Tuesday 7 June 2011

8/10 - Natural Kitchen, 15-17 New Square Street, Fetter Lane, London

Location: Situated just off New Fetter Lane, on New Square Street, this is the second outlet for the Natural Kitchen in London, the first being in Marylebone. This was my first visit to Natural Kitchen, a Tuesday lunchtime, and all the rhetoric around its offering points to a truly organic, or locally sourced, seasonal restaurant. The interior is done up as you'd expect, in earthy tones, with scrubbed wooden furniture, and a farmers market feel (with the food-to-go counter masked by a hazel-like layered fence). The place felt immediately warm and inviting, and as I waved at my dining colleague, Anthony, across the room, our waitress waved back grinning. Yes, this was a good start. The place was soon packed out, generating a great buzz.

£13.50 for aged shorthorn burger, including chips.

Ok. The presentation on the plate was fine, the plain white bap nestled comfortably amongst the skin on fries which, with a generous dollop of chunky, red cabbage coleslaw amply filled the plate. I'm not sure whether it was the light, or the earthy tones that surrounded us, but the food somehow looked washed out, like all the colour had been drained from it - possibly too many yellowy colours on the plate. A minor point, but I would have liked some contrast (maybe it reminded me of my student days when my diet mainly consisted of fish fingers and potato waffles - times were hard.)

A colourfully-challenged plate of food

Good. At first glance, I wasn't convinced the toppings would work well together, they were listed as spicy salsa, melted parmasan, onion rings, and rocket, and as you can see the salsa, onion ring (just one!) and parmasan topped the patty, while the rocket (and mayonnaise) had been applied below the meat. Actually they worked rather well. The salsa was tangy, almost like a calzone filling, the onion ring battered, which was a nice touch, and the parmasan was light touch and grilled, coating the patty with a film of rich flavour. Underneath, the rocket added a nice peppery taste, though the mayo didn't add much to the mix, and if i'm honest there was a little too much of it.

Salsa, melted parmasan, and an onion ring were the toppings
Glorious. The patty was made from aged shorthorn beef, ground into a thick mince and cooked rare TO ORDER (halleiluja!), and it was phenomenally good. There was a clearly a high fat content in the composition, as the taste was rich, beefy and smooth. I didn't manage to ask how long it was aged for, or what it was composed of, as I was too busy making appreciative 'nommng' noises at the quality of the meat. A VERY good patty, and particularly so because it was cooked rare.

A rare, glorioius, aged shorthorn beef patty.

Ok. A simple white bap, lightly toasted, and brushed with flour encased the shorthorn meaty goodness within, and in fairness it was not a bad effort to start with. Sadly, however, later in the meal and faced with a moist combination of salsa, mayo, and meat juice, it proved too much, and the last couple of mouthfuls were dispatched sans pain after it completely fell apart. Still, the bun was fresh and did last most of the sitting, so not a bad effort at all.

Plate accessories:
Good. Whilst looking a little colourless on the plate, the skin-on chips tasted earthy (I seem to have used that word a lot in this post), crunchy and delicious, and although the red cabbage coleslaw had a little too much mayo, it added a great acidity to contrast the fatty burger and chips, which enhanced the whole experience.

Overall rating: 8/10

This ranks quite highly as, in spite of a number of 'could do betters' (see bun and appearance), the beef is of a sublime quality, wonderfully ground, and lovingly cooked to order. I would actually go out of my way to eat at the Natural Kitchen, and so should you!

The Natural Kitchen - reserved yet delicious!
Natural kitchen New street square on Urbanspoon


  1. I hate to say it but when it comes to burgers-am a purist-no salsa-avocado-banana (yes its happened) business. Interesting you gave it high marks. Perhaps I am wrong...

  2. Banana? Seriously?!

    It's a fair comment, but actually the toppings worked with the meat, rather than working against it, and my mark was heavily helped by the flavour and quality of the patty!

    Of course individual taste and preferences will come into it, but I'd recommend trying this set of toppings, as they work quite well (maybe ask for less mayo though!)


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