Fat Cactus – Gardens

It was a freakishly hot evening when we visited this restaurant, with the temperature being close to 30 degrees when we arrived. The restaurant is situated in Park Rd (soon to be renamed Thereisnowheretopark Rd) which was buzzing with diners from each of the streets’ restaurants enjoying the start of the holiday season.

Once seated at our table inside the restaurant we were immediately greeted by the fairly uncomfortable inside heat. To our delight, help was at hand in the form of a wall fan which was handily placed to blow directly over our table. What luck! Well….that’s as far as our luck went as we were soon told that the bloody thing was broken!!!

Oh well, how best to cool down but by enjoying some craft beer. The choice of craft beers wasn’t great, with their only offering being Fokof Lager – or, as a specialty drink, a Fokberg which is a Fokof Lager served with a mound of frozen Margarita on top. So, Fokof Lager it was all round.

Our awesome waitress, Jean, took us through the choices of starters and we eventually settled on a portion of Amazeballs (crumbed chorizo, jalapeno and feta risotto balls) as well as a portion of Chilli Poppers. The great thing about ordering these from Fat Cactus, is that the portion of 3 Poppers is able to be up-sized to 4 for a pro-rata charge. The first bite into the Chilli Poppers had my tongue instantly doing flick flacks which would have made Nadia Comaneci envious. It was, without a doubt, the HOTTEST Chilli Popper I have ever had. Suffice to say, another Fokof was hastily ordered and just as hastily made to disappear down the gullet in my attempt to prevent my tongue from melting. The Amazeballs were just that, although I honestly struggled to taste much of it after my tongue was on fire…onto the mains!

Now, although Fat Cactus is primarily a Mexican restaurant, they have a great choice of burger offerings. Two of us went for their Park Road burger, which comes stacked with streaky bacon, guacamole and feta. The other two went for The American (stacked with grilled cheese and slim jims – basically thin, fried onions) and the Rock Hudson (topped with streaky bacon, grilled blue cheese and salsa). The burgers came served on a toasted sesame bun along with lettuce, relish, coleslaw and fries.

I use the word “fries” as that is how it is described on their menu. That term, in my mind, immediately conjures up thoughts of a fast food offering (as mentioned in a prior review) which are of the slim non-authentic variety. We were pleased to see that they were indeed “chips” which were nice and crispy. We were all in agreement that the burgers were extremely tasty. The use of streaky bacon is a great idea as it packs a lot of flavour as well as adding great texture to the burger due to its crispiness. The mound of slim jims on my fellow brus’ burger was very generous and added to his enjoyment of the meal.

The one (slight) downside, brought up by another bru, was that the bottom of his bun became a bit soggy which necessitated him having to eat it upside down. This, to me, highlighted the fact that the patties were extremely juicy and flavourful.

The vibe was great throughout as the restaurant was full with diners. It can be very easy for service levels to drop on an extremely busy, balmy evening such as when we visited. Our waitress Jean, however, was on her game the entire night and was a true testament to what a good waitron should be – she was a rockstar!

All-in-all, probably as good a burger meal as one could hope for – not bad for a Mexican restaurant!

Ratings

Beginningsvery good variety with options to cater for most cravings 5

BurgersTASTY! Very well portioned. Loses getting a top mark due to the fact that they might have toasted the bottom of the bun more to stop it from going slightly soggy 4.5

Beersdefinitely not the best choice if you are a craft beer aficionado, however their one offering is not too bad  2

Bringersbest service we have experienced, bar none. Jean was personable, casual – but highly efficient! 5

Backgroundwhat can I say, the place was pumping! 5

Ratings Key

  • 1 Bad
  • 2 Better than bad
  • 3 Bleh (neither here nor there)
  • 4 Bloody good
  • 5 Brilliant

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