Slider Station makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. The menu is chock full of goodies – so many that I’m flummoxed by what to choose. There are a range of starters enhanced with American ingredients (such as maple syrup, Coca-Cola and Sriracha) and mini burgers in different colours, shapes and sizes. Who knew eating could be so fun?
I’ve been wanting to eat at Slider Station after seeing so many mouthwatering photos on Instagram. Pink buns, black buns, pretzel buns. The concept is American, but this is in fact a Middle Eastern chain developed by talented Kuwaiti restaurateur Basil Al Salem.
Slider Station says their USP is that they have the first conveyor belt burger joint in the world. But in reality, their USP is the inventive, photogenic, diminutive burgers which really make this place stand out from the crowd.
The interior is industrial garage chic. At the conveyor belt burger bar, you sit on stools made of steel barrels. But they also have traditional tables and chairs and far more people opted for these.
The menu is extensive, with so many choices of drool-inducing items that we were spoilt for choice. There’s a range of starters, basic sliders, premium sliders, and full-sized burgers.
Of course, we over-ordered (it would be rude not to) – 1 starter (sticky maple prawns), 2 sides (onion rings and loaded fries), 6 sliders and 1 full-sized burger between three of us.
We started with the sticky maple buffalo shrimps which came with a side of ranch dressing. These little morsels were delicious with a sticky crispy coating – a bit on the sweet side for me (but as to be expected as they’re called “sticky maple”) – and a bit fat prawn inside.
Usually all of the food comes as it’s ready, but we pleaded with the waiter to try to stagger the food. Our sliders came next.
That bad boy in the middle is the Wagyu Cheese Steak – this one came on a cute little pretzel bun with a mound of sliced Wagyu beef, sauteed onions, mushrooms and cheese.
One of my favourites was the Tiger Shrimp Handgun – with red onion & mango slaw, habanero mango sauce on bamboo charcoal steam bun. The “handguns” look like mini-tacos and are in fact an American-inspired take on the Chinese mantou bun sandwich. Either which way, they are absolutely divine!
The sliders all have interesting names. This is the Dangerous – fried chicken, jack cheese, jalapeno, lettuce and chimichurri aioli. The beetroot bun is steamed and perfectly soft and spongy, the perfect complement to this crunchy piece of fried chicken.
The Firebird is another fried chicken burger with jalapenos, red onions, rocket and maple sticky sauce.
The Cajun Battered Fish slider is like an upmarket filet-o-fish – a battered hammour fillet and tartar sauce on a pink beetroot bun.
We also ordered the Wagyu Portobello – which was a Wagyu beef patty with portobello and rosemary cream sauce – but somehow neglected to take a photo of it. I was clearly less impressed with the burgers than I was with the more creative sliders.
We also ordered a Code Red burger. This was a double patty burger smothered with bacon jam & cheese spread topped with iceberg lettuce on a milk bun. Somehow the big burger didn’t quite have the same appeal as the sliders. Tastewise, I wasn’t as happy. Sorry, big guy.
Because clearly that wasn’t enough food, here’s my mountain of Smoky Red Onion Rings.
And the Commando Fries, Slider Station’s version of the poutine. These fries are loaded with melted cheese, jalapenos, crispy fried onions and special sauce. This was one of the waiter’s recommendations, though had we known that the full-sized burgers come with fries, we wouldn’t have ordered this as well. But this is clearly a popular dish (or else the waiter is just really persuasive) as nearly every table we saw had ordered this.
For dessert, we ordered the PBJ Blondie – peanut butter ice cream sandwiched between two thin blondie slices, with a thin layer of jelly and a swathe of marshmallow creme toasted on the plate.
But what really blew me away was the Salted Caramel Softie with frosted flakes and salted caramel sauce. This simple dessert was just so good that I devoured it without sharing, even after eating all of the above.
Verdict: This place totally deserves all the Instagram love it’s getting. The menu is fun, the food is delicious – and it looks amazing.
Note to self: Stick to the sliders. Lunch opens at 1pm. They don’t take reservations. The same venue serves breakfast as Cocoa Room – another one to add to the list.
Al Wasl Road
Tel: 600 544 005
Chow for now!