Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dirty Burger

DirtyBurger_zps632bcd8b photo DirtyBurger_zps632bcd8b.jpg 
1.Menu 2. Napkins 3. Beer fridge 4. Branding
5. Burger, crinkle cut fries and onion rings 6. - 8. Cheese burger

I popped up to Kentish Town on Friday to watch some bands at the HMV Forum and after a couple of ciders it would have been rude not to pop into Dirty Burger on the way home for a pre-emptive hangover cure. Found in a glorified tin shed around the back of Pizza East this burger joint is a nice little place and not as grubby as the name would suggest. We popped in just before 1am closing and there were only a few other people there which meant we got a seat around the large table. After acquiring some cider from the help yourself fridge (you do have to pay for them by the way) we patiently waited for our burgers, chips and onions rings.

The burgers are that perfect takeaway size, small enough to be eaten easily without too much mess and big enough to satisfy you cider induced hunger. They were very tasty and reminded me of a bigger and better quality double cheese burger from McDonald's which is a compliment as those bad boys are damn tasty! The chips and onion rings were delicious, you can't beat crunchy crinkle fries and deep fries chunks of onion can you?

All in all a nice little burger joint. They only do a cheese burger and at £5.50 it's pretty good value for money, the beef was good quality, it held together well and most importantly tasted good. I wouldn't say it's worth the trek to Kentish Town if you live on the other side of London but if you're in the area then definitely check it out. If you're looking for a proper restaurant I'd recommend Chicken Shop next door which I will be reviewing next.

Monday, 21 January 2013


MeatMission_zpsd0888279 photo MeatMission_zpsd0888279.jpg1. MEATmission 2. Menu 3. Food menu
4. Sweet Cheeks cider 5. Ceiling 6. Bar
7. Food (Dead Hippie x2, Dirty Chicken burger, Green Chilli burger, chilli cheese fries, fries, deep fried gherkins) 8. Monkey Fingers 9. No Brainer cider

I finally made it to Yianni Papoutsis' new baby for lunch yesterday, MEATmission. From the success of MEATwagon, MEATeasy, MEATliquor and MEATmarket this Hoxton Market burger joint opened just before Christmas and I can confirm that once again they've hit the nail on the head. The interior is dark and edgy with evil eye symbols on the ceiling and caged up bar. The seating area is a mixture of high booths and long benches arranged in what I image a hipster themed Oktoberfest hall would look like. Despite my use of the word 'edgy' I actually prefer this place over MEATliquor as the vibe is a little more casual and a little less Dalston Superstore despite being a stones throw away from the area. Anyway, onto the food. I shared a Dirty Chicken burger and Dead Hippie with my friend Katie, we had heard great things about the chicken burger but fancied some beef hence the reason for half and half. What I can say is that the Dirty Chicken burger did not live up to the hype. I find chicken burgers a bit bland, they just don't have all the interesting flavours and mixtures a beef burger can have and in comparison to the much loved Dead Hippie it isn't something I would order again. Don't get me wrong it did taste good but I just preferred the Dead Hippie x213123. However, the Monkey Fingers i.e. deep fried BBQ chicken strips was a whole other story. Holy moly these tasted amazing, so tangy and coupled with the blue cheese sauce they were by far my favourite component of the entire meal! If I have to recommend one thing on the menu it would be the Monkey Fingers, they were bloody delicious.

I like MEATmission a lot but I'm not sure I would readily make the journey from SW LDN to Shoreditch to just to eat here. Sometimes I feel a get a bit bored of the whole MEATliquor empire. I'll go a couple of times and absolutely love it, then decide I'm fed up of the place and then rediscover my love 6 months later. So for now I'm going to stay clear for a little while but I know in 6 months time I will be craving a Dead Hippie and Monkey Fingers like nobodies business.

PS you can book a table here which is amazing - no queueing for hours thanks very much!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Lucky Chip @ The Sebright Arms

 Menu, Royale wit cheese, cheesy chips
Tom Selleck, cheesy chips with  aoli

Without a doubt Lucky Chip was one of my favourite burger joints of 2012, so much that I didn't mind the trek to Hackney (from SW15) to sample their fine burgers. I've been a couple of times and I'm literally itching to go back. Lucky Chip has residency in the Sebright Arms and serves burgers daily. The first time I went was during the diamond jubilee weekend in the summer which was a big mistake as everywhere was crazy busy but we got a table without too much of a wait so all was fine. I had the Tom Selleck which is a mighty fine combination of beef, pineapple, cheddar cheese, beetroot flavoured onion rings, smoked bacon and BBQ sauce. I don't normally go for burgers this complicated but it sounded delicious and most definitely tasted delicious as well. This was a big burger, huge in fact and when it arrived on the tiny little plate with plastic cutlery I was perplexed to how I was meant to eat it but after a bit of squishing and dismantling I managed it.

My second visit was on a fine Sunday afternoon after checking out the lovely Columbia Road Flower Market and Goldsmiths Row Book Market and we didn't even need to qeueue for a table as there were plenty free. I had the Royale wit cheese which is a much more simple affair with 100% dry aged beef patty, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickles and ketchup. As cheese burgers go this one was bloody excellent and I can't recommend it enough, seriously it tastes so good.

As for the sides, both times I had the cheesy chips with aoil which I personally think is the best you'll find. The chips are chippie chips i.e. a little bit squidgy and not that crunchy but I love them plus the aoli is the best garlic mayonnaise I have ever tasted and I'm not even a fan of garlic mayo normally.

Anyway, I bloody love Lucky Chip and would go back time and time again. It's definitely a 5/5 from me so if you're thinking of making the journey to Hackney I suggest you go now.

Lucky Chip can also be found at Netil Market on a Saturday afternoon (on my must visit list) and have opened their own slider bar at The Player in Soho (review to come soon).

Friday, 4 January 2013


I have a confession. Tonight, for the first time in my life, I had a McDonald's burger AND I really enjoyed it. I'm a bit of a burger snob and don't really do the whole fast food thing! McDonald's has never appealed to me, the food is unhealthy and looks fake. However, my friends are always raving about the burgers (they've had the good ones so they aren't burger plebs by any means) so after a few too many pints of cider and a little bit of persuasion I caved tonight and finally tried a double cheese burger. It was bloody delicious. I actually feel bad it was so delicious because a. I have always doubted the quality of McDonald's (it doesn't even look like proper food) and assumed people only went there because it was cheap and b. I don't want midnight McDonald's trips to become a habit. However I take everything back that I've ever said about the fast food chain because at the end of the day (or should I say night) it did deliver and for the grand price of £1.49 I challenge you to find a better tasting burger. Now I can finally understand what my friends mean when they say Tommi's cheese burger tasted liked it was from McDonald's but for 5x the price. Next stop, Big Mac...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Byron 2012 Round Up

 A year at Byron

Byron is hands down my favourite big time burger chain. It blows the likes of GBK and Handmade Burger Co. completely out of the water and with it's ever growing empire in London (plus Kent and Oxford locations too) it's firmly staying on the burger map. My go-to burger is the cheese burger with Monterey Jack (medium rare thanks) and courgette fries (damn those crispy vegetables taste so good) but what I love most of all is the constant stream of monthly specials. This year there has been 4 specials and most of them have been absolutely bloody delicious!

In May the Chilli Queen was released to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee. Created with the help of burger legend Fred Smith this green chilli cheeseburger with spiky chipotle mayo was delicious! Hot, hell yes (I don't normally go for chilli cheese burgers) but still divine and because of this the Chilli Queen (now know as The Chilli) will become a permanent feature on the Byron menu from tomorrow!

In August we were introduced to the Californian to celebrate the summer. Overloaded with guacamole, pickled red onion, dry cure bacon and shredded iceberg lettuce I really enjoyed this burger, even with the lack of cheese! This was definitely a top special of mine and would love to see it become a permanent fixture on the menu.

November bought with it the MO Burger, something Byron have been doing for a few years but this was the first time I'd tried it (I didn't really do burgers pre 2012). This was my least favourite special of the year with cheddar cheese, pickled red onion, salted cucumber slices, shredded iceberg lettuce and mustard dill dressing. I'm not a fan of pickles or cucumber so I ended up removing a few constituents of this one but that being said I still enjoyed it.

And last but most certainly not least was the Triple Cheesemas bought to you this December and without a doubt my favourite special of the year! This beauty was a double cheese burger with American cheese, Emmenthal, Monterey Jack, pickled red onion, shredded iceberg lettuce, pickles & spicy Byron sauce. All I can really say about it is OMG because it was that freakin' good, go good I went back and had another one 2 weeks later!

So there you go, Byron did a bloody good year of burgers and I can't wait to see what specials they have lined up for 2013. And if you were wondering what that last picture is in the bottom right hand corner, well it's a little burger purse my friend bought me for Christmas because you know, I love burgers!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Tommi's: London vs Reykjavik

Tommis3_zps1c1d5e4aTommi's in London - cheese burger

Tommis_zps80509781Tommi's in Reykjavik

Tommi's in Reykjavik - steak burger and chocolate fudge cake

When Tommi's Burger Joint opened in London several months ago I was excited to try it out, I knew nothing about Iceland at the time but hearing this burger joint came all the way from Rekjavik was an exciting concept. The Marylebone burger joint is in the heart of what I like to call Burger Land with Meat Liquor and Patty and Bun only a few minutes walk away so the competition is fierce.

First of all, I absolutely love the décor of the place, fairy lights everywhere so the place has a lovely warm and friendly vibe about it. It's small but both times I've been it hasn't been particularly busy so getting a table has been easy. The menu is small which is something I prefer, too much choice can be overwhelming and with a small menu it normally means the chefs can really concentrate on the taste of the different burgers. On both my visits I went for the deal of the century which is a cheeseburger, fries and fizzy drink (diet coke thanks). At £9.40 I wouldn't exactly call this the deal of the century, however you can't deny that a burger, chips and drink combo for under a tenner is some sort of a good deal! Now this isn't the best burger I've ever had but I did enjoy it nevertheless, the flavours are simple and understated and I imagine it's on a par with McDonald's but sometimes a simple and quick burger is all you're after and if that's the case then this is the place for you. It's not my favourite option in Burger Land but it's definitely a place I would recommend a burger lover to check out especially as the staff are lovely, it's less than 5 minutes from Oxford Street and the restaurant is a nice place to rest your feet in.

Now talking about the lovely staff on my second visit I knew I had a trip to Reykjavik planned for the following week so after a little chat with the waitresses I left with a list of bar recommendations and told them I would definitely be popping into the original Tommi's in the Reykjavik harbour which nicely brings me on to part 2 of this review. FYI all the bar recommendations I received (B5, Celtic Cross, Bar 11 and Dillon) were excellent!

I spent a long weekend in Reykjavik with a group of friends and our first port of call on the Thursday evening was to check out the original Burger Joint. The London waitresses had told me there were a few different locations but we wanted to check out the original down by the docks. As for décor it is very similar to the London branch but with even more fairly lights and hilarious burger themed accessories making it perfectly festive for our visit in December. I decided to try the much raved about steak burger with chips and fizzy drink followed by a shared slice of chocolate fudge and ice cream. First of all let me just say that Iceland is not cheap, everything is more expensive so there is no point even trying to compare the price to London. I wasn't thrilled by this burger, the steak had an unusual taste and I found myself wishing I'd just gone with the cheeseburger. However, despite the differences in the patty the style of this burger (and the chips) was just like the London branch so in my opinion they've done a great job at replicating the original branch over here. As for the chocolate cake, well I love chocolate cake and this one was huge and delicious, nuff said!

I was in Reykjavik for a long weekend so we hadn't planned on having another burger but after a choice of venue mishap the following night we ended up in the bar B5 which has a little Burger Joint kitchen on the side. None of us wanted another burger but we had 30 minutes before we had to be back at the hotel for our Northern Lights excursion so we didn't have time to go anywhere else. This time I went for the cheese burger deal of the century which by Iceland's standards probably is a pretty good deal and it tasted just like the one I had in London. I wouldn't recommend going to B5 for a burger as it's nowhere near as nice as the original Burger Joint décor wise but I was sort of glad I got to try it out.

The style of Tommi's has definitely carried well across the 3 different branches I've been able to try (I'm not sure if there are any more in Reykjavik but let me know if there is) and the burgers are worth checking out but don't expect any table service or even menus as this a quick style eats place.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Rivington Grill Shoreditch

The Rivington Grill in Shoreditch had been on my must visit list for ages but I'm not often in east London so when an opportunity arose for a meal after checking out the recent Gorilla Perfume Voice of Reason exhibition at the Red Gallery I knew it was finally time to try this much raved about burger.

The Rivington Grill is a contemporary restaurant where the walls are adorned with art work from local artists including the Tracey Emin piece you see above. There are two menus, the a la carte menu and the all day bar menu and the burger is on the all day bar menu. There are 2 choices of burger and they all come with chips; cheese and/or bacon burger and the luxury burger with all the trimmings. I went for the cheese burger which is my go to option when sampling a new burger. The burger arrives on a plank in a self assembly style, the tomato, lettuce and onion are separate along with a pot of tangy burger sauce so it's up to you how you dress your meal. I hate tomatoes in burgers and always forget to order without them so this was perfect as I could choose to add the lettuce and onion with as much of the sauce as I liked. The burger was delicious, cooked to order (medium rare for me always) and well constructed so it didn't fall apart when eating with your hands. The self assembly style may sound fiddly but as this isn't a 'messy burger' I enjoyed the experience of creating my own perfect meal. The sauce was absolutely delicious so make sure you save some for your chips as it definitely beats tomato ketchup hands down! The beef was excellent quality which was evident in the taste and even though the poppy seed bun isn't my preferred style of burger bun everything tasted great together. The chips were perfect, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside and for me the perfect 'chip' size.

At £11 this isn't the cheapest burger out there but the quality is excellent and chips are included so it's a price I am definitely happy to pay. Would I recommend this to my friend? Definitely! Would I go back? Yes! All in all a great burger experience and a solid 4/5 from me.