Wednesday, 31 December 2014

[Review] The Playboy Club Burger at Salvatore's Bar

I'd been invited to try out the burger at The Playboy Club at Salvatore's Bar, which has undergone a refurbishment and renaissance from it's 'Dining Room' days and their £40 Hef burger, to become Salvatore's Bar, ostensibly the same restaurant but with a more laid back lounge-feel complete with big armchairs, corner sofas and scatter cushions.
The Playboy Club itself is sitauted in Mayfair in a building of glass and steel on Old Park Lane. Outside, the slowly changing rainbow of neon lights rotate, like an out of town casino, and subtle bunnies are etched onto the windows. It feels out of kilter with its surroundings, and it's grander neighbours on Park Lane. Entry to The Club is via a couple of big bouncers and a plush reception area where several bunnies greet you, kitted out in full ears, tail and leotard. We dumped coats and were ushered through to Salvatore's Bar (open to both members and non-members) to try a selection of items from their new American-themed menu, including the burger... 

Monday, 29 December 2014

[Burger News] 2,015 Burgers being given away at Ben's Canteen.

Two thousand and fifteen burgers are being given away by Clapham Junction's neighbourhood restaurant Ben's Canteen.

Want one? Then get down for Brunch or dinner by NYE, and ask for your burger voucher, and you can redeem it at any time during January 2015. Ben's have a bit of a history of delivering decent burgers, and what's more they also serve Meantime lager on tap, and mix one of the best Bloody Mary's in London, so don't miss out on some great food and booze - particularly when you get the burger free!

Find out more and book here.

[Burger News] McDonalds relaunch the McRib burger in the UK 2014

It's happening, and soon. McDonald's are relaunching the McRib burger in the UK after a 12 year hiatus.


The McRib is one of McDonald's most requested items in the UK, and so for 5 weeks, from 31 December 2014, it's back on menus for hardcore fans to get stuck into. 

For those not in the loop (or who can't remember the joy of the McRib before BBQ became fashionable in the UK) the McRib burger comprises a wedge of pork shoulder, formed into a spare rib like rack (from RSPCA freedom pork) drenched in a tangy and sweet BBQ sauce, topped with sweet onion and pickles (because everything has to have pickles, right, all wrapped up in a floury, toasted sub roll.  

It's available for £2.69 from 10:30 am on New Year's Eve 2014. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

[Infographic] London Burger Trends 2014: How do you eat yours?

From my standpoint as (possibly) London's longest serving burger blogger - or at least the longest serving burger blogger who is still reviewing and posting updates on the burgers I eat - I'm calling 2014 "The year Of Expansion".

Friday, 5 December 2014

Xmas 2014 - London Burger Roundup

Here's an overview of the latest London burger news for December 2014 - the London Christmas Burger Roundup!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

[Review] Vivat Bacchus Black Label Burger

Vivat Bacchus is a bit of a city institution. The wine bar slash restaurant opened in Farringdon back in 2003 and whilst run by restaurateurs from New World wine nation South Africa, it takes its inspiration from the Old World with a rustic feel with stripped wooden floors, and an open, airy restaurant.
They've recently put a new burger on their lunch and dinner menu, and so when visiting for a swift lunchtime warmer of red, I decided to give it a Hamburger Me! once over.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

MEATMarket: The Super Fatty Patty burger

I'm late to this party. But I'd like to think I'm fashionably late. Let me introduce you to a burger created by Ross Shonan from BoneDaddies in collaboration with MEATMarket - the Super Fatty Patty.

I'll be honest, it's one helluva burger and, aside from the 'dirty burger' style of delivery, it's unlike any other burger on the MEATMarket menu.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

London Burger News - November 2014

Here's your round up of the the latest London burger news for November 2014.

Shake Shack special burger

On Sunday, November 9th, Shake Shack Covent Garden is dishing up a limited edition burger collaboration with acclaimed chef, and winner of three Michelin stars, Massimo Bottura.

Shake Shack’s limited edition burger—The Emilia (£8.25), named after the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy—was masterfully crafted by Chef Bottura and Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati. It features a custom-blend 100% Aberdeen Angus beef patty ground with cotechino sausage and parmigiano reggiano, topped with salsa verde and Villa Manodori balsamic mayonnaise made with Chef Bottura’s Villa Manodori Artigianale balsamic vinegar from Trebbiano grapes grown in Italy. Buon appetito!

Only 500 of The Emilia burgers will be served—available on a first-come, first-served basis from 11am on Sunday when Shake Shack opens.

Wild Game Co. Venison Burger

The Wild Game Co. have just launched their first stand alone pop-up on London’'s Charlotte Street. Diners can enjoy the finest wild venison and game, sourced directly from the Scottish Highlands, with an array of delicious burgers and salads featured on the menu in a rustic setting.

They'll have a regularly changing and reasonably priced seasonal menu, importantly which will include the 'Veni-Moo' Burger - consisting two patties, one Venison and one Beef, with melted Cheese, Beef Bacon and the Wild Game Co. Sauce,

Wild Game Co. founder is Andy Waugh, who hails from just north of Inverness, and all the meat used is sourced and then butchered with care by his family’s game-butchering business, which has been in existence for over 30 years. His team were 2012 winners of ‘Street Food of the Year’ at The Young British Foodies Awards, and were voted by The Evening Standard as one of the top five places to eat game in London.

Le Bun Residency at The Three Compasses, Dalston

French American street food outfit Le Bun have kicked off their residency at The Three Compasses pub in Dalston, and they have created a bespoke menu that smashes classic French cuisine into American diner style food at high speed. There's no French road block going to stop these guys.
Le Royale With Cheese
Tim Talbot and Andy Taylor, Le Bun's founders, are serving classic French inspired mains including their signature dish Le Bourguignon Bun, Le Duck Frites Bun and National Burger Day one-off Le Royale With Cheese (8-hour short rib patty, hickory beef jus, St Maure de Touraine, smoked tomatoes and truffle dijonaise frisée) alongside Le Fried Chicken Caesar Salad and a Bruleed New York Cheesecake. Yum.

The Three Compasses opens:
Mon-Thurs 4pm to 11pm
Fri 4pm to 12am
Sat 12pm to 12am
Sun 12pm to 11pm

and food is food served: 
Mon-Fri 5pm – 10pm
Sat 12pm – 10pm
Sun 12pm – 10pm

Byron Hamburgers Christmas Special

Byron's next special, the Holy Cheesemas, will be available at a Byron restaurant near you from 11th November to 5th January. It's a festive double bacon cheeseburger fit for a king, with not only two 6oz patties, but double helpings of bacon and quadruple helpings of cheese.

Byron’s Head Chef, Fred Smith, explains: “Cheesemas has become an annual tradition for us, and for its third outing I wanted to take an already ridiculously indulgent burger up a notch. There was really only one way to go, and that was to add even more cheese – and bacon.”

Holy Cheesemas features two 6oz patties, four kinds of cheese – mature Cheddar, American, Red Leicester and Monterey Jack – plus two rashers of dry cure bacon, red onion, shredded iceberg, sliced pickles and Cheesemas sauce, all inside a classic glazed bun. It's on the menu for £12.95.

For those that remember last year's Christmas efforts, the Triple Cheesemas, this is a step up amount of cheese AND ups the ante with bacon. Not for those with gout, methinks!

Meantime Monday's at Ben's Canteen

Those friendly fellows at Ben's Canteen have teamed up with Meantime to make Mondays at the Canteen all about Burgers and Schooners.

As part of this they've created a new Monday only burger, starting with their 'Ultimate Lamb Burger' created with a Southern Cross Lamb Patty, Mint Salsa Verde and BC Lamb Mayo (made with smoked garlic and anchovy). You can get this with a schooner of Meantime (lager or pale ale) for £10.

Also on the night you can get our other burgers for just £7 and more schooners for £3 - more details on the Ben's Canteen website. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Ryanair in-flight cheeseburger

Just when you think you've hit rock bottom in the burger stakes - as I did back in 2011 when I boiled (yes BOILED, my friends) and ate the cheeseburger in a can - along comes another challenge to assault the senses...the Ryanair in-flight cheeseburger.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

[Infographic] Things you didn't know about McDonald's

Ever wanted to know a shed load of facts and figures about the sheer size and scale of McDonald's? Well even if you didn't, there's something in this infographic for you...

Information About McDonald's That Will Shock You: Fast Food Figures, Facts & Controversies
Made available by: comparecamp.com Author: Alex Join our: Tumblr 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Honky Tonk Burger, London

Honky Tonk is a London-based chain of two American diner-style restaurants with branches in both Clapham and Mayfair. It follows the cookie cutter trend of stripped wooden floors, matte black painted walls with chalked quotes, and exposed filament bulbs hanging from the ceiling that have long been trending for a while. There's also a cupboard/door behind which more seating can be found, which is stolen directly from Callooh Callay (with even a Narnia quote above it, in case you didn't 'get' it).

I had been given a voucher for food, and so tried out a few items on the menu, as well as the all important burger. 


Monday, 13 October 2014

[Review] Bukowski Grill burgers at Boxpark Shoreditch

Bukowski Grill is one of those places that's been around for ages, but I've always had better options and somehow never managed to go. It's located in Boxpark in Shoreditch, a retail park made up of fitted out and customised shipping containers situated between Shoreditch, Hoxton and Liverpool Street.

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Burger Democracy - voting for the best burger in London

Andy Shora is a developer at a Digital Agency in London, and has seen his fair share of arguments at work, and further afield, over which burger can be given the accolade of "Best in London". So he built an app to democratize the debate: The City Awards, London.


Andy: " I wanted to put all these opinions together, only taking into account people's number one choice, and having got frustrated with the traditional mass-review-style sites, I wanted to build something really fun to use which would be quick and easy for customers sitting at burger joints to vote for their favourite."

So it's a burger democracy - ultimately with the aim being to build a map of London's favourite places, voted for by the people who live there. It's been built to be mobile and touch-friendly, so you can still use it with a greasy screen...I know I get carried away sometimes.

Andy's favourite is Patty & Bun, who are topping the charts at the moment - so if you agree or disagree - get voting! At the end of the year the winning venue will be presented with a physical trophy which they can show off with pride!

Monday, 22 September 2014

[Interview] Tom Barton, co-founder of Honest Burgers on philosophy, British burgers and his role

In his trademark jeans and t-shirt, Tom Barton, co-founder of Honest Burgers announces the latest Honest Burgers special to a gathered audience of diners. He's about as unassuming as they come when you look at restaurant owners in London - they tend to either be super talented chefs with some serious financial backing, or ex-bankers/lawyers/accountants who have the cash and want to do something different.
But Tom is neither and yet as co-founder of Honest Burgers, he's now sitting on an estate of seven burger restaurants - some of the most highly rated and popular with burger fans within London and beyond - so I sat down with him (and a beer or two) for the launch of their latest gluten free special - a fantastic Spanish flavoured burger with GF Romanesco, grilled lomo and Spanish cheese - to catch up with him on the Honest story.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

[Review] K-Town Burger from Ben's Canteen, St John's Hill

Ben's Canteen is one of those places that instantly makes you feel at home. Those in the know (and living close to and around St John's Hill will be familiar with the blue awning leading into the reclaimed and stripped back wood interior.

The first site opened in 2011, and I reviewed it during their soft launch period, and then again once they'd made a few changes to the burger couple of times (and was even invited to graffiti their toilets), so it was with great pleasure that I headed back to try a brand new burger, inspired by the tastes of Korea...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

[Review] Bobo Social, Charlotte Street: Burgers and small plates

Bobo Social on Charlotte Street is a grey and white bastion of King's Road chic on a road of identical terraces and lifeless offices. It launched in August 2014 and serves a selection of burgers and small plates.

Time to take a closer look at the burger...

Monday, 25 August 2014

National Burger Day, UK - 27 August 2014

The UK's National Burger Day 2014 took place on 27 August 2014, and I was lucky enough to be invited to a celebration of burgers orgainsed by My Hyde and Tweat Up at Battersea Power Station.

Here's a short film I've put together all about the evening:



This year at the National Burger Day event, I had the chance to try five of the 12 burgers on offer, here's how it went down:

Bleecker St. Burger: Created the Pizza Burger. 50-day aged beef patty, melted mozzarella, Marinara sauce, shaved Parmesan, basil mayonnaise and some grated red pepper flakes all wrapped in a sesame seed bun.

Byron (Fred Smith): Created the Shady burger. This is the a 3oz version of the normal Byron beef patty with crispy cheese, pickle relish, american cheese, chopped white onions and ketchup.

Dirty Burger: Created the Mini Swiss burger. Beef, Swiss Cheese, Mushroom on a bed of chopped lettuce ketchup and mustard mayo.

HotBox: Created the Smokey Bandit, Dry Aged chuck and rib patty, smoked beef rib, Monterey Jack, Chipotle & slaw, spicy bbq dripping & chimichurri. It's a brilliant smokey BBQ burger

Breddos (Slider Bar): Served up the Short Rib slider. A mix of 10-hour smoked chipotle short rib with an aged beef and bone marrow patty

Others that I didn't get a taste of on the night (due to large queues and some places running out) were:
  • B.O.B.’s Burgers
  • Club Gascon (Pascal Aussignac)
  • Dip & Flip
  • Disco Bistro
  • Le Bun
  • Mother Flipper
  • Roti Chai
________________________________

Can you believe it was just a year ago that the UK held its inaugural National Burger Day?

Championed by the lovely people at Shortlist / Mr Hyde, National Burger Day in the UK is a celebration of the hamburger. A day where we can throw our diets (who am I kidding) aside and bathe in the glory of a juicy patty wrapped in a soft and supple bun.

National Burger Day 2014 features more than 300 burger restaurants and chains across the country, who are offering 20% off burgers for the whole day. You can find out more on who's participating by visiting Mr Hyde's dedicated microsite and searching for a restaurant.

In London, we're a bit lucky, as Mr Hyde are hosting a festival of burgers at Battersea Power Station with a host of fantastic burger slingers, booze, picklebacks and more in the evening. There's also the inaugural Car-B-Q - a twist on the classic BBQ with London's cabbies cooking burgers on the engines of the iconic black cabs. Awesome.

And there's more. I'm going to be running a Nationa Burger Day competition, to win a pair of gold-plated burger cufflinks. Designed by the hugely talented Kasun London, who have two ranges in the shops currently, these are a super desirable accessory. One lucky winner will receive a pair of gold-plated burger cufflinks in a luxury jewellery box - keep your eyes peeled for details!

Just to get your tastebuds tingling, here's a quick taster of what went down at National Burger Day 2013:







Monday, 18 August 2014

[Review] Original Fry Up Material burger at Three Compasses Dalston.

Original Fry Up Material, OFM for short, are doing some seriously good things with burgers. Known for their mobile street food ambulance, and for serving some of the most banging breakfasts (not to mention sausage and egg muffins) London has to offer, they've been around since the end of 2012.
It's only natural, then, with breakfast success under their belts, that their attention would turn to burgers in the form of a residency in the 3 Compasses pub in Dalston...and that's where this burger story begins...

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

[Review] Mother Flipper: Bitchin' Street Food Burgers

I could give you a list of excuses as long as my arm as to why it's taken me so long to visit Mother Flipper to give you the low-down on their burgers...
...but I doubt you care.

The simple fact is I have now eaten Mother Flipper burgers, and I get to give you my perspective on them. Tally ho!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

[Sponsored] Win dinner for two at Byron Hamburgers

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. But in this case, there actually is!

The lovely folks at Line-Up are giving Hamburger Me! readers a chance to win £50 to spend at Byron Hamburgers.

With Byron’s Smoky burger (6oz hamburger, smoked cheddar, streaky bacon, crispy onions, shredded iceberg, pickles & smoked chilli BBQ sauce) now a firm fixture on their menu, I know what I’d be spending the cash on...

For those of you that don’t know, Line-Up is a brand new iPhone app that lets you create your own personalised 'what’s on' guide for going out in London (and lots of other cities across the UK). To enter the competition, just join their mailing list using the form below. It’s that simple. You'll get additional entries for following their Facebook page and Twitter account too.

Winner announced from among those who sign up next Friday at 5pm. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 25 July 2014

[Review] Stax Diner Carnaby / Kingley Street, London

Stax diner is a new venture from Bea Vo, lauded baker and founder of upmarket bakery Bea's of Bloomsbury.
Ostensibly it's a diner-cum-soul food joint, located upstairs in the relatively newly renovated Kingly Market, between Carnaby Street and Kingly street, and the space is quite fun.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Minetta Tavern-inspired anchovy burger

For a long time I've been wanting to use anchovies in my burgers at home - I fricking love the kick of salty, savoury umami they bring - and since I first had anchovy butter on a steak many moons ago, I have always thought they'd go brilliantly with a well-aged burger patty.
It's taken a while for the planets to align to enable me to test out my recipe. I had been reading about the Minetta Tavern black label burger which gave me the missing piece of the puzzle. I was trying to work out what else to include in the burger that would work with the rich earthiness of an aged burger patty, and the strong dominating flavours of anchovies - and then it hit me, just like the simplicity of the Minetta Tavern burger which incorporates just four elements - top quality beef, caramelized onions, a custom brioche bun, and clarified butter - you don't NEED anything else.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

[Special] 4th July Burger from The Diner

The Diner have created a new burger to mark Independence Day on 4th July.
With previous successes such as the Grab burger, and the now permanent Diablo burger, I was pretty excited when they invited me to come and sample it before it goes on general sale from Monday.



Wednesday, 25 June 2014

[Special] Ronaldo Burger from Byron Hamburgers

It's still the world cup, right?

Cue a slew of appropriate and inappropriate, official and guerilla marketing opportunities for brands to jump on the bandwagon and feed off the expected £250m - £1bn in extra spending the English are expected to splash out over the course of this World Cup competition.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Five Outrageous Burgers From Chef Fred Smith

1. THE AD COD CHEESEBURGER


My first 10/10 burger on the blog, and still one that sends shivers down my spine when I think about it. When Fred was in his role as head chef, The Admiral Codrington cheeseburger was an example of the best gourmet burger London had to offer.
Every element in the Admiral Codrington burger was designed and executed to ensure the perfect combination of toppings, beef and bread. A thin layer of tomato reduction applied to the underside of the bun added acidity and umami, the mild cheddar doesn't dominate the meat, but added a Monterey Jack-style creaminess. Underneath the patty, thinly sliced pickles on a single slice of beef tomato, and mustard-mayonnaise chopped iceberg 'slaw, again adding that acidity and ensuring the juices freely flowing from the patty don't destroy the bun. Add a spoonful of the burger patty juices to the inside of the bun lid and the whole package was steeped in flavour.

The meat was house-minced, 8oz patties, with a combination of 50% chuck/50% rib cap from butcher Jack O'Shea. The beef was 28-day aged from grass-fed beef (for 200-250 days, and finished on grain) from the West coast of Ireland.

What a phenomenal piece of London burger history.

2. 333 CHILLI BURGER


As part of a series of burger 'swarms', again at the Admiral Codrington, Fred designed a hearty menu featuring a central burger (or six).
And so was created the aptly-named 333 Chilli Burger. An ancho chilli-braised short rib patty ridden by a chipotle and jalapeño topping, resting on a bed of medium-heat, green chilli 'slaw, and sandwiched in a smaller version of the Miller demi-brioche bun.

This burger had bite, but the heat wasn't overpowering, more lingering than a burning inferno. It combined chipotle with its dry heat, and the green chillies with their juicy, spicy heat  and both worked in an almost perfect harmony with the smooth, creaminess of the short rib burger patty.

Hot stuff from Fred!

3. THE CHUCK WAGON


The Chuck Wagon is a burger that had the masses talking – a real artery clogger. At its base is a Juicy Lucy, an American cheese stuffed patty, but as this is Fred Smith, you know he has something else up his sleeve. And he did. The cheese was in fact bacon infused, formulated to melt at a low temperature so the burger can still be served pink. The beef was then coated in bread crumbs, coated again in panko bread crumbs and then fried, like chicken.
This is the result – a frankly mind-blowing combination of junk food flavours with the provenance and heritage that Fred brings.

4. ADMIRAL'S BIG BOY

The Admiral's Big Boy was a once in a lifetime interpretation of the McDonald's Big Mac. Encased in a Miller's sesame-seeded bun, cut with precision into three segments, Fred's take on this classic incorporated two slices of American cheese (these situated on top of the beef patties, rather than the traditional single slice below), his own special dressing that took so long to perfect he actually forgot what went into it (I tried to reverse engineer some out of my shirt, where it happily splattered), and patties were O'Shea's beef and slightly weightier than the similarly-named original, yet they were still cooked pink - a feat Fred was rightly proud of.
Like a full-bodied photoshoot of prime McDonald's Big Macs, the Admiral's Big Boy delivers all the joy of McDonalds best selling premium sandwich, without resorting to the sad, soggy looking burgers that actually turn up in your cardboard wrapper.

5. FLATIRON DEEP-FRIED BEER-FED BEEF BURGER


Following his stint at the Admiral Codrington, Fred took a series of freelance and consultancy roles, helping other places make awesome burgers, and one of these included deep frying a burger patty in beef dripping at FlatIron...

Arriving with a waft of deep-fried chip shop aroma, this is where the likeness to cheap fast food ends, the aged beef-fed beef patty is deep fried in beef dripping which allows it to forms the most amazing caramelised crust, whilst retaining a juicy, pink interior. The texture of the beef is melt-in-the-mouth, and it's topped with a béarnaise sauce, with it's buttery soft flavour, which works its way deep into crevices of the fried patty.

Mmm, deep fried beef.

THE PRESTIGE

So there we have it, five of my favourite outrageous burgers from chef Fred Smith - if you want to learn how to make burgers like a pro, check out my short videos of him creating his Ad Cod Cheeseburger:


Why not share your Fred Smith favourites too?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Meat & Shake, Burgers in Tooting

Situated just 300m from Tooting Bec tube station, and directly opposite the most enormous Spice Village I’ve ever seen, is the somewhat incongruous Meat & Shake – the wooden sign, the exposed brickwork, the naked-yet-caged filament lights are in stark contrast to the pop-up stalls and multi-coloured neon of Upper Tooting Road.
 The restaurant has been open since September 2013, however they recently got in touch to ask me to come and try out their menu. They've been on the list for a while, but as it meant travelling down to Tooting, I hadn't found the time to go. Well now I have, and here are my thoughts on the burgers.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Waitrose Footbal Party Burger – Greece: The Deconstructed Moussaka Burger

Waitrose asked me to pull together a burger recipe to represent Greece for their football party Home Inspirations page. So I've created the deconstructed Moussaka burger for your chowing pleasure.
This recipe will feed 4 – 8 people, depending on how hungry you are!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Beef Sliders with Scampi Fries

It's been a while since I posted a recipe - truth be told we've been doing up our house and moving our kitchen to a new, bigger home, so things have been challenging, but I finally found myself with a free weekend, and so had the chance to whip up a new burger recipe for the blog and get some photos taken.
This first recipe is a Hamburger Me! take on the classic slider. As 'slider' and 'mini burger' become interchangeable in foodie vernacular (something which angers me intensely), this is an opportunity for me to demonstrate what a slider traditionally is - i,e a thin piece of beef steamed through onions on a griddle. I cheated a bit and gave one side of the burger a sear, but that's the way I like 'em.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Any London burger delivered to your door with Jinn

This is a short post that may just change your life...

Jinn got in touch with me the other day to tell me about their app which aims to deliver you anything from any restaurant or shop in London within 60 minutes. They offered me free delivery (normally £5.95) to try it out...so on Friday I ordered 2 x Dead Hippie Burgers and Poppaz delivered to my desk from MEATMarket, and all I had to do was answer the following questions:
This was my answer:

This is what I received 45 minutes later:




My Dead Hippie burger was still PINK!

So, to recap. I can get any burger, from any joint in London, delivered to my DESK within 60 minutes in London. The cost of the service is £5.95 for delivery and then 10% of the items' price.

Team lunches are never going to be the same again...download the Jinn app now!

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