Tuesday 13 August 2013

[Review] Steers, Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction

Steers is a well established South African burger fast food joint, which opened in early July 2013 on the site of the old Wimpy on Lavendar Hill near Clapham Junction station. Interestingly it's parent company, Famous Brands, also owns the Wimpy brand too - is this a push for modernisation of a tired, and now pretty much defunct brand?

A free Tuesday night saw this burger blogger head down with a  friend to see how well this South African burger concept translates into London's burger scene.
Steers Burger, Clapham Junction
Steers Burger, Clapham Junction


King Steer Meal - £7.29 (double burger, fries and a soft drink)
Bacon King Steer - £7.79 (double burger with bacon, fries and a soft drink)


The burgers come boxed, underlining Steers fast food credentials, but the macho purple boxes are actually impressively heavy and full. Chips come in cardboard fast food envelopes. It's utilitarian, but both my dining companion and I quite liked the bold branding.


The King Steer, and Bacon King Steer are almost exactly the same, bar the slice of bacon included in the latter, so let me talk holistically about the toppings. First of all, the pickles were great. Small, sharp, tart pieces of pickled cucumber dotted across the top of the burger. Bacon was notable by it's lack of flavour, as were the slices of american cheese, which even when separated from the burger and eaten separately tasted of exactly nothing. As did the tomato. The chunks of ice cold iceberg lettuce mostly ended up falling out of my burger, which was slightly annoying, but those bits that stayed in were a nice juxtaposition against the softness of the rest of the burger ingredients. 

As for condiments, the first hit you get is sweet mustard, and that's about it, even thought the burger also includes mayo and bbq sauce. 


This for me is where it could have all fallen down...flame grilling + heavy handed fast food flipper = meat fail...BUT I was pleasantly surprised. Whiles the edges of the patty were dry and overcooked, the centre of the meat (whilst not med-rare) was moist, and the meat was accurately seasoned. It reminded me (and maybe this is the point) of a Whopper without the shit bits.
Steers burgers are supplied by Hansons in King's Cross - their patties delivered fresh daily, and not frozen.


The buns on both the burgers is a standard sesame seed. Whilst our buns weren't 'fresh out of the oven' fresh, they were lightly toasted (which can hide a multitude of bread sins) and had a good squishy quality which meant no bun fail here.


Chips were pretty standard, not french fries, but decently cooked and covered in a tasty paprika salt. I assume it's paprika salt - it's one of those 'secret recipe' things, but I'm sure it wouldn't take a food scientist and a lab to work out what goes into it. One noteable point is the 'squirt in a pot' sauces on the front counter - the Peri Peri one is a fiendishly addictive chip-dipping number (and you can buy bottles in the restaurant) so definitely get involved in that one.

Overall rating: 7/10

This is fast food, albeit cooked fresh to order, but fast food none-the-less. The meat is a step up from Burger King - the most appropriate comparison - avoiding the dry 'gag-in-mouth' chewyness of the whopper - but it's got nothing our some of our much loved independents. The burger itself, if you strip out the meal components, costs around £5, and for £5 you can get Dirty Burger, which is much, much better.

Ultimately we agreed that we'd have it again, probably on the way home after a night out at Inferno's. Good times.

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  1. I am saddened. I love Wimpy, and this looks... a bit rubbish, despite your attempt at enthusiasm. The attempts to make burgers 'aspirational' is a truly depressing fad. Can't the middle classes stick to their prawn cocktails?

  2. Just has my first and last Steers burger. I should have guessed how bad it was when it was empty at lunchtime. The buns are hard, the patties undersized and the all smothered in a nasty sauce. The only redeeming factor is.... nope cant think of one. AVOID!


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