Friday 28 October 2011

How I Met Your Mother - The Best Burger in New York

As an aside (and hence filed under something a bit different) I'm a big fan of How I Met Your Mother, the US TV sitcom that is beginning to replace the ubiquitous replays of Friends. 

One of my favourite episodes is inevitably burger related, and revolves around Marshall, who once had the best burger in New York but was never able to find it again.

The episode in a nutshell:

The group eating in a bar agree to try the burger. It arrives and they all say how good the burger is, except for Marshall, who says it's just 'OK', seeing as he had the best burger in New York eight years ago when he accidentally finds a burger joint and the best burger in New York.
When he rushes back to tell Ted about it he forgets where it is. And so Marshall has tried every burger joint he can in an attempt to find the place. This prompts the group to troop around New York in search of this elusive burger joint.

Watch How I Met Your Mother: The Best Burger in New York now!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Bread Street Kitchen's short rib burger

Born just 22 days before my visit (ok so it took over a year to open) Bread Street Kitchen is the latest Gordon Ramsey outpost, situated in One New Change.

Spread out over two floors (the lower floor is small and has a cafe feel, and other one school canteen cum french bistro style cavern), every element of design at BSK has been nailed in painstaking detail. The array of pink-tinted victorian glass lampshade chandaliers. Angle poise lamps perched menacingly around the edges, hybrid bric-a-brac pieces welded together to make other lamps (we were next to a lathed engine part that had been welded to some plumbing, sprouting lightbulbs out of their taps - I kid you not).

I'd tweeted Executive Chef Simon Gregory (@chefgregory01) earlier in the week to say we'd be coming in, and once we arrived he came over to talk a little bit about the concept and the food. He'd been working 22 days straight to bed everything down, and with 170 booked in for a Tuesday lunchtime, he was comfortable BSK was on the right track. The team cooking are a mix of people from a number of GR's other restaurants, as well as The Ivy and Hawksmoor, so I was pretty excited about the food we'd be getting.
Atlantic crab cocktail with celeriac and pink peppercorns
Stone bass ceviche with grated lemon zest, wasabi and avocado sauce
Simon sent us several starters out to whet our palettes, which were pretty special. A nutty, creamy Atlantic crab cocktail with celariac, and a subtle stone bass finished with a sprinkles of ground seaweed and zested wasabi. Both were absolutely delicious. The was, however, only one thing on my dining companion 'the dame' and my minds - the Bread Street Kitchen Short Rib Burger - so how did it fare?

Short rib burger - £11.50.
Hand-cut chips - £3.50.
Cabbage and red onion coleslaw - £3.50.

Impressive. This burger poses imperiously on the plate. It dominates the space around it. It's big, it's heavy, it cheekily shows a bit of what might lie underneath. If it were a lady, it would be less geisha, and more glamour.

A perfectly polished metal beaker of dark golden hand-cut chips and ramekin side of creamy coleslaw arrive separately.
Perfectly harmonious. Every element in this burger has its exact place. The slightly spicy tomato ketchup is a reduction of tomato, star anise and peppers, pureed and applied liberally on top of the cheese, and it sets off the rich, fatty flavours of the rest of the burger magnificently. The cheese was changed to Ogleshield (from the usual Bermondsey Frier) and the thick, salty, slightly melted wedge added dimension (along with the sliced pickles) to a burger that gave up little resistance to a determined jaw. Underneath the burger lay a chopped iceburg 'slaw, mixed with garlic and mustard mayonnaise.

Bloody great. The patty is made up of of a combination of short rib, chuck and beef fat in a 50%, 30%, 20% ratio. This translates into a pretty juicy burger. The meat is coarsely minced, and then hand-formed into the 8oz-ish patties that go between the buns. With the high short rib content, the taste is creamy and almost veal-like, with huge amounts of satisfying juice and fat, yet in spite of the light beef flavours, they are complemented by the acidity in the cheese, spicy ketchup and mustard mayonnaise iceburg 'slaw.

As this burger oozes and gushes juice down my chin and hands, I'm thinking, this burger is almost TOO wet and juicy...but it's a fleeting thought.
The Bread Street Kitchen cut-through
The almost pornographic centrefold of the BSK short rib burger.
Excellent. This is the Miller's brioche bun, and I have come to the conclusion that it is close to indestructible. Given the massive amounts of juice oozing from the patty soaking the plate, my fingers, and my chin, you would be forgiven for thinking this bun would collapse under the weight of the tidal wave of liquid gushing forth. Tested at depths of 300m under the sea (true story*) this bun has been built to withstand the most serious of tests.

As an aside, it turns out Gordon Ramsey restaurants have been using this same Miller's brioche bun since 2003 when they first put their veal and fois gras burger on the menu at another well known outpost. 
*not a true story

Very good. Ordered separately off the sides menu are hand-cut chips, and these are some of the tastiest chips I've had in a while. Cooked almost like roast potatoes, the outsides of the chips are deep golden and have a firm, slightly chewy crunch to them. Once your through the skin, the centre is soft and fluffy. The portion looks slightly mean, but between two of us, we only just finished them (and I've eaten three burgers in one sitting before...). The coleslaw is creamy and crunchy.

Bread Street Kitchen hand-cut chips
Overall rating: 9.5/10
This burger execution has all the hallmarks of a great understanding about how the various element of a burger work together in perfect harmony. Creamy, fatty meat patties offset by spicy tomato ketchup. Ogleshield cheese adding structure to the soft, loose ground beef, Mustard and garlic mayonnaise moreishly blending with the juice from the patties. At £11.50, this is a great burger at a great price.

Get your arse to Bread Street Kitchen, as this burger goes straight into my 'Top 5 Best Burgers in London' list.

After the burgers were well and truly dispatched, this was the point any normal person would have stopped, but not 'the dame' and I. Simon wanted us to try a couple of the signature desserts that were screaming out at us from the pudding menu so, in the words of Yoda, "ate some more, we did." And it was awesome.
Vanilla and gingerbread cheesecake with berries and vanilla ice cream
Chocolate tart with salt caramel ice cream and honeycomb

Bread Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Sunday 23 October 2011

Keep Calm and Have a Cheeseburger

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The latest range to launch from Burger Me! Designs is here. Starting originally as a public service announcement from the British government, around the time of the second world war, Keep Calm and Carry On reflects a resolutely British attitude to life. 

More than 70 years on society has changed, so what better way to sum up the current state of the nation than with the launch of 'Keep Calm and Have a Cheeseburger'!

You can own a piece of the 'Keep Calm and Have a Cheeseburger' fashion range from just £11.69, select your tshirt or top, choose from an array of colours, and follow the simple checkout process. Simples.

The Men's range consists mixture of classic, retro, baseball and basketball Tshirts with the bold 'Keep Calm and Have a Cheeseburger' logo on them.

The Ladies range incorporates fitted Tshirts, spaghetti tops, tank tops, long sleeve, and contrast tshirts, all bearing Keep Calm and Have a Cheeseburger.

Peruse, purchase and enjoy!

Tuesday 18 October 2011

The Admiral Codrington serves up a stunning cheeseburger.

The Admiral Codrington is located on Mossop Street, several stone's throw from South Kensington Tube. I've had a number of burgers there before, but never from the main menu (see the Ad Cod burger swarm posts: Admiral Codrington three burger tasting, and the Admiral Codrington MockDonalds).

This visit it was time to try the much lauded Admiral Codrington Cheeseburger.

8oz Cheeseburger - £15. This includes burger, pickles and hand cut chips. 
Mac 'n' Cheese - £6.00.

Monday 10 October 2011

Lucky Chip, Burgers at Netil Market, Westgate Street, London Fields

There is very little I can say about Lucky Chip that you probably don't already know. They have, after all, just had a feature written about them in none other than EasyJet's in-flight magazine. When a place ascends to the altitude of in-flight entertainment, this humble burger blogger thought it was about time, four months after Lucky Chip arrived at Netil Market, to finally schlep across London to see what all the fuss is about?

As mentioned, Lucky Chip is in Netil Market. Actually, Lucky Chip is sat in a small car park off Westgate Street, just by London Fields, in Netil Market.

I rocked up to the car park on a Friday night, following a journey from the city that included the Central Line to Bethnal Green and then the 106 bus to London Fields, with 'the brunette' at the very civilized hour of 7pm. From the outset the style, like the location, is off-piste. 

Friday 7 October 2011

8.5/10 - Rivington Grill, Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London

Rivington Grill Location:

Set on the trendy Rivington Street a short walk from Old Street, Rivington Grill is set up in an old industrial unit, the black doors and windows contrast the white walled interior, and walking inside I felt transported back to Agatha Christie's time - Poirot, I felt, could be sitting in the corner with his waxed moustache, bowler hat and cane.

Rivington Luxury Burger £12.75 (includes chips and three toppings - egg, cheese and bacon). The plain Rivington Grill burger comes in at £10, and extra toppings can be added for £1 a topping (the extra toppings are as above).

Starters came out first (this is a rare pushing out of the boat for this burger blogger), which included lamb scrumpets (whatever they are - we felt we needed them in our lives - who can resist a good scrumpet). These were swiftly despatched by me and my fellow diner, along a delicious plate of grilled prawns and squid.

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