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|
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|
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.
|Vanilla and gingerbread cheesecake with berries and vanilla ice cream|
|Chocolate tart with salt caramel ice cream and honeycomb|