Monday, 2 July 2012

Doing the Quadruple Burger Dash at Bar Boulud, One Hyde Park

Bar Boulud, for those who haven't ventured into Knightsbridge recently, is attached to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, next to the Candy Brother's white elephant luxury development on the corner of Hyde Park. And it's pretty posh, they even have a guy standing outside to open the door for you. 
After a host of diary clashes (mainly mine), I'd organised to dine with Dini (@dolcedini on Twitter), and we agreed to hit all four burgers at once to see how they compared against each other.


Yankee - 5/10

The Yankee burger at Boulud is built around a classic garnish of iceberg lettuce, beef tomato, pickles and sweet onion all served up in a sesame seed bun. I opted for a slice of cheddar cheese at a supplement of £1, bringing the cost of this first burger to £12.75.

It arrived pre-cut (oh dear, the kitchen took it upon themselves to portion our burgers as we were sharing all four - nice idea but please don't touch my burger) in halves alongside the Frenchie (see below). The first bite was divine. Crisp lettuce, sharp cheddar and pickles, and beefy tomato. This, however, gave way to bland, under-seasoned beef. A second bite pulled the entire remaining tomato out of the burger and was left dangling down my chin. The bun did hold up, but it was inconsequential as the damage had been done. I finished it, underwhelmed.
Yankee to the left of me, Frenchie to the right. Here I am stuck in the middle of Boulud.
Bar Boulud Frenchie burger

Frenchie Burger - 2/10

The Frenchie burger was next up, this one looks phenomenal on paper, and comes complete with confit pork belly, rocket, and Dijon mustard. It was topped with a tomato compote, Morbier cheese, and wrapped up in a peppered bun. This also came in at £12.75.


This burger was perfectly pink in the middle, bordering on rare, and as I bit into it, tears began to roll down my cheeks. These are not tears of joy, however, they are tears of frustration as an overpowering and liberally applied dijon mustard killed everything. I'd love to tell you about the the subtle pork belly, the punchy Morbier cheese and the tangy tomato compote, but they were all drowned by a sea of mustard. Even the beef was just texture. The peppered bun does hold up throughout, but everything else is lost in an fiery nasal explosion. Oh dear.
The Boulud Frenchie burger - a bit like getting a French kiss from a pot of mustard.

Piggie Burger - 9/10


Ding ding, round 3. The Piggie is yet another strong performer on paper. The beef patty is topped with BBQ pulled pork, green chilli mayonnaise, bibb lettuce, red cabbage slaw, and lovingly nestled in a cheddar bun. All that comes in at...surprise, surprise £12.75.


It's an explosion of flavour. The pulled pork is flakey and melty and the chilli mayo and 'slaw add great depth to the flavours. Top that with a cheddar bun and you have a star in the making. The composition of this burger just casts into sharp relief how poorly the others work. 
The Bar Boulud piggie burger is stunning, and easily the best of the bunch!
Top = Piggie. Bottom = BB
"BB" Burger - 6/10

At £19.75, The BB Burger is the mac daddy of the Boulud burger menu. A combination of 8oz coarsely ground, medium rare beef patty, topped with foie gras, and red wine braised short rib.

The patty is rich and mellow as the foie gras melts into it, but again fails from being entirely unseasoned...and not even the braised short rib can lift it. I finish my final half burger and instead of feeling the satisfaction of a slap up burger dinner, I feel empty, mis-sold the promise that these burgers could have delivered, and for a burger that's just shy of £20, that's a pretty pricey miss.

So 1 out of 4 is ok, right? For a cost of £120 for 4 burgers, 2 beers, 2 cocktails and a dessert, actually I'm pretty disappointed. On paper, they're all potentially strong but the only one that delivers is the Piggie. If you go, order this one, and my bet is you won't be disappointed - the others...well I just can't recommend them.


One final point - please accept my apologies for the blurry photos - they aren't great, but having heard about Boulud's No Photo policy, I had to go clandestine to bring you your burgers. The lengths I go to to feed you burger porn...


Bar Boulud on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

1 comment:

  1. The Piggie had it all, thanks for the round up Nick and company on the night. I must stress B.B's policy is definitely no photo's, the serving staff were not as vigilant on the night. We were also kindly asked back to take 'proper' photos of the burgers by Paulo Detarso, but tasting the burgers again with the Chef's aware may have biased their presentation, portion size etc... we'll never know - hey ho - until the next clandestine burger-off

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