For as long as we’ve been eating fast food, there has always been one unwritten rule governing the industry. Because of its speed and convenience, customers have come to expect that the product will, by and large, always come cheap. It’s a blueprint that has served the sector well for decades.
On the other hand, there are a few mavericks who seem determined to ignore accepted wisdom and go for broke. By taking traditionally cheap classics and turning them into extravagant show pieces, these chefs have been able to make some truly eye-popping menu items. Anyone who hasn’t won the lottery be warned. These eight options are not for the frugal.
1. Momofuku Fried Chicken
Chains like KFC and Pop-Eye have helped secure fried chicken’s legacy as a comfort food classic. When put in the hands of one of the world’s best chefs, however, it becomes art. David Chang’s interpretation takes Korean and Southern American traditions and combines them in a spicy, crunchy plateful. Unfortunately, the ultimate chicken experience will set you back $100.
2. Barclay Prime Cheesesteak
Made with onions, beef, bread and cheese, cheesesteaks are generally seen as an affordable way to grab a meal on the move. Not at Barclay Prime in Philadelphia. Here, the sandwiches are made with Japanese wagyu beef, foie gras, shaved truffles, truffle butter and cheese, bringing the total bill up to a hefty $100.
3. Velvet Goldmine Milkshake
Given how shocked he was by a $5 dollar shake in Pulp Fiction, we dread to think how John Travolta would have reacted to this offering from The Powder Room in LA. Combining premium spirits, Belgian chocolate, shavings of gold and a Swarovski Nirvana Montana blue crystal ring, this boozy beverage could be yours for $500.
4. The Westin Bagel
As one of the world’s best cheap eats, it almost seems blasphemous to turn a bagel into something ludicrously expensive. Yet, that is exactly what The Westin in New York City have done. Costing an astonishing $1,000, this bready bonanza features truffle cream cheese, edible gold leaf and goji berry jelly.
5. Golden Opulence Sundae
When the first two word’s in a dish’s name are “golden” and “opulence” you can expect something ridiculous. This sundae doesn’t disappoint. Covered in 24-carat gold leaf and served with sweet Golden Passion caviar and a gilded golden sugar flower, you’ll need to fork out $1,000 to taste this sweet treat.
6. Zillion Dollar Frittata
Of course, charging a zillion dollars for an over-sized omelette would be ridiculous. That’s why Norma’s in New York only charge $1,000 for this lobster and caviar loaded concoction. There can certainly be few better ways to kickstart a morning.
Burgers today are all over-stuffed with a wealth of different ingredients. None, however, can rival the Glamburger from Honky Tonk restaurant in London. Kobe wagyu beef, New Zealand venison, black truffle brie, lobster poached in Iranian saffron, maple syrup-coated bacon, Beluga caviar, hickory smoked duck egg and grated truffle are all covered in gold leaf in one of the most OTT dishes out there. Yours for $1,700.
8. Industry Kitchen Pizza
Modern pies come in all shapes, sizes and, apparently, prices. Right at the far end of the spectrum is the exorbitant Industry Kitchen Pizza. Coming in at a colossal $2,000, the creation contains white Stilton cheese imported from England, French foie gras, truffles, and Ossetra caviar from the Caspian Sea, all garnished with 24-karat Ecuadorian gold. This is rich food on another level.
For anyone willing to part with a bit of extra cash, there are plenty of novelty dinners available. However, if you feel the need to take out a mortgage to fund your next fast food binge, this list is the only place for you to turn.