Were you to ask the creators behind The Junkyard, the newest restaurant concept to hit The Village Complex, they would tell you that their goal is all about “keeping it simple.” It is literally written on the wall in the dining room, amongst other fun and thought-provoking illustrations and ironic sayings. However, do not let such humble statements of intent and origin mislead you into thinking there is anything lacking in the effort that is going into your dining experience. By focusing on excellent execution of a pared down menu, and using superior ingredients of predominantly in-house preparation, the Junkyard successfully accomplishes their goal of tasty “Street Classics.”
The general esthetic of the dining room and corresponding outside patio can best be described as urban-grit meets shabby-chic with a home-ish undertone: mason jar drinks atop stainless steel and home-made distressed wood tables prove both comforting and casual. A blackboard behind the bar illustrates perfectly both the newness of the brand and adaptability of the concept. Only two months old, they prove this out both in the fact that they are looking to introduce seasonal items and also in that they pride themselves on being open to customer’s personal requests. Far from being just lip service, their love for the customer is evident in such simple courtesies as a phone charging station, wherein customers can charge (and lock up for protection, incidentally) their phones while they dine. While this may seem like a small thing, I submit that the proactive planning of such courtesies speak volumes about the brand.
In serving a menu that consists of all the classic foods that you likely already know and love, it can be tough for one burger joint to differentiate itself from the next. However, here on the menu, are 5 such options that, even if you have tried before, should again be revisited, if only for proof of the difference that in-house preparation makes. Thus, while a Bacon or Mushroom and Swiss burger might seem common enough at first glance, they do prove their difference via hidden attributes that reveal themselves at first bite: all beginning with the freshness of a home made bun. Additional deviations from the norm are found through homemade and innovative sauces, a dual-patty answer to the typical behemoth (whereby they maintain weight while still being remarkably easy to eat), and liberally melted cheese throughout. Their namesake Junkie burger with top-secret sauce was both good and inventive, despite my own partiality to the Bacon Burger. The “Chubby Cheese” is also a strong standout here. If any of these already sound familiar to you, it may be that you have already seen a couple of these burgers cross the Talabat.com 100 recently—a sure sign that their simplified and fresh take on the classics is already resonating with Kuwaitis and ex-pats alike.
If you are less inclined towards burgers, there are also a combination of chicken options, most notable for the fact that all breading is done on premises, a welcomed departure from the frozen and pre-breaded varietal used by so many other places. First, there is a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, which they pride themselves on. Additionally, Buffalo wings are available that are both succulent and moist (note: I have it on good authority that you can get these specially made extra, extra hot, upon request). However, the fresh breading option perhaps shines its best in the chicken fingers that likely stand apart from any others you have had lately; the breading is light and flavorful.
When it comes to side orders, we again see the benefits of fresh preparation. The french fries comes in several different styles, my favorite of which is the steak-cut fries. One point of note here, should you find yourself ordering your meal off Talabat.com, as so many of us often do, you will have to request the steak-cut fries in the items comments section, or the ones that will show up will be their more ubiquitous thin-cut brethren. One other must-try here are the onion rings, which manage to be down right delicate, with their understated and minimalistic breading that allows the onion flavor to pronounce itself more than expected.
Should you find yourself still hungry enough to tackle dessert, there is more here to be tasted. Continuing with their urban theme, the aptly named “Street Munchies” are a welcomed delightful cake-like ball of delight, vaguely reminiscent of a coffee cake (while still being different than, I might add) that is of course served with delicious, if obligatory, ice cream. The shakes as well, homemade as they are upon order and served in a metal tin for those shake purists out there; none of that premixed or pre-candied ice cream you see so often, just vanilla ice cream and your choice of delicious accoutrement. The Oreo cookie shake, although a personal favorite, must be set aside, at least once to try the inventive and delicious Ferrero Rocher shake—truly.
For those of you who enjoy a good, if random, challenge, there is one other fun-fact about this place that is not to be overlooked. Mounted on one wall in the dining room is an otherwise easy-to-miss game, placed solely for your amusement. Many of you may know this game as shock-wave, Zap’d, or some other like variant that is often seen at carnivals and fairs state-side. Should you be able to win the game successfully, you will win a free meal for your entire table-seriously! More to the point, however, is that this seemingly random and arbitrary game is one more charming way in which this understated establishment proves itself as a superior burger joint; they care about your experience and are working to make it fun, comfortable, and delicious.