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.


The Purist - £6.95 + streaky bacon - £1 + Monterey Jack cheese - £1


Simple. The Bukowski Grill burger comes plated, resting on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Named the purist, this burger is supposed to make a statement - and it certainly looks the part with its glistening full brioche bun and melting curtain of cheese across the patty.


Let's start with the good - the Monterey Jack cheese is generous and melted, and is draped across the patty in festoons - and like good Jack cheese should it gives a great creamy, nutty flavour to the burger. All the rest is a slightly sadder story. The round lettuce, sliced tomato and mayo are insipid and flavourless adding nothing to the burger. But the real crime here is the cured, streaky bacon - a masterclass in what not to do with bacon in a burger. First off it's too tough which means you can't get a clean bite through and so you end up pulling the entire piece out from the interstices. Second it's almost completely devoid of the punchy, salty flavour bacon should bring to a burger. Not a great start.


Perfectly cooked, criminally underseasoned. The burgers are cooked in a Josper oven which gives them an consistent, even crust, but the beef itself has a sharp, tinny taste, like freshly minced, unaged beef. And as it lacks any discernable seasoning at all. Spending the kind of money you do on a Josper, only to be let down by something as simple as seasoning, is disappointing.


The full brioche bun at Bukowski Grill is disappointing. First up, it was warm but not properly toasted, like scared bread. Secondly along with the creamy Jack cheese, unseasoned bacon and unseasoned meat, the bun is cloyingly sweet and rich. Without acidity from the watery tomato, the whole ensemble lacks depth and instead of working as a harmonious symphony, it ends up as a high riff in desperate need of some bass.

Overall rating: 6/10

Altogether this burger is a bit of a let down as it lacks any decent flavour. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover and based on this experience, you definitely shouldn't judge a burger by its presentation. While boxpark is (and some of you will no doubt disagree) a pretty fun space, Bukoswki Grill is instantly forgettable.

Bukowski Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. I had such high hopes from the photos. Just goes to show.

  2. Dave Hemming30 October, 2014

    I forget which one I had - filthy gringo? But it had candied bacon and jalapeno mustard which went some way to addressing your problems with the Purist.

  3. Alfredo Costani07 February, 2015

    Before the 3rd Feb 2015, I would swear by their burgers and tripple fried chips.
    Now, it's an insult to the tastebuds! Triple fried chips (which are not triple fried, yet the charge is the same!?!), cardboardish bacon, and a dull , tasteless pattie, engulfed in a brioche bun (the Californian - burger of the month). This vulgar attempt at a burguer would fit nicely in a McDo menu. The missus went for her favoured Fat Gringo, and her luck was as bad as mine: same tasteless, substandard pattie, in a poncy bun. And yes, even the bacon was also messed up.
    What was meant to be a treat, ended up as an night ruining event.
    Never again! Its down right offensive being charged a premium for a substandard, crappy burger. Better off eating a dirt-mcdirt, than this... this stuff!!!
    PS: The rating was far too generous!!!


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