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!


Mother Flipper Cheeseburger - £6
Dirty Barbie burger - £10


Upon opening the anonymous, white label burger boxes, you're presented with a lightly sweating bun encasing a rough-edged burger, oozing with juice and sauce. As with other burger offerings such as from Patty & Bun and Burger Bear, opening your burger packaging  . It *almost* brought a tear to my eye.


The Mother Flipper cheeseburger is deceptively simple. Topped with american cheese (which is cloched on the grill to weld it to the patty and the bun), the burger sits on an onion/lettuce 'slaw melded with ketchup and mustard. A solitary, thick, crinkle cut pickle sits at the heart of the salad, and gives an instant hit of nostalgia - classic American cheeseburger style.

The Dirty Barbie is, as you'd expect, covered with a pile of dirty toppings. BBQ-braised onions are sweet and sticky - being pre-cooked and then applied before being steamed with the bun means they've had time to assimilate some serious flavour. Candied bacon mixes with the BBQ onions and the double hit of sweet and salt combines  - if anything, it's the cheese that's the casualty, being dominated by the other two toppings.

Below the patties, ketchup and mustard combine to add a sharp riff to the mellow BBQ notes, and this balances what could otherwise be a very rich burger.


The beef used in the Mother flipper burgers is 28-day aged chuck from Scottish Black Angus, mixed to a proprietary recipe by a West London butcher (they chuck in some rib cap to add juiciness). It's added to the chrome grill as a ball, and left to form a crust for a couple of minutes (meaning the juices run UP through the burger, rather than out onto the grill), before being smashed down to form patties. Watching the grill boss set to his work was poetry in motion. Smashing is not a new technique, but it is technical - you have to apply even pressure across the burger patty in order to ensure the maximum surface area touches the grill whilst ensuring even cooking throughout - so the Mother Flipper grill boss uses a double handed smash technique to achieve this.

(Check out the video of Smash Burger, and their custom-made smashing utensil on my YouTube channel)

Once smashed, the beef is liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper, and the patties are left until a thick, caramelised crust is formed and the juices start bubbling through to the top of the burger. They are then forcefully scraped off the chrome and flipped, to be topped with cheese, bacon, onions etc.

All the technique shows in the delivery of the burgers - the beef is medium pink in the middle, well seasoned, and with a brilliant savoury/umami crust. Both the single-pattied cheeseburger, and the double-pattied Dirty Barbie are consistently cooked and seasonsed.


Glorious sesame glazed demi-brioche (and completely egg free). The Mother Flipper buns are lightly toasted on a dedicated bread toasting machine (that's serious business as space behind the Mother Flipper stall is at a premium). The bottom buns are dressed ready for the burgers to be added, but the top buns are placed on the patty, on the grill, and steamed under cloche to both soften them, and ensure the toppings/cheese are welded together. This adds a much needed element of structure to these juicy beasts.

Overall rating: 9.5/10

These are very, very good burgers, as many of you have been telling me for quite a long time. The burgers have to walk a fine line between the loaded, juicy toppings and beef, but still delivering an edible street food experience - without it ending up all over your lap and shirt. And they do this brilliantly.

The Dirty Barbie, for me, packs a similar punch to MeatMarket's black palace burger albeit with BBQ overtones, but still delivering a massive savoury, beefy hit, and for £6, the Mother Flipper cheeseburger has to be one of the best value burgers in London - alongside my long-time favourite Lucky Chip.

I am thankful that the planets have aligned and it has become a part of my life, and now part of this blog.

Mother Flipper are popping up all over the place at the moment, but your best bets to catch them are:

  • Kerb, King's Cross - Friday lunchtimes
  • Camden Town Brewery - Friday evenings
  • Brockley Market - Saturday lunch/afternoon


  1. Ripsnorter05 August, 2014

    What's your opinion of the Dirty Barbie burger as to value? £10 strikes me as just too expensive for street food. Or is it a double patty (from the photo) and you just didn't mention it? Also, apropos Lucky Chip: I tried it for the first time the other day and was not so impressed, as I commented. Nice, but no cigar.

  2. Yo. Dirty Barbie for £10 is pretty much spot on. It's double patty (it's mentioned in the 'Meat' section) and is the same price as the double Bleecker with bacon.

  3. Ripsnorter06 August, 2014

    Thanks for the reply. I stand corrected, in which case £10 is definitely fair (I thought it was bit much for some extra onions! But then I also know a place where a adding a slice of bacon or two really ups the price! I just did a word search of the piece but it didn't turn up the double Bleecker, what is this one?

  4. This is the double bleecker - haven't blogged it, but do need to update my Bleecker post!

  5. Ripsnorter06 August, 2014

    It might be an idea to update your Best Burgers In London: Top 10 piece as and when you can, especially if you revisit somewhere and/or prices gave changed in the interim. I always wanted to try the Lucky Chip / Sebright Arms and went well out of my way to do so (tube then a long walk through Hackney). It was a fun excursion but reality fell short of expectation and hope. I always apply the 'Would I go back?' test to a place and in this case, no, not really.


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