Thursday 22 March 2012

Browns Burger - Old Jewry, Bank, City of London

Browns Burger
Out for a swift Thursday lunch with my old boss, we decided to meet and eat in a location equidistant from our offices, in the Old Jewry outpost of Browns, a chain of 20 or so Brasserie-styled restaurants situated across the UK.

I hadn't yet had the pleasure (or as you'll find out later, the displeasure) of the Browns burger, so thought I'd kill two birds with one stone by catching up with an old friend, and running the Burger Me! treatment over the hamburger.

Bacon, Emmental Burger - £10.95

Mixed. My plate arrived looking fairly appetizing, with skin-on french fries and perfectly smooth white bun-wrapped burger, complete with spike. The curious surprise was a trio of shot glasses at the other end of the plate containing an odd assortment of condiments and relishes. One with steamed, caramelised onions, the second with 'house' ketchup, and the third with a mix of thinly sliced gherkin and chopped white onion. Curiouser and curiouser. My first thought...kamakazi tequila. Sadly not. My second thought 'WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING, have you run out of ramekins?!'.
Browns burger with an odd assortment of random shot-glass accouterments.
Not great. A few rashers of crisp, streaky bacon haphazardly top the Browns burger. These are the stand out topping on this burger, actually having some flavour. The emmental cheese looked the part, rolling in waves down the sides of the patty, but tasted elastic-fantastic rather than of cheese (some may argue that's how emmental tastes anyway). The further through the toppings we go, the more disappointing it gets. Underneath the patty, a few hand-ripped wedges of iceburg lettuce (the bitter bits by the stem) sit on a large dollop of mayo, topped by a slice of watery beef tomato. The whole effect is anaemic and flavourless. Oh, and everything collapsed out of the burger while eating it. Good job the patty made up for the uninspiring toppings. Oh, wait...

Fail. Cooked to 75 degrees (read medium well) this is an unappetizing, grey, rubbery beef burger. The firm-packed grind suggests an over-enthusiastic seasoning well in advance of cooking, and sits in a hard lump against the bun. Iceland do better frozen beef burgers than this effort.
The Browns burger cut-through. Nothing to get excited about.
A rock solid Browns burger, and dense, unappetizing bun.
Cheapo. Whilst again looking impressive from the outside, the execution is cheap. Served untoasted, the base quickly compacts into that dense, doughy (not good doughy) Tesco value white bread effect. There is little else I can say about this bun without swearing, which I'll spare you.
Mixed bag. The skin on, french fries were the highlight of this meal - crisp, salty, and deliciously moreish. In retrospect this may be due to the other elements on the plate, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Onto the shot glasses - in my opinion a half-arsed attempt to be edgy - it felt more like they'd run out of ramekins. The 'house' ketchup was astringent and vinegary, the odd gherkin/onion mix was repugnant, and the steamed onions were surprisingly good - slightly caramelised and sticky with flavour. But seriously shot glasses?!

Overall ranking: 4/10

This is a triumph of style over substance. And even the style is debatable. Ignoring the rameking/shot glass debacle, the burger and fries look appetizing. The reality is, only the fries are worth eating.

If you're around here, and I hope you'll avoid Browns if you're in search of a burger, do yourself a favour and pop next door to
Goodman Old Jewry where for just £2 more you can get one of London's best burgers.

1 comment:

  1. Amanda Little26 March, 2012

    Thanks, Nick.  Remember, you do this so that we don't have to - and I really enjoyed the Bacon Cheeseburger thanks to you.  It's Honest Burger next @sashimigirl


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