Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Ok, so what is so special about yet another burger joint in London? Since it opened in late 2012, I have heard only good things about this place. I got quite intrigued when I saw the menu, which offers lamb and chicken burgers as well as the traditional beef patties (and the lamb burger is called Lambshank Redemption. Brilliant!) I'm all for the variety of meat on offer. And apparently they do very good chicken wings. That's all I needed to hear. So along we went.
The first visit was during the lunchtime on a Saturday. We got very lucky as there was no queue outside. But we still had to wait for another 10 minutes inside at the bar (the queue formed very soon after we went in, and by the time we left, it was about 15 people strong) The second time was on a Friday night, at around 9.30 pm. We had to wait outside for about 20 minutes. This place is popular (but admittedly, not as long a queue as at MeatLiquor, where we waited 1 hour and 15 mins to be seated).
The place is a small and casual operation, with an air of temporary about it. All the signs are made from cardboard paper and written/drawn on by a marker pen. The waiting staff are friendly, but it's clear that the place probably needs at least one more staff in order to be more efficient in managing the queue and servicing the restaurant. They set your table by laying down a piece of brown paper per person. Cutleries and napkins are already in a can on the table, together with a bottle of ketchup. The menu is printed on a small piece of paper, consisting of 6 types of burgers - 3 beef, 1 chicken, 1 lamb, and 1 veggie. Sides are chicken wings (smoked confit wings with BBQ sauce and spring onions), salad, coleslaw, and chips with rosemary salt. Desserts are a variety of choc ice. Specials on the first visit was 'Piggie Smalls' - slow cooked pork shoulder burger. The second time there was no specials at all. Drinks offered here are simple canned beer and soft drinks. Everything is done quite simply and casually (including sitting casually elbow to elbow with the people on the next table)
Then the food came - relatively quickly on both visits (it's quite clear they want to pack you in and get you out asap. Or at the very least you'd feel sorry for the poor people waiting outside in the cold, staring at your burger, so you eat quickly and leave).
The food was served on a tray, minimising the amount of washing up. All the beef burgers are cooked medium rare.
Here's my husband's Ari Gold burger - beef patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions, ketchup, smoky P&B mayo, and bacon, on a Brioche bun.
My specials of the day - pork shoulder burger, braised short rib, crispy black pudding, celeriac slaw, aioli, and miso, on a Brioche bun.
And here's Lambshank Redemption which I ordered on our second visit.
Our general verdict is that there are good things and bad things. My husband really enjoyed his Ari Gold burger, and my 'Piggy Smalls' pork burger was one of the tastiest burgers I've ever had. Really right there at the top. The pork was nice and moist, and full of flavour. The crispy black pudding added the texture and flavour. But I did think that it would have been nice if they took one ingredient out so the whole thing would become less confusing. For instance, I don't think you need slaw, aioli and miso in the same burger. And those were piled on top of pretty strong tasting ingredients, like black pudding or barbecue-y braised short rib. The lamb burger was less confusing, but it was not that special, so I think next time I'll try the chicken burger.
Another little minus point is that the whole eating experience was quite messy, because all the burgers were oozing meat juice, mixed with the various sauces in there (in the style of 'dirty burgers'. But I reckon the burgers here are even 'dirtier' than the burgers served at Dirty Burger in Kentish Town). The result was that the bottom bun was very soggy, and so was the paper wrap. If you came prepared this wouldn't be too much of a problem. You just have to dive in (and wipe your face and hands later).
To add to all the messiness of the burgers, the chicken wings were also moist and sticky. But they were so finger-licking tasty. You really can't be very lady-like at this place. Not recommended for a first date.
The fries were nice and crispy. The cole slaw was the least memorable thing we've ordered.
To sum up:
1. Wear warm clothes, as you'll most likely be waiting outside for at least 15 minutes, if not half an hour.
2. Avoid wearing light colour or expensive clothing, unless you are not put off by expensive dry-cleaning bills.
3. Come with an upbeat and casual attitude.
4. Perhaps bring your own wet-wipes.
1. Come on a date (do so at your own risk of being seen with beef juice on your cheeks).
2. Expect a 'dining' experience. You don't 'dine' here, you eat a burger here, by hands. Then you wipe your face and leave.