Chunky Sam’s Diner has all of the right elements for a great group or solo meal: burgers (1/4-lb, 1/3-lb, 1/2-lb), steaks, and other delicious comfort food to share. It’s known as a “burger house” for a reason: it serves up excellent burgers made of freshly ground certified Angus beef, home-made buns and organic vegetables. This is where you go when you want to eat great food without having to dress up for an upscale space. Here you can expect premium, flavorsome cuts of meat that are cooked with care and attention.
Review of Chunky Sam’s Diner (Tandang Sora, Quezon City)
Chunky Sam’s Diner crafted its interiors to evoke a casual and cozy atmosphere. Wood on wood created a harmonious and aesthetically eye-pleasing blend, accentuating minimalism and connecting the indoors to the peace-giving outdoors. Wooden fixtures and the blackboard wall where menu highlights were written also successfully exude an industrial cabin theme. The place looked quite small but can fit around 40 people. Outdoor seating is available for those who’d like to enjoy the quiet view or just feel the cool breeze.
Chunky Sam’s Diner could use more help with customer service. We were the only customers at the time, and instead of being spoiled completely, food took too long to be served, and we were slightly annoyed that there wasn’t anyone seriously manning the restaurant. Distractions can’t be blamed and being busy is no excuse for the lack of service. Given this scenario, I’m not sure how they work under pressure. Sigh.
Attentiveness was also an issue. The waiter needed to be called out from the open kitchen or somewhere behind the counter not visible to the dining area. We had to ask for several followups especially for the first item we ordered (hot flaps supreme) which arrived at the very end of our meal. The result? As soon as one dish was placed on the table, we wolfed down the food entirely and finished everything under 2 minutes, not minding how much we chewed, and ate like five glutton monsters.
We started out not with any appetizer but with the lip-smacking good Baby Back Ribs (PhP 495). It’s barbecue-style spareribs served with rice. The fall-off-the-bone sticky ribs were moist, juicy, tender, and well-seasoned. The flavor was spot on and got everyone’s attention.
Nothing beats a filling plate of good pasta! Caela’s Truffle Pasta (PhP 285) was tossed in an indulgent truffle mushroom sauce. The fragrance was a little musty, earthy with a slight pleasant perfume aroma. Dig in!
Cooked medium, the Rib Eye Steak (PhP 1012) wasn’t truly one I can call a killer steak, but the marbling and sear were good and could satisfy your palate if you intend to indulge in succulent meat. Accompanied by Chunky Sam’s Signature Steak Sauce and Herbed Potatoes, the steak was nicely charred on the outside and meaty on the inside. To amp up the flavor, don’t skip the steak sauce.
The Umami Burger (PhP 370, 1/3 lb.) trades messiness for precision. Made up of crispy double smoked bacon and sunny side up egg and rounded out by wasabi slaw, teriyaki sauce, and bonito flakes, it’s a haute burger for burger purists. The umami kick wasn’t quite evident but overall, this burger was yummy and didn’t skimp on meatiness.
The Bacon and Shrooms Burger (PhP 490, half lb.) was another creative patty-on-bun creation. It’s an upgrade from the classic bacon burger, consisting of double smoked bacon, mushroom, and sharp cheddar cheese. Juice from the meat oozed out over the sides, so you’ve got to devour it before it gets soggy.
We ended our meal with Hot Flaps Supreme (PhP 210), which arrived super late on the table. Deep-fried and tossed in sauce and served with blue cheese dip, these buffalo wings gave a crisp bite. It’s a fiery dish that can wake up your taste buds. Score!
Price for Value:
Chunky Sam’s Diner in Chimes Square isn’t exactly a budget restaurant but entrees are smartly priced (pretty standard). There’s something rave-worthy in their menu for every wallet. Burgers here are a serious business, and their other comfort food offerings are palatable, all warranting a return visit. But because of the long wait time, I recommend getting a weekday power lunch or weekend brunch here only if you have the patience.
Whatever the scenario, even in restaurants that charge very affordable food prices, longer customer wait times translate into diminished customer experiences. It doesn’t only affect customer frustration and abandonment but also how much customers are willing to spend.