The Opera Tavern is a tapas style restaurant set in the heart of theatreland on Catherine Street, Covent Garden. From the outside it looks like a pub, inside, not so much. Dark wood tables and gleaming glass and silverware are elegant and understated. It's a nice place to eat.
I was being taken out for lunch by Shaun (@ShaunWestgate) and so we hit up the OpTav for some highly hyped tapas and, of course, the Iberico pork burger. I'm pleased to say sous-chef @Ben_Mulock popped up to see me and gave some recommendations beyond my usual fayre, but this review is all about the hamburger, which in this case is truly accurate.
Mini Iberico Pork and Foie Gras burger - £6.50
Lovely. A bit like Gail Porter, this burger is small but perfectly proportioned. Unlike Gail Porter however, our two iberico pork burgers arrived on a wooded board, wooden stick plunged through the centre, and garnished with semi-sweet chillies.
|The Opera Tavern Mini Iberico Pork and Foie Gras burger|
Perfectly harmonious. Battered red onion and a touch of melted machengo on top lend salt and crunch, and red onion jam, garlic aoili and lettuce below give sweet and savoury, all combining to enhance the rich, almost beefy, flavour of the iberico pork and foie gras patty.
|Opera Tavern's Iberico pork burger is topped with crunchy battered onion rings|
Absolutely outstanding. This is a stunning Meat Win. All my worrying (and I did have a minor worry) that this could be a bit flavourless was completely unfounded. The depth of the flavour in the iberico pork, enhanced by the melted foie gras, completely blew my mind. It's rich, it's beefy, and it's glorious!
|A glorious Iberico pork burger.|
|Mmm...Foie Gras and Iberico Pork Juice.|
Soft, toasted white mini-bun. A perfectly soft bun that, with all that's it has to protect inside, doesn't need to stand out in its own right.
Green pickled chillies. Sweet, sour and spicy, but too stong for the burgers, in my opinion.
It's not often that I have a non-beef burger that scores so highly, but this was magnificent. I took one mini burger down as part of a wider selection of tapas, but could have had at least four in one sitting, and at £6.50 a burger, it quickly becomes pretty dear. However I recommend anyone who gets the chance, to sample this burger as it's a combination of high quality ingredients married together by chefs who understand how the elements of this dish work seamlessly together. And that's big talk, for such a tiny burger.