catering stint, which served as a litmus test for their now fully functional diner. 

“What next? This is a question we are asking ourselves all the time. So, deep down, we hope to someday start something like an Asian café, where you can grab a quick bite, sip on some Thai coffee and chill. But we need to see first if it’s something that will work,” Ketchaiyo reveals, adding that the idea has been on the duo’s minds for a while. 

Well, that sure sounds like something we’d be looking forward to!


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