Kobe; Sentinels of the Sizzle

We don’t talk about sizzlers very much on this website, but then again, nobody does. They were all the rage at some point in our city’s history, but just like spears, and the fact that men and women are inherently unequal, the idea seems to have fallen out of fashion entirely. Yes, the idea of ordering a dish that splatters boiling water on your face for twenty minutes before you can finally eat does seem ridiculous, but sizzlers do come from the 1980s, a simpler time when TVs didn’t have remotes & ‘tutti frutti’ was the most popular flavour of ice cream; so let’s not judge them by our 21st Century perspectives.

The sizzler market in Mumbai has always been cornered by two giants, Kobe and Yoko, both of whom have even gone international. We did cover Yoko back in the day, only to discover that it was still a perfectly acceptable dining option. But what about Kobe, how does it stand the test of time?

Kobe hasn’t changed much since it opened way back in 1975. They still have the same marble topped tables with ketchup & mustard, and paper table-mats on which you can write bad words. The only music they ever seem to play is instrumental covers of ABBA, pandering to their audience of mostly families with old ladies who love ABBA & small kids who couldn’t care less what music is playing. After patiently explaining the beauty in the simplicity of the final solution to the children at the next table, and sampling Kobe’s delicious cool water, we were ready to place our orders.

Chicken Burger

Price: Rs. 150

A hundred and fifty bucks doesn’t buy very much these days, but it can get you a reasonably sized chicken burger at Kobe. We’ve often ranted about how chicken burgers are really just glorified sandwiches, but that being said, this is an impressive sandwich. The chicken patty is spiced perfectly and crispy on the outside, about as good as a chicken patty can get.

Hamburger

Price: Rs. 150

The hamburger is almost exactly like the chicken burger when it comes to taste and consistency, only it’s made from a substance infinitely more incriminating. Like the chicken burger, it’s accompanied by potato-chips that are somewhere on the evolutionary scale between French fries and potato wedges. Still, the hamburger made for a surprisingly comforting meal, well worth our investment.

Pepper Steak Sizzler

Price: Rs. 999

The sizzlers are what make Kobe Kobe. And in all honestly, we don’t fully understand why. Sure the steak sizzler is decent, but it isn’t available in half portions like the ones you get at Yoko, which makes it very difficult for a single person to finish, even though admitting that brings us great dishonour as men. While you do definitely get your money’s worth in terms of random boiled vegetables and first degree burns, the steak itself is only just above average; and the fries get so soggy from all the steam and sauce, they almost become mashed potatoes.

The Decree: Kobe is a genuinely nice place, but the sizzlers have little to do with it. The burgers are pretty good, and when you consider the fact that they’re so incredibly cheap, they start to taste just a tad bit better. But more importantly, Kobe just feels right, maybe it’s the nostalgia, or maybe they put something in the water, we’ll never know, all we’re sure of is that we’re we will be going back, just as soon as all these burns start to heal.

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